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Saints ready for prime time; 2014 schedule announced - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Saints ready for prime time; 2014 schedule announced

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Metairie, La -

From the New Orleans Saints: In 2014, the New Orleans Saints will play in five prime time games and will face the challenge of playing three of their first four contests away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, it was announced Wednesday by the NFL. The road to Super Bowl XLIX, which will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 1, 2015, will begin for the Saints when they open their regular season by traveling to the Georgia Dome to play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Sept. 7. The two clubs faced off in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to open their 2013 campaigns, with the Saints coming away with a 23-17 win.

After taking on the Falcons, the Saints will go back on the road to play their first AFC North opponent of 2014, the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 14 (noon CT). This season will be the first time that the Saints have opened on the road since 2011 and the first time they have played their first two contests away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome since 2007. For their home opener, the Saints will face the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 21 (noon CT) and then travel to AT&T Stadium to face the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 28 (7:30 p.m. CT) on Sunday Night Football in their first prime time game of the season.

The Saints will return to division play Oct. 5, when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (noon CT). New Orleans’ bye falls on Oct. 12 in Week 6. Then the Saints will play two consecutive games against NFC North opponents, starting with a trip to Ford Field to face the Detroit Lions on Oct. 19 (noon CT) followed by a Sunday night clash against the Green Bay Packers in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Oct. 26 (7:30 pm CT). The Saints will then close out the month on a short four-day turnaround as they travel to Charlotte on Thursday night (7:25 p.m. CT) to play the Carolina Panthers.

There is a nine-day break before their next game on Nov. 9, when the Saints host the San Francisco 49ers (noon CT) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the first of three consecutive home contests. The Saints have defeated their former NFC West rivals seven of the last eight times in the regular season, including a 23-20 win on Nov. 17, 2013 at home. New Orleans then hosts Cincinnati on Nov. 16 (noon CT). They will close out the homestand when they host the Baltimore Ravens in their first Monday Night Football appearance of the season on Nov. 24 (7:30 pm CT). Closing out the month of November, where the Saints have posted a 17-3 record since 2009, New Orleans will travel to Heinz Field where they will play the Pittsburgh Steelers (noon CT) on Nov. 30.

New Orleans will return to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to host the Carolina Panthers in a game scheduled for noon Dec. 7. This will be followed by a Monday night matchup at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 15 (7:30 pm CT). The Saints will then host Atlanta for a Dec. 21 game against their most traditional rival before closing the regular season away from home for the first time since 2009 Dec. 28, when they travel to Raymond James Stadium to play Tampa Bay (noon CT).

2014 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

(All times CENTRAL)

Date Opponent Kickoff TV

Aug. 8 at St. Louis Rams 7:00 pm CST

Aug. 15 TENNESSEE TITANS 7:00 pm CST

Aug. 23 at Indianapolis Colts 7:00 pm CBS

Aug. 28 BALTIMORE RAVENS 7:00 pm CST

2014 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

(All times CENTRAL)

Date Opponent Kickoff TV

Sept. 7 at Atlanta Falcons Noon FOX

Sept. 14 at Cleveland Browns Noon FOX

Sept. 21 MINNESOTA VIKINGS Noon FOX

Sept. 28 at Dallas Cowboys 7:30 pm NBC

Oct. 5 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS Noon FOX

Oct. 12 BYE

Oct. 19 at Detroit Lions Noon FOX

Oct. 26 GREEN BAY PACKERS 7:30 pm NBC

Oct. 30 at Carolina Panthers (Thursday) 7:25 pm NFL Network

Nov. 9 SAN FRANCISCO 49ers Noon FOX

Nov. 16 CINCINNATI BENGALS Noon CBS

Nov. 24 BALTIMORE RAVENS (Monday) 7:30 pm ESPN

Nov. 30 at Pittsburgh Steelers Noon FOX

Dec. 7 CAROLINA PANTHERS Noon FOX

Dec. 15 at Chicago Bears (Monday) 7:30 pm ESPN

Dec. 21 ATLANTA FALCONS Noon FOX

Dec. 28 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Noon FOX

A look at the Saints’ 2014 opponents, and dates:

Atlanta Falcons (at Sept. 7, vs. Dec. 21): Atlanta holds a 46-43 regular-season advantage in the all-time series, although New Orleans has won 12 of 16 meetings since 2006, with the Saints conducting series sweeps five-of-eight years during this period…The Saints have played the Falcons more than any other opponent…The two clubs opened the season against each other in 2013 for the first time since 1986…The 2014 opener will be the first time that the Saints have started their season in Atlanta since 1981…In the 2013 season opener at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, a pass tipped by S Kenny Vaccaro in the end zone into the hands of S Roman Harper secured a 23-17 victory…On Nov. 21 at the Georgia Dome in a Thursday night nationally televised contest, New Orleans improved to 9-2 as QB Drew Brees tossed two touchdowns and RB Pierre Thomas had 130 total yards from scrimmage.

at Cleveland Browns (Sept. 14): The Browns lead the series 12-4…The contest will mark the first time that the Saints have gone on the road for their first two contests since 2007…In New Orleans’ second season of existence in 1968, they were division rivals of the Browns in the NFL’s Century Division.

vs. Minnesota Vikings (Sept. 21): While the Vikings hold an 18-9 regular season edge and 2-1 postseason lead in the all-time series, the Saints have been on the winning end of the last three meetings, including a victory in the NFC Championship to send New Orleans to Super Bowl XLIV.

