The 2013 NFL preseason is officially in swing. On Friday evening, the Kansas City Chiefs will visit the New Orleans Saints in what may actually be one of the more intriguing matchups of preseason Week 1. Both teams missed the playoffs last year -- the Chiefs in spectacular 2-14 fashion -- but both made significant changes in the offseason that could propel them back into the postseason.
For the Saints, the biggest shakeups occurred among the coaching staff. Head coach Sean Payton returns from his one-year Bountygate suspension to help bring a talented offense back up to its pre-2012 standards. Meanwhile, new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has been tasked with rebuilding what was a historically bad defense last season. With better organization on offense and a much-needed spark on defense, the Saints figure to improve.
The Chiefs, meanwhile, opened up the pocketbook for new players in the offseason. Alex Smith is expected to rejuvenate the offense behind protection from Branden Albert and No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher at the two offensive tackle spots. On defense, cornerbacks Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson are expected to see plenty of playing time for a secondary that struggled last season outside of ace cover corner Brandon Flowers.
Friday, Aug. 9, 8 p.m. ET
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.
New Orleans: WVUE FOX Channel 8
Kansas City: KCTV CBS Channel 5
Every game of the 2013 NFL preseason can be seen online by signing up for NFL Preseason Live at NFL.com (subscription required).
NFL Game Pass offers live online broadcasts to users outside the USA.
New Orleans: WWL 870 AM and 105.3 FM
Kansas City: KCFX 101.1 FM