NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It’s hard to forget how the Saints’ 2018 season ended, with the infamous “NOLA No-call” that destroyed fans’ hope for another Superbowl win.
But it’s now 2019, and fans who are already stocking up on black and gold know a new season, with the new schedule is just around the corner.
“I’m feeling pretty hopeful about it after looking at it for the first time,” Saints fan Kyle Fulton said.
Garrett Klotz, another fan, said the same.
“Optimistic, optimistic," Klotz said. “Every fan has been waiting [for] the draft to start the season up again.”
The Saints will start off week one against Houston as one of the Saints’ four prime time 2019 appearances. Then, week four against the Dallas Cowboys for Sunday Night Football, the Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving night, and the Colts week 15 for Monday night football.
But many Saints fans are zeroing in on week two: an away game re-match against the Rams.
“We did the same last year with the Vikings, so it should be the same this year with the Rams,” Fulton said.
“The L.A. rematch, that’s going to be the biggest game of the entire season,” Klotz said.
Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune’s senior sports reporter, is also looking forward to the upcoming season.
“It’s a new season you never know what’s going to happen and even though playing the rams at home field advantage you never know what’s going to happen,” Katzenstein said.
Katzenstein said on the outset, it’s not a bad schedule, but it does present its challenges. Particularly week 10 to 13, where the Saints have four divisional games in a row against Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Carolina, then Atlanta again.
“I think most agree the Saints are the favorites to win the NFC South, but when you have four games against divisional opponents in a row, that can make or break your chances at the division. From there I think it eases up a little bit. The next games they go up against the Jaguars, the Bucks and the Cardinals," Katzenstein said. “Everyone says the NFL makes it hard on the Saints, but I think it does ease up, so you have to realize it all balances out.”
Saints fans have never banked on an easy season, but many are hoping that 2019's schedule will bring about another run at the Superbowl.
Earlier this year, the NFL Competition Committee did vote to change the rules on pass interference after the NOLA no-call. For one year only, pass interference calls can be reviewed.
Katzenstein said he’ll be curious to see if there will be a big pass interference play in the Saints’ week two re-match game against the Rams.