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New Orleans Saints

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  1980-99  2000-2009
Coaches  Hall of Famers 
Retired Numbers

The History of the New Orleans Saints

 1967: On September 17th the Saints took the field for their first regular season game in front of 80,879 fans at ancient Tulane Stadium. The Saints got things started with a bang as rookie Running Back John Gilliam returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for a Touchdown. However the Saints would lose the inaugural game to the Los Angeles Rams 27-13. The Saints would not win their first game until November 5th when they beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-24, as Walt Roberts scored three Touchdowns. The Saints would wind up their first season with a 3-11 record.

: In their second season the Saints would play surprisingly strong football as the start of the season splitting their first six games. However, they would win just one more game the rest of the way as they finished in third place with a 4-9-1 record.

: Establishing himself as one of pro-football rising stars Danny Abramowicz wins NFL Receiving honors with 73 catches for 1,015 yards and seven Touchdowns. The Saints would go on to finish with best record yet at 5-9.


   Billy Kilmer                           Jim Taylor                               Tom Dempsey                  Danny Abramowicz

1970 : The Saints struggle out of the gate and original head coach Tom Fears is replaced by JD Roberts. In Roberts' first game at the helm on November 8th the Saints were trailing in the final seconds 17-16 to the Detroit Lions. Stuck at midfield, the Saints new coach decides to roll the dice and have Kicker Tom Dempsey attempt a 63-yard field goal. Dempsey, who was born without toes on his right foot, wore a heavy square-toed kicking shoe. The home crowd at Tulane Stadium roared to life as Dempsey nailed what would be a NFL record long Field Goal to give the Saints a 19-17 victory as time expired. However the Saints would still go on to finish with a disappointing 2-11-1 record.

: Hoping to build a solid foundation behind with a Quarterback, the Saints draft Ole' Miss star Archie Manning with second overall draft pick. In Manning's first game on September 19th the Saints upset the Los Angeles Rams 24-20 at Tulane Stadium.  Manning ran for one yard Touchdown on the final play after he completed 16-of-29 passes for 218 yards and one Touchdown. On October 17th Archie Manning would again star for the Saints rushing for two Touchdowns as the Saints stun the eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, 24-20 before 83,088 at Tulane Stadium. The Saints would go on to finish with a 4-8-2 record.

: The Saints would stumble out of the gate losing their first five games on the way to a miserable 2-11-1 season. Along the way Quarterback Archie Manning would struggle under constant pressure as he was sacked 43 times.

: After a disappointing setback in 1972, the Saints bounce back to finish 5-9 their best record to date. The season is highlighted the first shutout in franchise history 13-0 over the Buffalo Bills on November 4th. In the game the Saints would hold Bills Running Back O.J. Simpson to just 79 yards his lowest output of the season as he became the first to rush for 2,000 yards.

: On December 8th the Saints shut out the St. Louis Cardinals, 14-0 in the franchise's final game in Tulane Stadium. The Saints ended their eight season stay in Tulane Stadium with a 23-32-1 home record. The Saints would again finish with a 5-9 record matching their best ever record.

: On September 28th in the first regular season NFL game in the Louisiana Superdome, the Saints lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 21-0, before 52,531 spectators. The Saints would not win much their first year at the Superdome finishing with an awful 2-12 record.

: Hoping past success could influence a struggling franchise; the Saints hire Hank Stram as the new Head Coach. Stram led the Chiefs to three AFL Championships and a victory in Super Bowl IV at Tulane Stadium. However, in Stram's first season at the helm the Saints continued to struggle finishing with a 4-10 record.

: The Saints would continue to struggle, finishing in last place with a miserable 3-11 record, as Coach Hank Stram is fired following the season. In his two years as Coach the Saints only managed to win seven games. The failure of Stram as Coach of the Saints would keep the legendary former Kansas City Chiefs Coach out of the Hall of Fame for 25 years.

