The New Orleans Saints have announced the dates and kickoff times for their entire 2011 preseason.
In Week 1 of the NFL preseason slate, the Saints will host the San Francisco 49ers at the Louisiana Superdome on Friday, August 12 at 7 p.m. CT. Former NFC West rivals from 1970-2001, New Orleans and San Francisco have played 71 times in the regular season, but this will be only their third preseason matchup. The contest will be the debut of 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was hired shortly after the conclusion of the 2010 regular season. The game will serve as a re-match of the Saints' last-second 25-22 win against the 49ers in Week 2 of the 2010 regular season when Saints kicker Garrett Hartleyconverted a 37-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to help the Saints improve to 2-0.
New Orleans will travel to face the Houston Texans on Saturday, August 20 at 7 p.m. CT. The Saints and Texans have played each other every preseason since 2008, with the Saints owning a 2-1 record in those contests. New Orleans is also scheduled to host Houston in the regular season on September 25 in the Louisiana Superdome.
In Week 3, the Saints will travel to the West Coast where they will face the Oakland Raiders, led by first-year Head Coach Hue Jackson, on Sunday, August 28 at 7 p.m. CT in a contest televised nationally by NBC. When the Saints defeated the Raiders 45-7 in their last preseason meeting on August 29, 2009, they set franchise records for most points and largest margin of victory in a preseason game.
The Saints will close out the preseason at the Superdome against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday, September 1 at 7 p.m. CT. With 27 previous meetings, the Houston Oilers/Titans franchise are New Orleans' most common preseason opponent. Mike Munchakwill be the third first-year head coach the Saints will face in the preseason. The two teams met last season in Nashville, which also marked the final week of the NFL preseason, with the Titans capturing the finale, 27-24. In the regular season, the Saints are also scheduled to travel to LP Field in Nashville on December 11. The finale will be the final tune-up before the Saints open the NFL's regular season a week later on Thursday, September 8 against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
All preseason games except for the nationally televised Oakland game will be broadcast regionally on CST, as well as being available in the New Orleans area on FOX 8 WVUE.