10 Impressive Wins in the Payton Era: Saints maul Falcons in '11

10 Impressive Wins in the Payton Era: Saints maul Falcons in '11

Credit: (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints catches a touchdown pass against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Falcons 45-16. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 2 at 10:01 AM

As the run-up to the 2013 NFL season hits its stretch run – 25 days and counting before training camp begins – we thought at WWLTV.com it’d be a good time to get the blood flowing for Saints fans.

And what better way to do so than by looking back at some of the biggest or most impressive wins in the Sean Payton Era.

Certainly our order can be dissected and changed and a game we left off could be put on the list. Feel free to leave your thoughts or memories on the particular game chosen today below in the comments section.

No. 10: Saints handle Cowboys in '06

No 9: Payton deliver in the spotlight (Dec. 26, 2011)
Saints 45, Falcons 16
Certainly the Saints were on a roll heading into this late-season game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

But in the previous meeting of these two teams, the Saints escaped Atlanta with a 26-23 lead and the Falcons were just two games behind New Orleans with two weeks left.

The game was set for a Monday night, quarterback Drew Brees was close to Dan Marino’s passing yard record and national media descended on the city to cover whatever was about to happen.

What happened was a clowning of an arch-rival in a record-setting performance by a future Hall of Fame quarterback.

New Orleans clinched the NFC South for the second time in three seasons with the win while Brees’ 307 yards passing, giving him 5.087 for the season (he would finish with 5,476 yards).

The Saints outscored the Falcons 38-6 in the final 45 minutes of the game and held Atlanta to 0-for-3 on fourth downs.

It was the second in a string of four-straight games in which the Saints scored at least 42 points, but it was easily the most impressive in that run.

New Orleans could have folded under the pressure but not this team, which could be argued was the best in franchise history to not win a championship.

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