In a challenging 2012 schedule, the New Orleans Saints will face the defending Super Bowl champions on the road for the second consecutive season, and play five games in a 25-day period in November, it was announced today by the NFL. The road to Super Bowl XLVII, which will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Feb. 2, 2013, will begin for the Saints when they open their regular season by hosting the Washington Redskins on Sunday, Sept. 9.
After taking on the Redskins, the Saints will open divisional play when they travel to the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 16 (noon CT). New Orleans will face their first AFC West opponent of 2012 when they host the Kansas City Chiefs at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sept. 23 (noon CT) and then travel to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 30 (3:15 p.m. CT) to close out the month.
The Saints will play their first prime-time game of the season on Oct. 7, when they host the San Diego Chargers (7:30 p.m. CT) on NBC's Sunday Night Football, followed by a week six bye. The Saints will resume play at Raymond James Stadium when they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at noon on Oct. 21, opening a series for 2012 in which the two clubs have split each season since 2008. New Orleans will then close out their October slate on prime-time on Oct. 28, when they travel to Denver on Sunday night (7:30 p.m. CT) in the first time the Saints face QB Peyton Manning since Super Bowl XLIV.
A compressed November schedule will begin on November 5, when the Saints host the Philadelphia Eagles (7:30 p.m. CT) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans then hosts Atlanta at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 11 (noon CT). They will then travel to the O.co Coliseum to face the Oakland Raiders on Nov. 18. In a rematch of the NFC Divisional Playoff, the Black-and-Gold will then host the San Francisco 49ers (3:15 p.m. CT) on Nov. 25. New Orleans has defeated their former NFC West rivals six consecutive times. New Orleans will then face their most longstanding rival for the second time in 18 days when they travel to the Georgia Dome to face the Falcons in a nationally televised Thursday night contest (7:30 p.m. CT).
New Orleans will travel to MetLife Stadium for the first time to face the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants in a game scheduled for 3:15 p.m. on Dec. 9, followed by a home matchup with Tampa Bay, Dec. 16. The Saints will then travel to Dallas for a Dec. 23 game at the Cowboys before closing the regular season on Dec. 30, hosting Carolina at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (noon CT).
A look at the Saints' 2012 opponents, and dates:
vs. Washington Redskins (Sept. 9): While the Redskins hold a 15-8 edge in the all-time series, the Saints were on the winning end of the last meeting, a dramatic 33-30 overtime victory on December 6, 2009 at FedEx Field…New Orleans has won their last four home openers.
Carolina Panthers (at Sept. 16, vs. Dec. 30): The series is currently tied 17-17 after the Saints have captured the last four contests, including a 45-17 win in the regular season finale at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome where the team set the single-season NFL record for net yardage (7,474) and RB Darren Sproles set the league's single-season mark for all-purpose yards (2,696)…New Orleans will close out their regular season with the Panthers for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Sept. 23): The Saints hold a 5-4 edge in the series, having won the last two contests, making the Chiefs one of nine teams New Orleans has a winning record against all-time…In the last meeting between the clubs, a 30-20 New Orleans win at Arrowhead Stadium, a one-yard touchdown run by RB Deuce McAllister tied for the franchise-record of 53 career touchdowns.
at Green Bay Packers (Sept. 30): Game will be a rematch of last year's NFL Kickoff contest, where the Saints narrowly fell to the Packers 42-34 at Lambeau Field... Green Bay owns a 15-7 advantage in the series, but New Orleans has won two of the last three.
vs. San Diego Chargers (Oct. 7): This will be the first time that the Saints host the Chargers in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome since QB Drew Brees signed with New Orleans in 2006 after spending the first five seasons of his NFL career in San Diego from 2001-05…RB Darren Sproles also donned a Chargers uniform from 2005-10…The Chargers lead the all-time series. 7-3, but in their last meeting the Saints beat the Chargers 37-32 on October 26, 2008 at London's Wembley Stadium.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Oct. 21, vs. Dec. 16): New Orleans holds a 23-17 edge in the all-time series against the Buccaneers, the club's best winning percentage (.575) versus an NFL opponent that they have played more than five times …New Orleans and Tampa Bay have split each season series since 2008.
at Denver Broncos (Oct. 28): New Orleans will face QB Peyton Manning for the first time since Super Bowl XLIV…This will also be the first time that the Saints are scheduled to play both Manning brothers, Eli and Peyton in the regular season. They faced both brothers in 2009, when they defeated Eli's Giants, 48-27 on October 18 and then beat Peyton's Colts 31-17, in the Super Bowl.
vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Nov. 5): Philadelphia has a 15-10 edge in the all-time regular season series, but the Saints have captured two of the last three regular season meetings, the last being a 48-22 win over the Eagles on September 20, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field.
Atlanta Falcons (vs. Nov. 11, at Nov. 29): New Orleans and Atlanta will face off twice in an 18-day period…Atlanta holds a 45-40 regular-season advantage in the all-time series against the Saints, although New Orleans has won 10 of 12 meetings since 2006, with the Saints conducting series sweeps four-of-six years during this period …The Saints have played the Falcons more than any other opponent…On November 13 at the Georgia Dome, the New Orleans defense snuffed out a fourth-and-inches play from the Atlanta 29-yard line in overtime to give the Saints the ball back to kick a game-winning field goal…On December 26 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, QB Drew Brees set the NFL's single-season passing yardage record that stood for 27 years on a fourth quarter nine-yard touchdown pass to RB Darren Sproles to give him 5,087 for the season.
at Oakland Raiders (Nov. 18): The series is tied 5-5-1, but the Saints have captured the last two meetings…Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen was a member of the Saints' coaching staff from 2006-10, serving as assistant defensive line coach from 2006-07 and as secondary coach from 2008-10.
vs. San Francisco 49ers (Nov. 25): In a rematch of this past season's NFC Divisional Playoff, these two old NFC West rivals will meet for the 72nd time in the regular season…The only other team the Saints have faced more often are the Atlanta Falcons (85 meetings)…Although San Francisco leads the series 45-24-2, New Orleans has won the last six regular season meetings between the two clubs…A win against the 49ers would create a tie for the longest regular season win streak against an opponent with a seven-game streak against the then Los Angeles Rams from December 9, 1990-October 3, 1993.
at New York Giants (Dec. 9): This will be the Saints' first visit to MetLife Stadium…For the second consecutive season, the league's defending Super Bowl champions are on the regular season slate, the second time on the road, as well…Although the Giants lead the regular season series 14-12, the Saints have won the last three regular season meetings, including a 49-24 win on November 28, 2011 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
at Dallas Cowboys (Dec. 23): Although the Cowboys lead the all-time series 15-9, the Saints have won six of the last seven meetings…In their first trip to Cowboys Stadium for a Thanksgiving matchup on November 25, 2010, the Saints escaped with a 30-27 win when S Malcolm Jenkins forced Cowboys WR Roy Williams to fumble and he recovered it at the New Orleans 11-yard line late in the fourth quarter, setting up a five-play, 89-yard game winning drive by QB Drew Brees that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from the signal-caller to WR Lance Moore.