Saints schedule presents exciting possibilities
The NFL released its entire 2020 schedule Thursday night.
It presented the best case scenario amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Starting on time and playing a full schedule.
Let’s hope this proves to be the case.
In the New Orleans Saints case, if you’re going to present a best case scenario, why not go all the way?
So here’s a week-by-week best case scenario for how the Saints 2020 schedule might play out:
Sept. 13 vs. Buccaneers: 3:25 p.m.
Jameis Winston receives a lateral from Taysom Hill on a flea-flicker and throws a 25-yard touchdown pass to Drew Brees as the Saints spoil Tom Brady’s debut with Tampa Bay.
Final score: Saints 34, Buccaneers 31
Sept. 21 at Raiders: 7:15 p.m.
The Saints never trail in the game, but Marcus Mariota throws a 36-yard touchdown pass to former JesuitHigh School and LSU tight end Foster Moreau as time expires, enabling the Raiders to cover the 3½-point spread in their first game in Las Vegas.
Final score: Saints 27, Raiders 24
Sept. 27 vs. Packers: 7:20 p.m.
Taysom Hill runs for a touchdown, passes for a touchdown, catches a touchdown pass and blocks a punt for a safety to lead the Saints to victory over his former team.
Final score: Saints 37, Packers 20
Oct. 4 at Lions, Noon
Fifty years after the late Tom Dempsey’s 63-yard field goal beat the Lions on the final play of the game, Wil Lutz beats Detroit with an NFL-record 65-yard field goal as time expires.
Final score: Saints 19, Lions 17
Oct. 12 vs. Chargers: 7:15 p.m.
Marshon Lattimore, Janoris Jenkins and P.J. Williams all intercept rookie Justin Hebert as the Saints defense dominates.
Final score: Saints 24, Chargers 9
Oct. 25 vs. Panthers: Noon
Rookie Tommy Stevens runs for a touchdown and catches a touchdown pass as the Saints roll past Carolina.
Final score: Saints 30, Panthers 17
Nov. 1 at Bears: 3:25 p.m.
Michael Thomas catches an NFL-record 25 passes, including two touchdowns, as the Saints hold off Chicago.
Final score: Saints 32, Bears 20
Nov. 8 at Buccaneers: 7:20 p.m.
Tom Brady breaks Drew Brees’ career touchdown passing record in the first quarter, Brees reclaims it in the second quarter, Brady breaks it again in the third quarter and Brees reclaims it with a game-winner in the fourth.
Final score: Saints 49, Buccaneers 48
Nov. 15 vs. 49ers: 3:25 p.m.
Emmanuel Sanders catches a touchdown pass and throws a touchdown pass as the Saints beat his former team.
Final score: Saints 37, 49ers 30
Nov. 22 vs. Falcons: Noon
The Saints appear headed to their first loss of the season as the Falcons hold a 28-3 lead late in the third quarter, but Brees rallies the Saints.
Final score: Saints 34, Falcons 28 (OT)
Nov. 29 at Broncos: 3:05 p.m.
The Broncos, led by former Saints assistant coach Vic Fangio, lead for nearly the entire game before Alvin Kamara’s 5-yard touchdown in the final minute lifts the Saints to victory.
Final score: Saints 20, Broncos 17
Dec. 6 at Falcons: Noon
The Saints appeared headed to their first loss of the season as the Falcons hold a 28-3 lead late in the third quarter, but Brees rallies the Saints.
Final score: Saints 34, Falcons 28 (OT)
Dec. 13 at Eagles: 3:25 p.m.
The Saints prevail on the final play of the game as Tommylee Lewis beats Nickell Robey-Coleman to catch a 6-yard touchdown pass from Brees.
Final score: Saints 26, Eagles 23
Dec. 20 vs. Chiefs: 3:25 p.m.
Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Jared Cook and Tre’Quan Smith all score touchdowns as the Saints overcome two touchdowns by former LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and two interceptions by former Tiger Tyrann Mathieu.
Final score: Saints 34, Chiefs 33
Dec. 25 vs. Vikings: 3:30 p.m.
The Vikings are trying to kneel out the clock when Kirk Cousins mishandles a snap and Marcus Williams picks up the football and races 61 yards for a touchdown as time expires to force overtime. On the first possession of overtime rookie tight end Adam Trautman gets away with obvious offensive pass interference to catch a game-winning 4-yard touchdown pass from Brees.
Final score: Saints 26, Vikings 20 (OT)
Jan. 3 at Panthers: Noon
Having clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Saints rest several key players and Jaemis Winston throws two touchdown passes and Dwayne Washington rushes for two.
Final score: Saints 31, Panthers 28
So there you have it. What a season.
I can’t wait for the playoffs.
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Les East is a nationally renowned freelance journalist. The New Orleans area native’s blog on SportsNOLA.com was named “Best Sports Blog” in 2016 by the Press Club of New Orleans. For 2013 he was named top sports columnist in the United States by the Society of Professional Journalists. He has since become a valued contributor for CCS. The Jesuit High…