: Quarterback Archie Manning puts together one of his finest seasons earning The Sporting News NFC Player of the Year as the Saints flirt all year with .500, before finishing with a franchise best 7-9 mark.

: On October 28th the Saints moved into undisputed first place lead in NFC West for the first time with a 14-10 win at the Washington Redskins. The Saints stopped Washington a total of 18 times with goal to go and seven times within the two yard line in defensive masterpiece. The Saints would challenge the Los Angeles Rams for the NFC west lead all season long before finishing with an 8-8 record, (their first ever non-losing season). However, one game would haunt the Saints all off-season and that was on December 3rd in a Monday Night match up with the Oakland Raiders at the Superdome. Running Back Chuck Muncie became first Saint to surpass 1,000-yard milestone on the way to a 1,198-yard season as the Saints rushed out to a 35-14 lead. However, the lead and hopes for a playoff spot would disappear as Raiders stormed back to win 42-35.

: After two season in which they played competitive football, the Saints return to their bumbling ways of the past. The Saints would not win their first game until the next to last game of the season finishing with a franchise worst record of 1-15. During the Season Saints fans would show up at the Superdome wearing paper bags over the heads, while carrying signs suggesting the team should be called the "Aints".

: Hoping past success would bring a bright future to New Orleans the Saints hire Bum Phillips to be their new Head Coach. Phillips had rebuilt the Houston Oilers into a perennial AFC Title contender losing back-to-back heartbreakers to the Steelers in AFC Championship. With the first pick overall the Saints draft Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers out of South Carolina. Rogers would go on to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year, as he rushed an all-time rookie record of 1,674 yards. However the Saints would continue to struggle finishing with a 4-12 record.

: After a strike cancelled seven games of the regular season the Saints finish with a 4-5 record, and narrowly missed the playoffs in a complicated labyrinth of tie-breakers.

: With an 8-7 record going into the final game of the season at the Superdome against the Los Angeles Rams, the Saints have a chance to finish with their first winning season, while earning a playoff berth. However, Rams kicker Mike Lansford kicked a 42-yard Field Goal with :06 left to defeat the Saints 26-24, and advance to the playoffs.

: A year after barely missing the playoffs the Saints came flying out of the gates winning four of their first five games. However, the Saints would struggle as newly acquired Quarterback Richard Todd threw 19 interceptions to just one Touchdown as the Saints again finished the season with a losing record at 7-9.

: In the middle of his fifth season with Saints off to a rough start Head Coach Bum Phillips retires with five games left in the season. His son Wade, who had been serving as Defensive Coordinator takes over for the remainder of the season. The Saints would go on to finish with a disappointing 5-11 record.

: After a 1-4 start under new coach Jim Mora the Saints put together a solid season finishing 7-8-1. Rookie Running Back Rueben Mayes rushes for 1,353 yards and is named Offensive Rookie of the Year.

: On October 25th in the first game with regular players (after the strike replacements complete a 2-1 record) the Saints fall to the San Francisco 49ers 24-22 in a Superdome thriller. Following the game, Coach Jim Mora made his highly publicized "coulda, woulda, shoulda" proclamation to the media after the loss dropped the Saints to 3-3 on the season. One week later on November 1st the Saints posted the largest margin of victory in team history, shutting out the Atlanta Falcons 38-0. The win was the first in team record nine consecutive triumphs to close out the season, to give the Saints their 1st winning record in their 21st season at 12-3, along with their first playoff berth. However the 49ers would win their final game of the season to hold off the Saints for the NFC West Title. The city of New Orleans that hosted six of the first 21 Super Bowls finally hosts a home playoff game for their Saints. A packed house at The Superdome watched the Saints jump out to a 7-0 lead over the Minnesota Vikings early in the 1st Quarter. However, the Vikings would take a 31-10 lead into halftime on their way to a 44-10 victory in the NFC Wild Card Game. Making matters worse Saints Running Back Ruben Mayes sustains torn knee ligaments requiring surgery.

