Report: NFL considering Saints vs. Vikings in London for Weeks 4 or 5

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Here is the latest on the New Orleans Saints’ trip to London in 2022, via Nola.com’s Jeff Duncan, who reports that the Saints expect to play a nominal home game abroad against the Minnesota Vikings — either in Weeks 4 or 5, so pretty early in the season.

But as Duncan noted, this is a very fluid process, and the NFL scheduling process is very complicated; we won’t know exactly when each game will be played until the schedule is released in mid-May. Early on, word was the Saints would face the Cincinnati Bengals overseas, but that appears to have changed.

It’s been a confusing process, frankly. The NFL approved a new international scheduling plan last year that was initially said to only feature NFC versus AFC matchups, but that must have been misreported on the league’s own website.

In any case, we know that the Saints will be playing at London’s 62,850-seat Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and it will happen early in the 2022 season. They’re one of several teams moving home games to international venues this year, along with the the Arizona Cardinals (Mexico), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Germany, apparently on Nov. 13, per an accidental leak from the U.S. Consulate in Munich), and the Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars (like the Saints, in the United Kingdom).

The good news is that the Saints won’t have to move another home game internationally until 2030 as part of the NFL’s new 8-year cycle. The bad news is that we won’t be getting nine home games in New Orleans until 2024. The NFL expanded its season to 17 games last year, with the NFC getting an extra home game on even-numbered years and a new road game in odd-numbered years, but the Saints are losing one of those home kickoffs this season. That’s frustrating after the Saints lost their home opener to Hurricane Ida in 2021.

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2022 Saints schedule: List of opponents is finalized