2021 NFL Schedule Breakdown: New Orleans Saints
The Saints are going to begin the season without quarterback Drew Brees. Brees, a future Hall of Famer and the long-time Saints quarterback retired after the 2020 season. The starter role is going be to awarded to either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill. There is a legitimate quarterback competition in New Orleans. Regardless of who wins the starting job, the offense should still run through running back Alvin Kamara. Plus, Michael Thomas should see plenty of targets, but would likely have a better outlook if Winston won the starting job since Hill uses his legs just as often as his arms.
New Orleans Saints Schedule:
- Week 1: Sun 09/12 vs Green Bay Packers
- Week 2: Sun 09/19 at Carolina Panthers
- Week 3: Sun 09/26 at New England Patriots
- Week 4: Sun 10/03 vs New York Giants
- Week 5: Sun 10/10 at Washington Football Team
- Week 6: BYE
- Week 7: Mon 10/25 at Seattle Seahawks
- Week 8: Sun 10/31 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Week 9: Sun 11/07 vs Atlanta Falcons
- Week 10: Sun 11/14 at Tennessee Titans
- Week 11: Sun 11/21 at Philadelphia Eagles
- Week 12: Thu 11/25 vs Buffalo Bills
- Week 13: Thu 12/02 vs Dallas Cowboys
- Week 14: Sun 12/12 at New York Jets
- Week 15: Sun 12/19 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Week 16: Mon 12/27 vs Miami Dolphins
- Week 17: Sun 1/02 vs Carolina Panthers
- Week 18: Sun 01/09 at Atlanta Falcons
NFC South: Last season, New Orleans won the division over their rivals, the Buccaneers. However, now that Brees is retired, it is going to be hard to win it over Tampa again. The Saints are still considered a strong team, even with the uncertainty at the quarterback position. They will dominate the Falcons and Panthers, so the division may come down to a Week 15 meeting with Tom Brady and the Bucs.
Matchups: New Orleans will face a difficult stretch of games from Week 8 to Week 13. They will face playoffs teams like the Bucs, Titans, Bills and Cowboys, who have a healthy Dak Prescott back. Their games with Tampa will decide who controls the division. Regardless, the team will finish second in the division unless the injury bug hits.
Overall: The Saints are still a strong team that will make the playoffs again in 2021. However, the team’s postseason success may very well rest on their new quarterback’s shoulders, which is a scary thought for New Orleans fans. This team will go as far as either Winston or Hill takes them in the post-Brees era.
Prediction: New Orleans will finish with a 10-7 record, good for second in the division. They will sneak into the postseason with a Wild Card berth.