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New Orleans Saints 2021 schedule: Predicting every game, opponent win totals, record projection

With summer on the horizon, the 2021 NFL season will be here before you know it. And now that we’ve got full 17-game schedules available to us, what better way to ring in the biggest year in league history than by running through each and every matchup on the docket? Here, we’re projecting the New Orleans Saints’ schedule, game by game, with win totals for every opponent. Can Jameis Winston take a firm handle on Drew Brees’ old job? Will Sean Payton’s playoff streak continue? Let’s find out:

Note: Over/Under win totals for every opponent courtesy of William Hill Sportsbook.

Need a quick betting primer on your favorite NFL team for the 2021 season? Here are links to schedule breakdowns for all 32 clubs.

Line: Saints -1.5
Opponent win total:

Aaron Rodgers makes his long-awaited 2021 debut, having coaxed Green Bay into a new deal and claiming control of his future with the Packers. And he has his way throwing against a Saints secondary transitioning at cornerback.

Prediction: Saints lose 29-23
Projected record: 0-1

Opponent win total: O/U 7.5

In a battle of former first-round reclamation projects, Winston outshines Sam Darnold on the road, thanks in large part due to Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas working Carolina’s young defensive backfield early and often.

Prediction: Saints win 27-19
Projected record: 1-1

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Opponent win total: O/U 9

Once perennial Super Bowl contenders, both the Saints and Patriots stumble out of the gate, with Winston and Cam Newton trading turnovers. Bill Belichick comes prepared, though, confusing Jameis down the stretch with a master defensive plan.

Prediction: Saints lose 26-24
Projected record: 1-2

Opponent win total: O/U 7

Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay provide New York with some unexpectedly big pop, but the Saints’ front seven finally steps up to rattle Daniel Jones. Winston, meanwhile, leans on a big rushing day from Kamara and Latavius Murray.

Prediction: Saints win 27-22
Projected record: 

Week 5 at Washington

Opponent win total: O/U 8

Ryan Fitzpatrick nearly plays spoiler here, making some gutsy throws in crunch time and finding Terry McLaurin for a couple of scores. But he ultimately gets a tad aggressive, leading to a game-changing Malcolm Jenkins pick. New Orleans barely takes it.

Prediction: Saints win 23-21  
Projected record: 

Opponent win total: O/U 10

The bye week helps the Saints rest up, but Payton’s bold move to surprise Seattle with a Taysom Hill start backfires. Russell Wilson and Co. coast to an early lead on DK Metcalf dominance, and the Seahawks run the ball to control the clock from there.

Saints lose 28-20
Projected record: 3-3

Opponent win total: O/U 11.5

Payton embraces the challenge, and Winston initially goes blow for blow with Tom Brady, connecting on several deep balls. Then Tampa Bay’s pass rush shows up, and things flip in a hurry. Brady rolls with short, efficient strikes to move the chains.

Prediction: Saints lose 31-25
Projected record: 3-4

Opponent win total: O/U 7.5

With no Julio Jones, Atlanta isn’t nearly as scary rolling into town, even with Matt Ryan playing fairly well under new coach Arthur Smith. Winston, meanwhile, posts season-high numbers airing it out on Atlanta’s spotty secondary.

Prediction: Saints win 34-24
Projected record: 4-4

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Opponent win total: O/U 9.5

Facing an early assault from a surprisingly aggressive Titans pass rush, Winston is forced to leave early, so Payton turns to Hill and rookie Ian Book. An overly conservative approach keeps them in the game but isn’t enough.

Prediction: Saints lose 24-16
Projected record: 4-5

Opponent win total: O/U 7

Jalen Hurts gives New Orleans a run for its money a year after upsetting them in Philly, but the Eagles’ young pieces at corner and linebacker can’t quite keep up with Kamara and Thomas down the stretch. Payton gets his revenge.

Saints win 28-22
Projected record: 5-5

Week 12 vs. Bills

Opponent win total: O/U 10.5

Saints fans show up in raucous droves on a short week at home, and New Orleans’ defense brings extra energy to face Josh Allen. In the end, though, Buffalo is just too darn explosive, with Stefon Diggs going off and Winston forced to play from behind.

Prediction: Saints lose 29-21
Projected record: 

Opponent win total: O/U 9.5

On paper, Dallas enters with the clear advantage, bringing elite weapons to town. But Prescott’s run support is limited, and Cameron Jordan wreaks havoc up front, clearing the way for Winston to lead maybe his team’s most promising win thus far.

Prediction: Saints win 34-26
Projected record: 6-6

Week 14 at Jets

Opponent win total: O/U 6

Zach Wilson is well into his rookie year by this point, but he’s still working to be a rhythm QB rather than totally off-script playmaker. The Saints’ “D” capitalizes on his tendency to flee the pocket, owning the clock to get over .500 for the first time since Week 5.

Prediction: Saints win 26-14
Projected record: 7-6

Week 15 at Buccaneers

Opponent win total: O/U 11.5

Winston returns to Tampa Bay for a second shot at upending Brady and the reigning champs. But Bruce Arians refuses to let it happen. Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard all get a steady dose against New Orleans’ young LBs.
Prediction: Saints lose 29-24
Projected record: 7-7

Opponent win total: O/U 9

Miami brings some juice to the Superdome, as Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller find big gains on gadget plays. More troubling for New Orleans: Brian Flores’ defense does enough to bait Winston into a couple of key interceptions.

Prediction: Saints lose 26-19
Projected record: 7-8

Week 17 vs. Panthers

Opponent win total: O/U 7.5

Carolina is feisty trying to play spoiler despite Darnold’s turnover spree ruining the Panthers’ playoff hopes, with D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey each racking up numbers. But Payton’s vets step up at home to keep New Orleans alive.

Prediction: Saints win 31-23
Projected record: 8-8

Week 18 at Falcons

Opponent win total: O/U 7.5

Atlanta plays host looking to sneak into the postseason to close an uneven debut season for Arthur Smith, but once again, the Falcons defense just can’t hold up. Winston plays hero by posting another big day through the air.

Prediction: Saints win 35-28
Projected record: 9-8