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Top performances on opening-day in Saints history

As the New Orleans Saints prepare for their 56th NFL season, let's take a look at some of the top performances on opening-day.


The New Orleans Saints open up the 2022 NFL season with a Week 1 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. This will be the ninth time the Saints face the Falcons for their season opener. While the Saints have a 1-7 record in the matchups, they have split the two openers since 2013.

The Saints have posted a 20-35 all-time record on opening day. New Orleans has won four of their last 10 openers, but have captured the last three. The Saints will be looking to win four consecutive season openers for the first time in franchise history.


A look at the top statistical performances for the Saints in the first game of the season over the club's previous 55 years:

PASSING: 439 yards, QB Drew Brees

The signal caller completed 37-of-45 passes with three touchdown passes, zero interceptions and a 129.5 passer rating on Sept. 9, 2018 in a 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

RUSHING: 206 yards, RB George Rogers

The running back opened 1982 by setting a club record for rushing yards on 24 carries vs. the St. Louis Cardinals.

RECEPTIONS: 16, WR Michael Thomas

Thomas torched the Buccaneers on 16 catches for 180 yards and one touchdown, the highest single-game receptions total in franchise history.

RECEIVING YARDAGE: 205 yards, WR Wes Chandler

Chandler torched the Falcons in 1979 on six catches, the highest single-game yardage total in franchise history.

INTERCEPTIONS: Three, S Sammy Knight

The safety started 2001 with three interceptions at Buffalo and was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

SACKS: Three, DE Joe Johnson

This 2007 inductee into the Saints Hall of Fame started 2001 with three sacks in a dominant defensive performance in the Saints' 24-6 victory at Buffalo.


How the Saints have finished the seasons that have started with an opening-day victory:

Table inside Article
YearDateTeamResultFull Record
1971Sep. 19L.A. RamsW, 24-204-8-2
1978Sep. 3VikingsW, 31-247-9
1983Sep. 4CardinalsW, 28-178-8
1987Sep. 13BrownsW, 28-2112-3*
1989Sep. 10CowboysW, 28-09-7
1991Sep. 1SeahawksW, 27-2411-5*
1993Sep. 5OilersW, 33-218-8
1998Sep. 6at RamsW, 24-176-10
1999Sep. 12PanthersW, 19-103-13
2001Sep. 9at BillsW, 24-67-9
2002Sep. 8at BuccaneersW, 26-20 OT9-7
2005Sep. 11at PanthersW, 23-203-13
2006Sep. 10at BrownsW, 19-1410-6*
2008Sep. 7BuccaneersW, 24-208-8
2009Sep. 9LionsW, 45-2713-3*
2010Sep. 9VikingsW, 14-911-5*
2013Sep. 8FalconsW, 23-1711-5*
2019Sep. 9TexansW, 30-2813-3*
2020Sep. 13BuccaneersW, 34-2312-4*
2021Sep. 12PackersW, 38-39-8+

* Made the playoffs. NFC West title in 1991, NFC South title in 2006, 2011 and 2019, NFC South title and Super Bowl XLIV championship in 2009, NFC Wild Card in 2010 and 2013.

+ Home contest played in Jacksonville, Fla., due to Hurricane Ida.