With training camp and preseason well underway, Last Word on Pro Football is analyzing the schedules of all 32 NFL teams. Each team’s 16-game slate will be split into its most difficult (1-8) and easiest games (9-16). For this article, the New Orleans Saints easiest games of the 2019 schedule will be discussed.
New Orleans Saints Easiest Games of 2019
9. Week 10: vs. Atlanta Falcons
This game starts an important stretch for the Saints that could decide the division. All four opponents in November are from the NFC South. The Saints-Falcons games are always emotionally charged, but the Saints have owned the Falcons in the last two, going 3-1 in that stretch. The one game the Falcons won, Alvin Kamara was knocked out of the game early, and Drew Brees threw a game-clinching interception into the hands of Falcons linebacker Deion Jones. This should be an instant classic, especially if both teams come in with top-notch records.
10. Week Six: at Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles has played historically well against the Saints, in both the 2013 Wild Card and 2018 NFC Divisional Playoff games. Despite having an awful season last year, the Jaguars still have a formidable defense and solid weapons around Foles. This game has all the makings of a ground and pound game, with an interesting match-up on the outside: Michael Thomas lining up against Jalen Ramsey. Under Sean Payton, the Saints are an undefeated 3-0 against the Jaguars, winning by an average of almost 14 points per match-up.
11. Week 14: vs. San Francisco 49ers
This is a tricky game for the Saints. The San Francisco 49ers have some solid talent, and all eyes will be on Jimmy Garoppolo and whether or not he can bring this team over the hunt. The 49ers played both C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens last year in Garoppolo’s absence. If Garoppolo plays like he did the last four games of the 2017 season, this game could turn into an instant classic. This will be another game where the Saints secondary could be tested.
12. Week 16: at Tennessee Titans
This is a tough game to predict how difficult it will be. If the Saints have a successful season up until this game, then this could be a game where starters don’t play much. If the Saints struggle out of the gate and are trying to make a late push, this could be a crucial game against the Tennessee Titans. Marcus Mariota is one of the biggest wild cards on the schedule, just behind Kyler Murray. If Mariota can break the contain of the Saints pass rush and create some big plays, the Saints defense will be vulnerable for play action, or a heavy dose of Derrick Henry.
13. Week 17: at Carolina Panthers
Another game where the outcome could be decided on what both team’s records are at this point of the season. Last season, these two teams met with neither Brees nor Cam Newton playing, because the Saints clinched the number one overall seed and the Panthers were out of playoff contention. This season could be very different, and the Panthers look to compete for the division title this season. This week 17 game could decide which team gets better seeding come playoff time, or which team makes the playoffs at all. Over the last two years, the Saints are 4-1 against the Panthers, including the playoffs.
14. Week Five: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay has all the tools to be a threat to the Saints and the rest of the NFC South. But with Bruce Arians at the helm, it may take a season or two to get things going in the right direction. During the last two seasons, the Buccaneers have split the season series against the Saints. If Jameis Winston plays to his potential, the Bucs could push for the division title. If not, they will likely be in the cellar of the division.
15. Week 11: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This could be a trap game for the Saints. November is a rough month for the Saints. The Saints will play division foes the entire month, including the Falcons twice. After this game, the Saints will have two games within a span of five days, as they play the Panthers November 24th then the Falcons on November 28th. If the Saints start to look ahead, this could be a game the Bucs could sneak a win in.
16. Week Eight: vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are a project. Granted, Kyler Murray and that offense will work out some kinks before they make the trip to the Dome. But the biggest question will be that offense for the Cardinals because Kliff Kingsbury is known for his Air Raid offenses. The Saints secondary will be tested this game, but compared to other rosters on this list, the Cardinals are the worst team on paper.