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New Orleans Saints 2016 opponents set

Saints will play the AFC West next season

The opponents for the Saints 2016 regular-season have been determined.

At home, the Saints will face the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders

On the road, the Saints will battle the Falcons, Panthers, Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers

The scheduling formula implemented in 2002 with realignment guarantees that all teams play each other on a regular, rotating basis.

Under the formula, every team plays 16 games as follows:

*(Home and away against its three division opponents (6 games).
*The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (4 games).
*The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (4 games).
 *Two intraconference games based on the prior year's standings (2 games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.

Beginning in 2010, a change was made to how teams are paired in the schedule rotation to ensure that teams playing the AFC and NFC West divisions would not be required to make two west coast trips (e.g. at San Francisco and at Seattle), while other teams in their division had none (e.g. at St. Louis and at Arizona).

The official 2016 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced in the spring.

NFL Kickoff 2016 Weekend will begin on Thursday night, September 8, and the regular season will conclude on Sunday, January 1.

Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas will be played on Sunday, February 5, 2017.

The top Saints celebrations photos of the 2015 season. Photos by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)

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