NEW ORLEANS, La - The New Orleans Saints will face three AFC opponents in a four-game 2011 preseason schedule, including one contest that will be televised nationally in prime-time.
In Week 1 of the NFL preseason slate, the Saints will host the San Francisco 49ers at the Louisiana Superdome. Former NFC West rivals from 1970-2001, New Orleans and San Francisco have played 71 times in the regular season, but this will be only their third preseason matchup. The contest will be the debut of 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, who was hired shortly after the conclusion of the 2010 regular season. The game will serve as a re-match of the Saints’ last-second 25-22 win against the 49ers in Week 2 of the 2010 regular season when Saints kicker Garrett Hartley converted a 37-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to help the Saints improve to 2-0.
New Orleans will travel to the Houston Texans in Week 2. The Saints and Texans have played each other every preseason since 2008, with the Saints owning a 2-1 record in those contests. New Orleans is also scheduled to host Houston in the regular season.
In Week 3, the Saints will travel to the West Coast where they will face the Oakland Raiders, led by first-year Head Coach Hue Jackson, on Sunday, August 28 at 7 p.m. CT in a contest televised nationally by NBC. When the Saints defeated the Raiders 45-7 in their last preseason meeting on August 29, 2009, they set franchise records for most points and largest margin of victory in a preseason game.
The Saints will close out the preseason at the Superdome against the Tennessee Titans. With 27 previous meetings, the Houston Oilers/Titans franchise are New Orleans’ most common preseason opponent. Mike Munchak will be the third first-year head coach the Saints will face in the preseason. The two teams met last season in Nashville, which also marked the final week of the NFL preseason, with the Titans capturing the finale, 27-24. In the regular season, the Saints are also scheduled to travel to LP Field in Nashville to take on Tennessee.
Specific dates and times for the preseason games besides the ones confirmed for Oakland will be released at a future date.