A look at the New Orleans Saints in the NFC playoffs
By Bob Garcia
All eyes are on the Saints and whether this is the year they take a Super Bowl win
Four straight years, four NFC South titles. However, in all that time, the New Orleans Saints have still not been able to capture the Super Bowl. This year could be the difference, though, and everything now hinges on how well the team can perform against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this weekend. The Saints didn’t lose to the Bucs in the regular season, so that should give them some encouragement. Looking back over their history, the Saints have had some phenomenal postseason appearances that they will use to construct a winning strategy in the current postseason.
New Orleans has been to the postseason round a total of 14 times, of which they made it to the Divisional Round eight. They have gone 3-4 in this upcoming round, and are 3-3 under the guidance of head coach Sean Payton. When hosting a Division game, however, they are 3-0, with all three wins occurring under Payton. The Saints will host the Bucs this Sunday.
Two years ago, the Saints ended up as the top seed in the NFC and met the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round. The Eagles were looking to defend their Super Bowl championship from the previous year and got off to a good start to prove their point. The Saints were down 14-0 in the first quarter before rallying to a 14-10 deficit at the half. From there, the Saints overpower and outplayed the Eagles, keeping Philadelphia out of the end zone and taking the win 20-14. In the conference game against the LA Rams, though, the Saints were eliminated after a 26-23 overtime loss.
Last year, the Saints were back in again, this time playing the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card Round. The team forced the game into overtime, but wasn’t able to solidify the win and had to settle for a 26-20 loss and an early exit. The Saints have almost a 2-1 all-time winning record against the Bucs and will use last year’s defeat as motivation to come out swinging this year.