2014 New Orleans Saints Season Preview and Schedule

The New Orleans Saints were a cat among the pigeons with their “Bountygate” scandal, but they found a way to persevere. The losing season in 2012 was followed up by an 11-5 campaign that included wins over teams like the 49ers and Panthers in the regular season, before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Seahawks in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. Drew Brees returned to the elite status he had cultivated for himself amongst NFL quarterbacks, and the Saints defense ranked 10th in the league in points allowed.  The stage is set for New Orleans to take back its place at the throne of the NFC South in the 2014 season.

A familiar face in Lance Moore has been released after having only 37 receptions in 2013, his lowest total since 2009. Moore spent eight years in the Saints organization after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo. Kenny Stills looks to be the future Moore’s former position, with the 21-year old rookie hauling in 32 receptions for 641 yards and 10 TDs in 2013. The biggest signing of the off-season thus far is veteran cornerback Champ Bailey, who spent the last 10 seasons in Denver. The 35-year old made the league’s All-Decade team for 2000-09 and this will likely the last stop of his NFL career.

Sean Payton and Rob Ryan worked well together in 2013. (USA Today/Derick Hingle)

The Saints 2014 schedule is chalk full of interesting opponents, though we won’t know the dates until the April 22 release from the NFL. At home, New Orleans will host big non-divisional games against the Ravens, Bengals, Packers, and 49ers – who sported a combined record of 39-24-1 in 2013. The Saints beat the 49ers 23-20 in Week 11 last season with a field goal as time expired, so expect that one to come down to the wire once again. The last time New Orleans faced the Packers, Brees threw for 446 yards and 3 TDs in a 28-27 loss at Lambeau Field.

The road is a little friendlier, with the Saints traveling to cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Dallas. New Orleans went 3-5 on the road in 2013, and had trouble getting the offense going outside of the Superdome. Expect Brees to not have the same problems against a historically-bad Cowboys secondary and a weak Lions defense, but Heinz Field in Pittsburgh is no walk in the park.

The NFC South will be an interesting race to follow, with most pundits not knowing what to expect from the Panthers and Falcons in 2014. Carolina came out of nowhere to win 12 games last season behind one of the NFL’s best defenses, but the offense was shaky at best. The Falcons were picked by many to make the Super Bowl in 2013 before injuries and a nose-dive in offensive production dropped Atlanta to a 4-12 record. A healthy Falcons team will be back this season, and wins over these division rivals are key for the Saints to get back into the playoffs and get the all-important home field advantage.


Roger Goodell made $44.2 million in 2013

A-Rod made $27 million last year? That’s cute.

After his salary was reported to be over $44 million in FY 2013, if anyone should be doing commercials where he’s jamming out to a song that goes “i’m the man, i’m the man, i’m the maaaan” it should be the commish. That’s a lot of money, but he is the head of a league that made about $10 billion last year and is showing no signs of slowing down. Goodell, the son of a former U.S. Senator, began as an intern with the NFL in 1982 — rising to its highest position 24 years later.

Red Hot Chili Peppers to Cover Led Zeppelin for Super Bowl Halftime Show

The RHCP have been one of the best live shows for over 20 years.


The cat is out of the bag on what the Red Hot Chili Peppers will be playing during halftime of Sunday’s Huge Super-Important Mega Trademarked Football Game. It’s going to be a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused”, one of the greatest rock songs ever made. While Led Zeppelin may refuse to reunite for a tour (not a single tour since drummer John Bonham’s death in 1980), you can see “Dazed and Confused” live on the biggest stage in the world by one of the best bands of this era.

Even more interestingly, Flea has said there is a surprise involved. Could this be a collaboration with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones? If you like Zeppelin, you don’t want to miss this performance and game. Here’s the band playing “Dazed and Confused” live:

TicketCity NFL Pick Em – Week 14

TicketCity Shawn
Colts vs. Bengals Bengals -6 Bengals -6 Bengals -6 Bengals -6
Falcons vs. Packers Falcons +7 Falcons +7 Falcons +7 Falcons +7
Browns vs. Patriots Patriots -13 Patriots -13 Patriots -13 Patriots -13
Raiders vs. Jets Jets -3 Raiders +3 Raiders +3 Raiders +3
Lions vs. Eagles Lions +3 Eagles -3 Eagles -3 Lions +3
Dolphins vs. Steelers Steelers -3 Steelers -3 Steelers -3 Steelers -3
Bills vs. Buccaneers Bucs -3 Bills +3 Bucs -3 Bills +3
Chiefs vs. Redskins Chiefs -3 Chiefs -3 Chiefs -3 Chiefs -3
Vikings vs. Ravens Ravens -7 Ravens -7 Ravens -7 Vikings +7
Titans vs. Broncos Broncos -13 Broncos -13 Broncos -13 Broncos -13
Rams vs. Cardinals Cardinals -6 Cardinals -6 Cardinals -6 Cardinals -6
49ers vs. Seahawks 49ers -2.5 Seahawks +2.5 49ers -2.5 Seahawks +2.5
Saints vs. Panthers Saints -3.5 Saints -3.5 Saints -3.5 Saints -3.5
Cowboys vs. Bears Bears -1 Cowboys +1 Cowboys +1 Cowboys +1

Shawn wins week 14. It’s getting closer. Only three more weeks to decide the winner! Randy is still in the lead but a lot of folks are right behind him.

TicketCity NFL Pick Em! Week 11

TicketCity Ryan
Falcons vs. Bucs Falcons -1 Falcons -1 Falcons -1 Falcons -1
Jets vs. Bills Bills – 1 Bills – 1 Jets +1 Jets +1
Lions vs. Steelers Steelers +3 Steelers +3 Lions – 3 Lions – 3
Redskins vs. Eagles Eagles -4.5 Redskins +4.5 Eagles -4.5 Eagles -4.5
Ravens vs. Bears Bears +3 Bears +3 Bears +3 Bears +3
Browns vs. Bengals Browns +6 Bengals -6 Bengals -6 Bengals -6
Raiders vs. Texans Raiders +7 Texans -7 Raiders +7 Texans -7
Cardinals vs. Jaguars Jaguars +8 Cardinals -8 Cardinals -8 Cardinals -8
Chargers vs. Dolphins Chargers -1.5 Dolphins +1.5 Chargers -1.5 Chargers -1.5
Packers vs. Giants Giants -6 Giants -6 Giants -6 Giants -6
Vikings vs. Seahawks Seahawks -13 Seahawks -13 Seahawks -13 Seahawks -13
49ers vs. Saints Saints -3 49ers +3 Saints -3 49ers -3
Chiefs vs. Broncos Chiefs +8 Chiefs +8 Chiefs +8 Broncos -8
Patriots vs. Panthers Panthers -1 Patriots +1 Panthers -1 Patriots +1

Three way tie for 1st place between Ryan, Randy and Matt with 7 correct picks each. It’s actually a pretty good score considering two games ended up at PUSH (Ravens vs. Bears, 49ers vs. Saints). At this point in the season, 4 people are tied for the overall lead with 66 points each, including three of the above players. It’ll get even closer as teams no longer have byes at the end of the season — still anyone’s game.