Following two consecutive away games, the New Orleans Saints open their 2015 home season at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against their division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, September 20. Game time is 12:00 noon CDT.
As with all the other NFL teams, the Saints play eight games at home and eight on the road. If they make the playoffs at the end of the season, a number of factors will determine where their game(s) will be played.
Like most Saints games, a sellout is very likely, but last minute tickets are nearly always available, either at the box office or from the NFL Ticketmaster Ticket Exchange. Visit the Superdome’s website for the schedule and advance ticket purchase or use Ticketmaster for last minute tickets.
Where to Watch
For those unable to purchase tickets or who prefer to watch the game on television, many sports bars in the French Quarter/downtown area or elsewhere in the city will be tuned in to the action. Click here for a listing of local sports bars go to.
2015 Season Prospects
Going into the 2015 season, the Saints face a schedule of moderate difficulty, which includes three 2014 division winners – the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts on the road, and the Dallas Cowboys at home. They also square off against two wild card teams, the Arizona Cardinals away and the Detroit Lions at home. The Saints’ 2015 opponents had a combined 106-117-1 record in 2014, and the team scored 401 points, fourth highest in the National Football Conference.
Longtime Saints quarterback and near-certain future Pro Football Hall of Famer Drew Brees comes off yet another stellar season, statistically, despite the team’s sub-.500 record. Going into his 15th NFL season, Brees passed for 4,952 yards, just missing the 5,000-yard milestone for what would have been his fifth time. He also passed for 33 touchdowns, making it seven consecutive seasons of 30 or more TDs, and it was his seventh season passing for 400 or more completions.
However, going into 2105, Brees will be without one of his favorite targets for the past four seasons, tight end Jimmy Graham, who was traded to the Seattle Seahawks during the offseason. His other favorite target, wide receiver Marques Colston, with six seasons of 1,000 or more yards receiving, was classified as “active but physically unable to perform” during the early 2015 preseason. Hopes are high for him to return to the field of play by the start of the season.
With the tight end position up for grabs, along with one or possibly two wide receiver slots, a dozen or more players – most with less than four years of NFL playing time – will be competing for starting assignments.
At running back, going into his fifth season, former Heisman Trophy winner and first-round draft choice, Mark Ingram, is starting to live up the team’s (and fans’) high expectations. He rushed for a team-leading 964 yards in 2014 and added 145 yards on 29 receptions, en route to his first Pro Bowl selection.
Three-time All Pro center, Max Unger (acquired in the offseason trade for Jimmy Graham), will anchor an offensive line that also features two of the Saints’ few remaining holdovers from their 2009-10 Super Bowl winning team – six-time Pro Bowl guard Jahri Evans and tackle Zach Strief.
On defense the Saints will be looking closely at filling nearly all eleven positions vacated in recent years by veteran standouts who were key to the team’s 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl. Kevin Williams, a 13-year veteran defensive tackle acquired during the offseason from Seattle after spending 11 years with the Minnesota Vikings, may be the team’s best hope for a starter at his position. Most of the other defensive slots are up for grabs, depending on which players impress the team’s coaches the most during the preseason.
For the all-important kicker position, journeymen Zach Hocker and Dustin Hopkins will be competing for the starting position vacated by veteran Shayne Graham who was released by the team in May 2015. Punter Thomas Morstead, whose rookie year was also the Saints NFL Championship year, returns for his seventh season.
Sean Payton, the most successful head coach in the team’s 48-year history with a 79-43 record and a 6-4 postseason mark – including the team’s only Super Bowl appearance and victory – returns for his tenth season, heading up a staff of 23 assistant coaches.
“An Entertainment Extravaganza”
Over nearly half a century, since coming into existence on All Saints’ Day, 1966, the Saints can boast of having some of the most loyal and dedicated (rabid, even!) fans among the NFL’s 32 teams. And the most colorful. A Saints game is more than just a bone-crunching contest between two teams moving a ball back and forth between white parallel lines.
A Saints game is an entertainment extravaganza that defies description. Fans, known as “Who Dats” dress up in colorful costumes that only the most creative imaginations on the planet could devise. Handkerchief-waving second-line dancing through the stands; Mardi Gras Indian “big chiefs” decked out in their splashy beaded and feathered outfits; voodoo priests and priestesses casting victory spells for the team. This is only a small sampling of the fun and entertainment that plays out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for a Saints home game.
Come out and cheer for the home team or even your own home team if that’s who the Saints happen to be playing on any given weekend.