Saints to host Bucs to open 2008 season

The New Orleans Saints will begin their 2008 season on Sept. 7 when they host defending NFC South champion Tampa Bay. How did the schedule-makers treat the Saints for the rest of the 2008 season? Find out right here.

Saints RB Deuce McAllister will be back in a Saints uniform in 2008. But what about 2009 and beyond? That's a good question. obtained the remainder of McAllister's contract information and examines why that deal could turn the recent drama over McAllister's future in New Orleans into a yearly ritual. The story includes McAllister's potential cap hit in 2009 and why releasing him then — and not earlier this week — may make more sense for the Saints. Click here to access this exclusive.

The New Orleans Saints will open the 2008 regular season — and begin their quest for a second NFC South title in three years — by hosting division rival Tampa Bay on Sunday, Sept. 7, according to the schedule released by the NFL on Tuesday.

The schedule features two appearances on Monday Night Football and one appearance on the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football game.

The Saints will host Minnesota on Monday, Oct. 6, and Green Bay on Monday, Nov. 24. The Saints will also travel to Chicago on Thursday, Dec. 11.

The Saints will also play overseas on Sunday, Oct. 26, when they play the San Diego Chargers in London. The Saints have the bye the following week.

The Saints play just one of their first six games against NFC South opponents. After the Bucs, the Saints travel to Washington and Denver before hosting San Francisco, Minnesota and Oakland in a rare three-game homestand leading up to the London game.

After the bye, the Saints face a brutal five road games in their final eight contests, starting with consecutive trips to Atlanta on Nov. 9 and Kansas City on Nov. 16.

After hosting the Packers, the Saints face two crucial NFC South matchups on Nov. 30 (at Tampa Bay) and Dec. 7 (vs. Atlanta). Plus, the Saints will host Carolina to end the season on Dec. 28.

2008 Saints regular season schedule

Sunday, Sept. 7: Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 1 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Sept. 14: New Orleans at Washington, 1 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Sept. 21: New Orleans at Denver, 4:05 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Sept. 28: San Francisco at New Orleans, 1 p.m., Fox

Monday, Oct. 6: Minnesota at New Orleans, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Sunday, Oct. 12: Oakland at New Orleans, 1 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Oct. 19: New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Oct. 26: New Orleans vs. San Diego (in London), 1 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Nov. 2: Bye

Sunday, Nov. 9: New Orleans at Atlanta, 1 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Nov. 16: New Orleans at Kansas City, 1 p.m., Fox

Monday, Nov. 24: Green Bay at New Orleans, 1 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Nov. 30: New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Dec. 7: Atlanta at New Orleans, 1 p.m., Fox

Thursday, Dec. 11: New Orleans at Chicago, 8:15 p.m., NFL Network

Sunday, Dec. 21: New Orleans at Detroit, 1 p.m., Fox

Sunday, Dec. 28: Carolina at New Orleans, 1 p.m., Fox

All times Eastern has started its "Saints Scouting Report" series, profiling players the Saints could have interest in selecting on April 26-27. Catch up by checking out our reports on Glenn Dorsey, Jonathan Stewart, Mike Pollak , Tracy Porter , Jerod Mayo and Sedrick Ellis.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is already looking forward to seeing Jonathan Vilma in a Saints uniform this season. Find out what Payton had to say about the Saints' newest linebacker by clicking here.

Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart stopped by the Saints' training facility near New Orleans for a visit with the Saints on Tuesday. Stewart talked to about his visit. You can find out what Stewart thought of the Saints right here.

It's the most important time of the year for NFL teams that want to improve their roster for 2008. Are you getting all the analysis you need as the NFL Draft approaches? If you're not, click here to find out how you can become a insider and become the expert at your NFL Draft party.

Matthew Postins is the publisher of He is an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association.

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