The New Orleans Saints will play another difficult schedule in 2013. They'll face the 2011 AFC Champion New England Patriots, defending NFC Champion San Francisco Forty Niners, and "America's Team", the Dallas Cowboys. How the Cowboys came to be called that is beyond me, but whatever. The dates haven't been announced yet. If the Cowboys stick to their pattern of recent years, I hope we play them late in the

season, when they have a history of folding up like a cheap card table. The complete list reads like this; Home and home with NFC South opponents Carolina, Atlanta, and Tampa. The Saints finished third in the NFC South, so they'll play the other third place NFC teams, Chicago Bears (Away), St. Louis Rams (Away), and Dallas Cowboys (Home). They'll play the AFC East: New England Patriots (Away), Miami Dolphins (Home), New York Jets (Away), and Buffalo Bills (Home). They will play the NFC West: Rams, Forty Niners (Home), Arizona Cardinals (Home) , and Seattle Seahawks (Away). The Seahawks are very tough at home, and eliminated the Saints from the playoffs in 2010.

The Saints have a lot of work to do, revamping a defense that had the worst season in NFL history. Keep in mind, General manager Mickey Loomis missed half the 2012 season while serving a suspension & head coach Sean Payton sat out the entire campaign. They're back in the saddle. They're smart, and I suspect, highly motivated.