The Saints were scheduled to play their first home game of the season in NFL Week 1. However, their game against the Packers will take place at a neutral venue.
NFC enemies will face off in Jacksonville instead of New Orleans. The Jaguars are on the road to take on the Texans, so they’ve been kind enough to loan their stadium to the Saints for a week.
But why are the Saints playing in Jacksonville? And when could they return to New Orleans? Here’s what you need to know about the Saints’ plans for the first month of the 2021 NFL season.
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Why are the Saints and Packers playing in Jacksonville?
The Saints vs. Packers game is played in Jacksonville after Hurricane Ida struck New Orleans. The storm cut off electricity in the city for some time and caused severe flooding. It caused nearly $ 95 billion in economically impacting damage, according to CNBC, and the city is still being repaired in its wake.
As a result, the Saints have a contingency plan in place to play Jacksonville. The plans were first disclosed on September 1, so the teams both had ample time to prepare for this contest.
“The decision to move the game to Jacksonville gives the city of New Orleans the greater capacity to continue with storm clean-up procedures and to allow the city’s infrastructure to recover and allow all resources. to be directed to the fastest possible recovery, “the NFL wrote in a statement.
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Why did the Saints choose to play in Jacksonville?
The Saints weighed a variety of variables when choosing to play in Jacksonville, according to Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com. Two stand out above all.
Aaron Rodgers has struggled to play in Florida during his career. He has a 3-4 record playing in the State with a QB rating of 78.1. That doesn’t guarantee that it will play badly, but it’s a trend worth paying for.
Additionally, the Saints chose Jacksonville because of its humidity. The Saints are used to hot and humid weather because it is similar to New Orleans weather. It was 86 degrees in Jacksonville on Sunday with 64% humidity. In comparison, it is 70 degrees in Green Bay with 66% humidity.
The heat might slow the Packers down a bit, and the Saints are doing all they can to make that happen. That’s why they decided to wear their road uniforms for the game. The Saints will wear white while the Packers will wear dark green, which will absorb more heat in sunny Florida.
The Saints also considered which of the three NFL stadium locations in Florida – Miami, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville – would be most beneficial to them. They chose Jacksonville because it wasn’t as much of a destination as Miami and wasn’t in a city occupied by their rivals NFC South (Tampa Bay). Jacksonville was the most neutral and the most expensive for Packers fans.
So the saints put a lot reflection in this choice. It will be interesting to see if their extra work pays off.
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When can the Saints return to New Orleans?
The Saints are not expected to play another home game until Week 4. They will play on the road against the Panthers and Patriots in Weeks 2 and 3.
Can the Saints return to New Orleans for their official home opener against the Giants? Mayor LaToya Cantrell said it should happen.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell just said the Saints should be able to play at home on October 3 against New York
– Sean FazendeFOX8 (@ SeanFazendeFOX8) September 8, 2021
So if all goes well, the Saints will only miss one home game this season.