NEW ORLEANS -- Get in the dance, the belief goes, and anything can happen.
For New Orleans, that’s the hope.
It has to be.
The players know it and, in fact, are embracing it.
“I feel that everybody’s going to approach this game as a very important game,” running back Pierre Thomas said Monday. “And, you know, I feel like we’re comfortable with our situation that we’re in. It’s gonna show what type of team we really are.”
They know that three teams since 2004 have gone on the road for three games and earned a Super Bowl win (Pittsburgh, ’05; New York giants, ’07; Green Bay, ’10).
They also have the experience to back it up the idea that playoff football is different football.
Thirteen players still on the roster were part of the 11-5 Saints team that went to Seattle and somehow lost to a 7-9 Seahawks team.
In all, 32 players on the roster have postseason experience. Thirteen were with the Saints during the Super Bowl season and three others have played in the big game.
And while most believe the Saints are an underdog heading on the road, where they’re 3-5 this season and 0-5 in non-neutral venue playoff games, those inside the locker room do not.
Once again, Mr. Thomas.
“We’re not gonna look above ourselves or anything else, or put ourselves down,” the running back said. “We’re gonna go out here and do what we have to do. We’re gonna get the job done. We’re gonna stay focused. We know everything is on the line at this point.”
The subject of New Orleans’ road issues has certainly been worn out but it will be, and should be, repeated often until it does something on the road.
The Saints were outscored away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome by 37 points this season. They scored nearly half the points at an opponent’s stadium this season. And New Orleans allowed 54 more points when it didn’t have the benefit of the denizens of the Superdome roaring it on.
But they also believe they were close to breaking through on Dec. 22 in a 17-13 loss at Carolina.
New Orleans will go to Philadelphia a 2.5 point underdog Saturday.
Tell them that, if you want, but they won’t care.
Because they know one thing – anything can happen in the playoffs.