2022 New Orleans Saints Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV InfoMay 13, 2022
The New Orleans Saints are once again heading into a new season after significant changes during the offseason.
In January, head coach Sean Payton stepped down after 15 seasons with the team. He went 152-89 overall and led the franchise to its only Super Bowl title after the 2009 season.
New Orleans stayed in-house to find Payton's replacement by promoting defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. The 49-year-old went 8-28 in his first stint as a head coach with the Oakland Raiders from 2012-14.
The Saints also tried to address their quarterback situation after splitting time between Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian last year. They were among the finalists to acquire Deshaun Watson from the Houston Texans before he ultimately decided to go to the Cleveland Browns.
Instead, the Saints re-signed Winston to a two-year contract. He had a solid season in New Orleans with 14 touchdowns in seven starts, but his season came to an end in Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a torn ACL.
Winston should have reinforcements to help him out in 2022. Star receiver Michael Thomas, who missed all of last season with with an ankle injury, should be ready to play this year. The team also selected Ohio State wideout Chris Olave and Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.
Olave figures to move into the No. 2 receiver role opposite Thomas. Penning could take over at left tackle for Terron Armstead, who signed with the Miami Dolphins as a free agent.
The Saints should benefit from playing in a division with the rebuilding Atlanta Falcons and aimless Carolina Panthers. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still the class of the NFC South, but there is a path for New Orleans to make the playoffs with a few breaks along the way.
Now that the NFL has unveiled the 2022 schedule, here is a look at the teams the Saints will have to go through in their quest to get back to the postseason.
2022 New Orleans Saints Schedule
Full television schedule can be found on the team's official website.
The schedule-makers certainly didn't do the Saints any favors. They have to play the NFC West and AFC North, which sent a combined five teams to the postseason last year.
That group includes the two Super Bowl teams—Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals—and a San Francisco 49ers team that played the Rams in the NFC Championship Game.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals are the other playoff teams from those divisions. Pittsburgh no longer has Ben Roethlisberger, but that might not be a bad thing given how poorly he played in his final season.
Arizona is in an odd place given the potentially fractured relationship between key members of the organization and star quarterback Kyler Murray.
The 49ers are returning most of their key players, but it's unclear what the offense will look like as they transition from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance at quarterback.
There are a lot of potential playoff squads on the Saints' schedule this year, even if you take out the aforementioned teams. They play the Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, who also made the postseason last year, on the road.
The Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings will all visit the Caesars Superdome.
Even if the bottom of the NFC South leaves the door open for the Saints to rack up multiple wins, the rest of their schedule looks daunting.
New Orleans is one of the few teams that hasn't had problems with the Bucs since Tom Brady arrived in Tampa Bay. The Saints are 4-0 against Brady in the regular season since 2020 and have outscored them 47-3 in two games at Raymond James Stadium.
Winston barely played in the first meeting last season before tearing his ACL in the second quarter. He was just 6-of-10 for 56 yards and one touchdown. Brady threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns in that game, but he also had a season-high three turnovers (two interceptions, one lost fumble).
That win gave the Saints a 5-2 record and moved them one-half game behind the Bucs in the NFC South. However, they went on to lose their next five games to fall out of the division race.
To measure themselves not only against the best team in their division, but also the class of the NFC, their two matchups with the Buccaneers will be a great litmus test.
Outside of the NFC South, there are no shortage of games that can be used as measuring-stick battles for New Orleans. The Rams and 49ers can both make a strong argument that they belong on the same tier in the conference as the Buccaneers.
The Ravens at one point last season were 8-3 before the mountain of injuries on their roster became too much to overcome. As long as their key players can stay healthy, they might be the best team in the AFC North over the Bengals, Browns and Steelers.
Alvin Kamara had a down season in 2021 by his standards, but he still finished with 1,337 yards from scrimmage and nine total touchdowns in 13 games. Pairing him with Thomas gives the Saints two dynamic playmakers to carry the offense.
The Saints found the formula for success with Winston last season. Allen was part of the coaching staff that knew how to highlight the things he does well and limit his tendency to get too aggressive and throw the ball to the opposing team.