The Saints and 49ers used to be old rivals, playing together in the former NFC West. It was then that San Francisco beat up on New Orleans, especially in the 1980s and 1990s.
But these aren't your parents' or grandparents' Saints. New Orleans won Super Bowl XLIV and opened up the franchise's 44th season with a 14-9 win over Minnesota.
Now the task is to win a second game in a row, which would make a 2-0 start, which would be franchise first second-season in a row to be 2-0. Yup. That's right. New Orleans has never started back-to-back seasons 2-0.
It's All History
New Orleans and San Francisco have a long history, much of which has been dominated by the 49ers.
The Saints are an appalling 23-45-2 against the 49ers, but most of the losses came in the 70s, 80s and 90s. New Orleans has owned San Francisco since the calendar turned to 2000. In fact, since 1999, the Saints are 8-3 against the 49ers and have won five straight in the series.
The last time these teams matched up, New Orleans won 31-17 in the Superdome on Sept. 28, 2008. This will mark only the second time since the 2002 season the Saints have traveled to the City by the Bay.
New Orleans' largest margin of victory is 24 points (34-10; Dec. 3, 2006). Its largest defeat is 38 points (38-0; Jan. 6, 2002).
The most points scored by the Saints were 43 in 1969 while San Francisco posted 40 in 1973.
The fewest points scored by New Orleans is 0 five times while New Orleans has held the 49ers to 3 points once.
While people who know the NFL are up on the fact that the Saints are good in the Superdome these day, going 6-2 a season ago and 13-4 since 2008, it's New Orleans' road record that stands out.
Since Sean Payton took over as head coach in 2006, New Orleans has a 19-13 record, sixth-best in the NFL during that period.
New Orleans went 7-1 on the road in 2009, tied for best in the league. Only Indianapolis (24-9), New England (23-9), the Giants (21-11), San Diego (20-13) and Dallas (20-13) have been better.
'But I think we're battle-tested, I think our players understand the challenges of playing on the road,' Head Coach Sean Payton said.
Saints Record since 2006
- When the Saints score first 22-6
- When Saints have 100-yard rusher 28-8
- When forcing three-plus turnovers 16-2
- When playing outdoors 15-10
- When on the road 19-13
- When scoring 20-plus points 38-14
- When allowing 20 or fewer points 23-3
- When committing zero turnovers 14-0
The Last Time (Regular Season Edition)...
- Had a 300-yard passer: Dec. 6, 2009 (Drew Brees 419 yards)
- Allowed a 300-yard passer: Dec. 19, 2009 (Tony Romo 318 yards)
- Had a 100-yard rusher: Sept. 27, 2009 (Pierre Thomas 126 yards)
- Allowed a 100-yard rusher: Jan. 3, 2010 (Jonathan Stewart 125 yards)
- Returned a punt for a TD: Oct. 6, 2009 (Reggie Bush 64 yards)
- Allowed a punt return for a TD: Dec. 27, 2009 (Michael Spurlock 77 yards)
- Recorded a shutout: Dec. 24, 1995 (12-0 vs. N.Y. Jets)
- Was shut out: Jan. 6, 2001 (38-0 vs. San Francisco)
2010 3's Company (third-down analysis)
11 plays overall of which 1 was a run and 10 were passes. They have averaged -1 yards per run and 5.6 yards per pass play.
Third-and-short (1-2 yards) - 0 runs, 0 first downs; 2 passes, 2 first downs
Third-and-(3-5) - 0 run, 0 first down; 0 passes, 0 first downs
Third-and-(6-10) - 0 runs, 0 first downs; 6 passes, 1 first downs
Third-and-(11-15) - 1 run, 0 first down; 0 passes, 0 first downs
Third-and-(16-plus) - 0 runs, 0 first downs; 2 passes, 0 first downs