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Five takeaways from the New Orleans Saints' 2015 schedule

Three prime-time games will be at Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Photos of Drew Brees against the Green Bay Packers on October 26, 2014. Photos by Michael C. Hebert. (New Orleans Saints photos)

  1. All three prime-time New Orleans Saints games in 2015 will be at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints will host the Dallas Cowboys on "Sunday Night Football" on Oct. 4 with a 7:30 p.m. start. They will host the Atlanta Falcons in a "Thursday Night Football" game at 7:25 p.m. on Oct. 15 and they will host the Detroit Lions on "Monday Night Football" on Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. The Superdome crowd should be primed and ready to help the Saints resume their home dominance in all three games.
  1. The two cold weather road games will be played before Thanksgiving; at Philadelphia on Oct. 11 (noon) and at Washington on Nov. 15 (noon). The Saints' road games after Thanksgiving are at Houston (Nov. 29, warm weather and a roof), at Tampa on Dec. 13 (warm weather) and at Atlanta on Jan. 3 (indoors).
  1. The late bye - week 11 - breaks up the only back-to-back road games on the schedule at Washington (Nov. 15) and at Houston (Nov. 29). The Saints opened the 2014 season with back-to-back road games and played three of their first four away from the Superdome. This is better.
  1. The Saints will play their Thursday night game on a short week, even though for the first time since the games were added it will be at home. The Saints will fly back from Phildelphia the evening of Oct. 11 before hosting the Falcons on Thursday, Oct. 15. It's better than last season when the Saints were home for a prime-time game and then had to travel to Charlotte for a Thursday night game but not by a lot.
  1. The Saints will be tested early. Three of the Saints' first five games will be against 2014 playoff teams (Sept. 13 at Arizona, Sept. 27 at Carolina and Oct. 4 vs. the Cowboys) and the Week 5 game is against the Eagles, who finished last season with 10 wins and just shy of the playoffs. Week 2 at home vs. Tampa will be interesting as the Saints won't have much tape on the Bucs' new quarterback, whether it's Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. The Saints follow up that opening gauntlet with a home game against rival Atlanta and then go on the road to play another 2014 playoff team, the Indianapolis Colts and star quarterback Andrew Luck.
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