The NFL released its preseason schedule yesterday, and teams learned which four or five opponents would serve as their respective warm-up matches ahead of the 2014 regular season. With the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills set to kick things off at the annual Hall of Fame game on August 3, the rest of the league will get into gear the week of August 7, with the Saints scheduled to begin their slate in St. Louis against the Rams.
New Orleans will face three AFC opponents this summer, with games against Tennessee and Baltimore either side of a nationally televised primetime game August 23 at Indianapolis during week 3. The third preseason game generally serves as the closest thing to a dress rehearsal for most teams, who tend to play starters into the second half.
Of the four opponents, only the Ravens re-appear on the Saints' regular season schedule, with a home date in New Orleans on August 28 against the Super Bowl XLVII champs. This will be the preseason finale for both teams, leaving little intel to be gained from the matchup as most 4th preseason games generally consist of fringe players and backups competing for final roster spots.
Saints fans will get their first somewhat-extended look at their starters during week 2 against Tennessee in a matchup that may bring back memories of the Titans' mascot running into then-Saints' backup QB Adrian McPherson's knee with a golf cart in August 2006. This will preceed the team's nationally televised game with the Colts.
Officially less than 4 months from live Football on our televisions once again, fans of all NFL teams can begin dreaming of undrafted prospects turning heads, camp depth charts and final cuts. The days get longer and the time draws nearer. Saints fans will hope that an early August trip to the Edward Jones Dome, site of a loss last season, will begin the team's march back towards championship glory.
Saints 2014 Preseason Schedule
- Week of August 7-10 @ St. Louis
- Week of August 14-18 Tennessee
- August 23 @ Indianapolis (CBS)
- August 28 Baltimore