With Black and Gold training camp opening on July 30th, the season has moved ever closer.
After preseason games against Cincinnati, Houston, Oakland, and Miami, the 2009 New Orleans Saints' regular season will begin. Here's a game by game prediction of each game on the 2009 regular season schedule:
Detroit Lions (September 13, 12:00 PM, Louisiana Superdome)
Philadelphia Eagles (September 20, 12:00 PM, Lincoln Financial Field)
After losing in the NFC Championship game to the Super Bowl bound Arizona Cardinals, the Eagles will be looking for a Super Bowl run. Without a strong defense to keep Donovan McNabb in check, the Eagles will win a close one over the Saints, but hey, that day is my birthday, the Saints can give me a present with a win.
Buffalo Bills (September 27, 3:05 PM, Ralph Wilson Stadium)
The Bills started off strong last season but ran out of gas later into the season. Drew Brees and the Saints should win by at least seven over the Bills while cornerback Jabari Greer will look to play hard in his first game against the Bills after coming to New Orleans.
New York Jets (October 4, 3:05 PM, Louisiana Superdome)
It'll feel good to be back in the Dome after playing two games away from home. The Jets will most likely still be figuring out the quarterback situation and the Saints should win, probably not a blowout here, but a solid win.
New York Giants (October 18, 12:00 PM, Louisiana Superdome)
Without Plaxico Burress, the Giants shouldn't have a stunning offense. Even with their troubles in the secondary, the Saints should get another win here, although it wouldn't be that much of a surprise if the Giants won here.
Miami Dolphins (October 25, 3:15 PM, Dolphins Stadium; Landshark Stadium)
Chad Pennington led the Dolphins to the playoffs last year, and with the Tuna in charge, the Dolphins look to be a contender this year. But I do see Sean Payton getting the win over his former employer in Miami.
Atlanta Falcons (November 2, 7:30 PM, Louisiana Superdome)
Monday Night Football comes to New Orleans! Matt Ryan and the Falcons are a solid threat. With future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez now on the team, the Saints will lose this game if the secondary does not come to play. I see Atlanta winning this game, for now.
Carolina Panthers (November 8, 3:05 PM, Louisiana Superdome)
Jake Delhomme and the Panthers' stable of backs can kill the Saints if they want to. The Panthers win this game.
St. Louis Rams (November 15, 12:00 PM, Edward Jones Dome)
Let's face it. The Rams were bad last year, really bad. Saints win this one easily. Again, no blowout, but another solid win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (November 22, 12:00 PM, Raymond James Stadium)
This one is pretty tough. The Bucs looked to be pretty good last year but collapsed near the end of the season. Jon Gruden was fired and starting quarterback Jeff Garcia went to Oakland, Brian Griese is gone so the question is, who's Tampa Bay's QB? Byron Leftwhich, rookie Josh Freeman, or another? I see the Saints winning this one.
New England Patriots (November 30, 7:30 PM, Louisiana Superdome)
The second of two Monday night games in New Orleans. With the rebuilding secondary, I don't see the Saints being able to stop Tom Brady and Company. Randy Moss and Wes Welker will probably get open a good bit. I see the Saints taking a hard loss here.
Washington Redskins (December 6, 12:00 PM, FedEx Field)
Can the Saints go to D.C. and come back with a win? The Redskins have really tried to pick up some quality players on defense with the signings of Albert Haynesworth as well as others. If the Redskins don't come to play and play hard, the Saints could win this one, otherwise I see a close game with the Redskins taking the cake in the end.
Atlanta Falcons (December 13, 12:00 PM, Georgia Dome)
Barring injuries to critical Falcon players, I see another win by Atlanta here.
Dallas Cowboys (December 19, 7:20 PM, Louisiana Superdome)
Tony Romo and the Cowboys didn't look as sharp as they could've last season, and with the loss of T.O., Romo loses one of his favorite targets. Saints win a close one here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (December 27, 12:00 PM, Louisiana Superdome)
I see the Saints giving the city of New Orleans a Christmas present a couple days late with a win two days after Christmas.
Carolina Panthers (January 3, 12:00 PM, Bank of America Stadium)
If the Saints already have a playoff spot reserved for them, I see them playing backups and losing this one. Otherwise, the backs of Carolina will probably be pretty banged up after a long season, I see the Saints winning this one if they go for the win.
Final Record: 11-5 if they go for the win at Carolina, and 10-6 if they don't.