Here are Associated Press photos of the quarterbacks the New Orleans Saints could face in the 2016 regular season.
- The New Orleans Saints open at home this season, against Oakland on Sept. 11, and play two of their first three at home. The last time that happened, in 2013, they finished 11-5 and reached the playoffs. Opening at home and playing two of the first three in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is a good way to get a quick start to the season and avoid the holes New Orleans has started in the last two seasons, 0-2 in 2014 (both on the road) and 0-3 last year (two on the road).
- There only are two scheduled prime-time appearances for New Orleans this season, a Monday night home game against Atlanta on Sept. 26 and a Thursday night road game against Carolina on Nov. 17. It would be the fewest appearances in prime time that the Saints have made since Coach Sean Payton's first season, 2006, when the only prime time appearance was the Monday night home opener, which was the reopening of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina, against the Falcons. Since that season and until this one, New Orleans hadn't made fewer than three appearances per season in prime time and in four seasons, five of their games were played in prime time. Consecutive 7-9 seasons have taken the Saints out of the national spotlight, so they'll have a chance to fly under the radar. And if they win enough during the season, the league could take one of their Sunday afternoon games and flex it to Sunday night.
- The bye week comes early this year, after just four games, on Oct. 9. Of course, a team will take the break whenever it comes. But the early bye means New Orleans will finish out the year with 12 straight weeks of play, including the short, Thursday night game week against Carolina.
- Speaking of Carolina, that Thursday night game means the Saints will play last year's Super Bowl participants in consecutive games, on a short week. Super Bowl champion Denver, minus retired quarterback Peyton Manning, visits New Orleans for a noon game on Nov. 13, and the Saints head to Charlotte, N.C., for an NFC South Division scrap against the NFC champion Panthers four days later. If there's any solace, it's that the Saints have a noon game against the Broncos; the last time they played Carolina in Charlotte on Thursday night, in 2014, it was following a Sunday night home game against Green Bay. Every extra hour counts, in terms of resting and rehabilitating bumps, bruises and breaks, when a team plays a Thursday night game.
- In return-home games, the Saints play in San Diego and the Seahawks play in New Orleans. So, Saints quarterback Drew Brees will play against the franchise that drafted him in the second round (No. 32 overall) in 2001, and Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham will play against the franchise that drafted him in the third round (No. 95 overall) in 2010. Brees already has played against the Chargers twice, but not in San Diego, where he played his first five NFL seasons. Graham will be playing against the Saints and in the Superdome for the first time since he was traded to the Seahawks for center Max Unger and a first-round draft pick, which the Saints used to pick linebacker Stephone Anthony.