As the run-up to the 2013 NFL season hits its stretch run – 17 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: Saints maul Falcons in '11
No. 8: Saints overcome deficit, Dolphins in '09
No. 7: Saints ride Deuce to playoff win in '06
No. 6: Saints gives Steelers nightmares on Halloween in '10
No. 5: Saints overpower Patriots on MNF in '09
No. 4: Saints get off to good start in Payton Era in '06
No. 3: Saints earn first conference title (Jan. 24, 2010)
Saints 31, Vikings 28 OT
It can be argued that No. 3 is too low for a game in which the Saints won their first conference championship and exorcised a bunch of demons in doing so.
There was pressure on New Orleans – home, best record in the NFC during the regular season and had played some of its worst football to end the regular season.
And the franchise had never hosted such a championship game before.
Payton, however, knew how to motivate his players, pulling in former 49ers great Ronnie Lott to speak to the team the night before the game after playing a video of motivational images.
The Saints were able to gain only 257 total yards, including just 68 on the ground, and Thomas Morstead was forced to punt seven times after averaging just 3.6 punts per game during the regular season.
But the Saints forced five turnovers, including Tracy Porter’s game-saving interception late in the fourth quarter, and the defense’s marauding style did just enough to get New Orleans to its first Super Bowl.
The win is one that anyone in New Orleans at the time will remember, an emotional release matched only two other times in franchise and city history.