Bradley Handwerger / Sports Reporter
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METAIRIE, La. ― Lost in the shuffle of Monday night's record-setting win over Atlanta was the fact that the Saints clinched the NFC South, securing at least one home game during the conference playoffs.

And after watching the Saints dismantle a playoff team in Atlanta, the positives of playing in the confines of the Superdome were evident.

'It's huge,' Saints linebacker Scott Shanle said. 'We found out last year going on the road, even though we were defending world champions playing a 7-9 Seattle team, it doesn't matter. When you see how we play here this year, it's an obvious home-field advantage.

'That's huge, very key, knowing at the very least we'll host a home game here in front of our home fans.'

The Saints are 7-0 at home for the first time in franchise history, playing much better at home than on the road.

New Orleans has won in the Superdome by an average of 22.6 points per game, notching wins of 55, 25 and 29 points.

But linebacker Jonathan Vilma said there are more goals to accomplish.

'We're excited about that but we know the mission isn't finished,' Vilma said. 'We host a playoff game but that's great but it means nothing if we lose it. We have to win that playoff game and if we have to go on the road, so be it.'

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