Saints preseason games announced

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CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 30: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints stretches across the goal line for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on October 30, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints have announced their opponents for their four 2017 preseason contests.

New Orleans will play their first two preseason contests on the road, following by two home games at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. All four opponents are in the AFC. It will mark the fourth consecutive season that New Orleans starts the preseason on the road.

The Saints will play the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. The preseason series between the clubs is knotted at 1-1, with this matchup marking the first time that the Saints will travel to Cleveland to play the Browns in the preseason. New Orleans defeated Cleveland in the 1968 preseason and lost to them in a 1982 exhibition. The Saints are 25-25 in preseason openers all-time.

In Preseason Week Two, the Saints will head west to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 7 pm. It will be New Orleans’ first contest played at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., the temporary home of the Chargers following the club’s relocation from San Diego this winter. The Saints have not played a game in the Los Angeles area since a December 4, 1994 31-15 win at the Los Angeles Rams (Anaheim Stadium) and have not played a preseason contest in the area since facing the Rams at Anaheim Stadium in 1968. The Chargers lead the all-time preseason series 4-2.

After playing their first two preseason games on the road, New Orleans will be the home team for the first time in 2017 to host the Houston Texans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. The Saints and Texans have played each other every preseason since 2008 except for one, with the Texans holding a 5-4 edge in the preseason. Following joint practices in Houston before the second preseason tilt for both clubs in 2016, New Orleans dropped a 16-9 exhibition to the Texans at NRG Stadium on August 20.

The Saints will close out the preseason at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. against the Baltimore Ravens prior to the final roster cutdown to 53 players. It will be the second consecutive year that the teams have closed out their preseason at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the third consecutive season that they are preseason opponents. The Saints have been winless in four preseason contests against Ravens, including a 23-14 New Orleans loss in the preseason finale on September 1, 2016.

The Saints hit the road for their first regular season game. They will play the Minnesota Vikings Sept. 11 for Monday Night Football.

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