at Dallas Cowboys (Sept. 28): Although the Cowboys lead the all-time series 15-11, the Saints have won eight of their last nine meetings against the Cowboys and three straight contests…In their 2013 meeting at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Saints beat the Cowboys 49-17 on a Sunday night televised contest, where the Saints set an NFL single-game record with 40 first downs and had a franchise-record 625 total net yards.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Oct. 5, at Dec. 28): New Orleans holds a 27-17 edge in the all-time series against the Buccaneers, the club’s best winning percentage (.614) versus an NFL opponent that they have played more than five times and they currently are running a five-game winning streak against Tampa Bay, the club’s longest current winning streak against an opponent…The season finale will mark the first time the Saints close the regular season away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome since the 2009 campaign…FB Erik Lorig, who signed with New Orleans as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, spent his first four NFL campaigns with the Buccaneers.

at Detroit Lions (Oct. 19): The Saints lead the regular season series 11-9-1, and have won the last four meetings, including a 45-28 NFC Wild Card Playoff victory on Jan. 7, 2012 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome…At Ford Field, the Saints will encounter several players and coaches with Black and Gold connections, including RB Reggie Bush, the second pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, who played for New Orleans for his first five seasons, FB Jed Collins who handled lead blocking duties for the Saints in the last three campaigns and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who served on the Saints coaching staff from 2007-13…Since 2009, the Saints have emerged victorious in in the contest after their bye week each season.

vs. Green Bay Packers (Oct. 26): New Orleans will look for its first win against the Packers since the 2008 season, which was the last Mercedes-Benz Superdome matchup, a 51-29 win, which also occurred in prime time...Green Bay owns a 16-7 advantage in the series with wins in the last two contests.

Carolina Panthers (at Oct. 30, vs. Dec. 7): The Panthers lead the series 20-18 after the NFC South’s two playoff clubs each captured their home game in 2013…Harper joined Carolina in the offseason after spending eight years with New Orleans where he posted 743 tackles, 17 sacks and 13 forced fumbles.

vs. San Francisco 49ers (Nov. 9): These two old NFC West rivals will meet for the 74the time in the regular season…Including the NFC Divisional Playoff following the 2011 regular season, the two clubs have met in each season since 2010…The only other team the Saints have faced more often are the Atlanta Falcons (89 meetings)…Although San Francisco leads the series 46-25-2, New Orleans has won seven of the last eight regular season meetings.

vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Nov. 16): The series between the Saints and the Bengals is tied at 6-6…In the last meeting between the clubs, a 34-30 New Orleans win at Paul Brown Stadium, a three-yard touchdown pass from QB Drew Brees to WR Marques Colston gave the Saints the come-from-behind win on their final drive. Brees also became the franchise’s all-time passing yardage leader in the contest.

vs. Baltimore Ravens (Nov. 24): Baltimore will return to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the first time since their Super Bowl XLVII victory…G Ben Grubbs donned a Ravens uniform for five seasons, as he was a first round draft pick of the club in 2007…The Ravens, who will also travel to play New Orleans in the preseason finale on August 28, will play the Saints in the regular season at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for only the second time since the franchise’s relocation to Baltimore and subsequent rebranding in 1996…It will mark the first time the Saints and Ravens have played each other in prime time.

at Pittsburgh Steelers (Nov. 30): New Orleans will travel to Heinz Field and be looking to win in Pittsburgh for the first time since 2007…CB Keenan Lewis, who was a third round draft pick of the Steelers in 2009, played for Pittsburgh for four seasons before signed with the Saints in 2013…The Saints will also face Steelers WR Lance Moore, who played for New Orleans from 2005-13 and left the team ranked fourth in club record books with 346 receptions, signed with Pittsburgh in the offseason.

at Chicago Bears (Dec. 15): The all-time regular season series is tied 13-13, with the Saints capturing the last two meetings, including a 26-18 win on Oct. 6, 2013 at Soldier Field…It will be the first time the Saints and Bears play each other on Monday night football…It will be New Orleans’ fifth scheduled prime time game, tying them for the most appearances in a season with the 2011 campaign.

In addition to the televised networks for each game listed on the schedule, all Saints home and away games can be heard on WWL Radio (870 AM and 105.3 FM), the flagship stations of the New Orleans Saints Radio Network.

Fans interested in purchasing individual game tickets can do so by visiting the New Orleans Saints NFL Ticket Exchange at http://www.ticketexchangebyticketmaster.com/NFL/new-orleans-saints-tickets/ . By purchasing tickets through the Saints NFL Ticket Exchange, fans can trust that they are purchasing official tickets.

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1 AUG 8 7:00pm CDT at Rams
2 AUG 15 7:00pm CDT Titans
3 AUG 23 7:00pm CDT at Colts
4 AUG 28 7:00pm CDT Ravens
1 SEP 7 12:00pm CDT at Falcons
2 SEP 14 12:00pm CDT at Browns
3 SEP 21 12:00pm CDT Vikings
4 SEP 28 7:30pm CDT at Dallas
5 OCT 5 12:00pm CDT Tampa Bay
6 BYE
7 OCT 19 12:00pm CDT at Lions
8 OCT 26 7:30pm CDT Packers
9 OCT 30 7:25pm CDT at Panthers
10 NOV 9 12:00pm CDT 49ers
11 NOV 16 12:00pm CDT Bengals
12 NOV 24 7:30pm CDT Ravens
13 NOV 30 12:00pm CDT at Steelers
14 DEC 7 12:00pm CDT Panthers
15 DEC 15 7:30pm CDT at Bears
16 DEC 21 12:00pm CDT Falcons
17 DEC 28 12:00pm CDT at Buccaneers
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