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New Orleans Saints 2016 schedule

The Saints announced their 2016 schedule on Thursday night

Photos of Brandin Cooks from the 2015 regular season. Photos by Michael C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)

The NFL announced the 2016 regular season schedule tonight and the New Orleans Saints will be featured in at least two prime time nationally-televised games during the regular season, both NFC South matchups. The Saints will also open at home for the first time since 2013, when they kickoff their 50th season against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 11 (Noon CT) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Saints will make their prime time debut in 2016 on ESPN's Monday Night Football when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 26 (7:30 p.m. CT), almost a year to the tenth anniversary of the reopening of the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina on September 25, 2006, when New Orleans defeated Atlanta 23-3. The Saints' slot on the NFL's Thursday night package, broadcast by NBC, the NFL Network and Twitter will take place when they travel to Bank of America Stadium to play the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 17 (7:25 p.m. CT).

Six of the Saints' 16 games will be against teams that finished with a winning percentage of .500 or better in 2015, with games against five playoff opponents – Arizona, Carolina, Denver, Kansas City and Seattle. New Orleans will play each of their NFC South rivals twice and will play each of the NFC West and AFC West teams once. The .547 2015 regular season record of New Orleans' 2016 opponents is the fourth-highest among NFL teams looking at their 2016 regular season schedules. The Saints will play both Super Bowl 50 participants, the game's champion Denver and the runner-up, Carolina.

The Saints will open the season with two of their first three games at home. After kicking off the regular season against the Raiders, they will then travel to MetLife Stadium to play the New York Giants on Sept. 18 (noon, CT). New Orleans will then open up their 2016 NFC South slate and close out their September schedule when they host the Falcons for the Monday night matchup.

The Saints will then travel to San Diego to face the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on a short week on Oct. 2 (3:25 p.m. CT), in a contest where quarterback Drew Brees, who played for the Chargers from 2001-05 before signing with New Orleans, will play in San Diego for the first time as a member of the Black and Gold. The Saints will then enjoy a Week Five bye, their earliest bye since the 2009 season when they also had one in Week Five. Following the bye, the Saints will host the Super Bowl 50 finalist Panthers on Oct. 16 (noon, CT), and will then travel to Arrowhead Stadium to play the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 23 (noon, CT). New Orleans will close out their October slate on Oct. 30 (noon, CT), when they play their first NFC West opponent of the season, hosting the Seattle Seahawks.

The month of November will feature tilts against two old NFC West rivals and contests against the two Super Bowl 50 participants. To start the month, New Orleans will play at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. for the first time when they face their old NFC West rival, the 49ers on Nov. 6 (3:05 p.m. CT). New Orleans then hosts the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos on Nov. 13, followed by the road Thursday night matchup at the Carolina Panthers (7:25 p.m. CT) on Nov. 17. The Saints will then enjoy a week 11 bye. Following a 10-day break between games, the Saints will return to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to host the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 27 (noon, CT). Now in their 50th season, the Saints played against the Los Angeles Rams in the franchise's inaugural contest, a 27-13 loss at Tulane Stadium on Sept. 17, 1967.

The Saints will start December by hosting the Detroit Lions on Dec. 4 (noon, CT). They will then have a stretch for the final four weeks of the season, with three of the contests on the road, starting when they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on Dec. 11 (noon, CT), followed by a road contest at University of Phoenix Stadium on Dec. 18 to face the Arizona Cardinals (3:05 p.m. CT). The Saints will play the Buccaneers for the second time in three weeks on Dec. 24 (noon, CT) for a Saturday Christmas Eve tilt. The regular season finale will take place in Atlanta on Jan. 1 (noon, CT), when the Saints play the Falcons. It will be the final regular season contest in the Georgia Dome, as Atlanta will open a new stadium in 2017.

New Orleans Saints 2016 Schedule

Thu, Aug. 11 at Patriots 6:30 pm FOX
Sat, Aug. 20 at Texans 7 pm FOX
Fri, Aug. 26 vs Steelers 7 pm FOX
Thu, Sept. 1 vs Ravens 7 pm FOX
Sun, Sept. 11 vs Raiders Noon FOX
Sun, Sept. 18 at Giants Noon FOX
Mon, Sept. 26 vs Falcons 7:30 pm CT ESPN
Sun, Oct. 2 at Chargers 3:25 pm CT FOX
Sun, Oct. 16 vs Panthers Noon FOX
Sun, Oct. 23 at Chiefs Noon FOX
Sun, Oct. 30 vs Seahawks Noon FOX
Sun, Nov. 6 at 49ers 3:05 pm FOX
Sun, Nov. 13 vs Broncos Noon CBS
Thu, Nov. 17 at Panthers 7:25 pm NBC/NFN
Sun, Nov. 27 vs Rams Noon FOX
Sun, Dec. 4 vs Lions Noon FOX
Sun, Dec. 11 at Buccaneers Noon FOX
Sun, Dec. 18 at Cardinals 3:05 pm FOX
Sat, Dec. 24 vs Buccaneers Noon FOX
Sun, Jan. 1 at Falcons Noon FOX

*Raycom Media (see local TV listenings)

Home games in bold

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