: The Saints continued to play strong football as they finished in a three way to tie for first place in the NFC West with a solid 10-6 record. However, two costly losses to the San Francisco 49ers would cost the Saints a playoff spot as they held no tiebreakers in their favor.

: The Saints put together their third consecutive winning season finishing with a 9-7 record. However, once again it was not good enough to qualify for one of the five playoff spots in the NFC.

: Despite struggling all season and entering the final game of the season with a 7-8 record the Saints had a shot to make the playoffs with a win in the final game of the season on a Monday Night game on New Years Eve at the Superdome against the Rams. With the score tied at 17 Morten Andersen kicked a game winning Field Goal with two seconds left to even the Saints record at 8-8, and earn the Saints the newly established sixth Playoff spot in the NFC. The Saints would go on to lose 16-6 to the Chicago Bears in the Wild Card round at Soldier Field.

: In a year in which the Saints celebrated their 25th Anniversary, the franchise associated mostly with failure gets off to an incredible 7-0 start. Prior to this the Saints had never started better then 1-0 before their first loss. However, the Saints would begin to struggle and over their next seven games the Saints only manage a 2-5 record including a three game losing streak in December. Just when it looked like the Saints would fail again they bounced back to win the final two games of the season to finish with an 11-5 record, and won their first ever Division Title. The Saints poor stretch would end up hurting them when it came to playoff seeding, as the team lost its bid for a 1st Round Bye. In the Wild Card round the Saints were matched up against their heated division rival Atlanta Falcons. The Saints would jump to an early lead, but the pesky Falcons would come back and stun the Saints for a 27-20 victory in the Superdome.

: The Saints who lead the NFL in fewest points allowed with 202, and Sacks with 57 finish with a 12-4 record earning their third consecutive trip to the playoffs. The Saints would even earn another home playoff game with a 20-0 victory over the New York Jets in their final game of the season. In the playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles the Saints held a 20-7 lead and looked well on their way to their first playoff victory. However, the Eagles stormed back by scoring 29 unanswered points over the final quarter and half to beat the Saints 36-20.

: The Saints string of three consecutive Playoff berths ends in disappointment as the Saints win just two of their final eight games to finish with a mediocre 8-8 record, after winning their first five games.

: On October 23rd Tyrone Hughes returned two kickoffs for Touchdowns on his way to setting or tying seven team, and four NFL records in the midst of a 37-34 victory over the Los Angeles Rams at the Superdome. However, the Saints would suffer their first losing record in eight years as they finished with a 7-9 record.

: Despite a solid season from Quarterback Jim Everett who passes for 3,970 yards the Saints would continue to struggle finishing in last place with a record of 7-9 that was the same as the expansion Carolina Panthers who finished ahead in the NFC West standings via tiebreaker.

: On October 20 after a 19-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers Head Coach Jim Mora rips into his team at a press conference declaring, "We Suck". One day later Mora, who had coached the Saints for ten and half seasons, and brought them to the playoffs resigned. Linebacker Coach Rick Venturi would take over for the rest of the season. The Saints would end up with an awful 3-13 record, giving some credence to Mora's statements.

: Hoping past success would have a positive impact on a struggling franchise the Saints decide to hire Mike Ditka, as their new Head Coach. Dikta led the Bears to a victory in Super Bowl XX played at the Superdome. However, despite Dikta the Saints could only muster up a 6-10 season.

: The Saints would get off to a strong start winning their first three games. However, the inability to find a consistent Quarterback would catch up with them as they endured their second straight 6-10 season using four different starting Quarterbacks.

: Prior to the NFL Draft Mike Ditka proclaimed he would be willing to trade all of the Saints draft picks for one player Heisman Trophy Winning Running Back Ricky Williams. The Washington Redskins found that offer too good to refuse, and made the deal. Unfortunately for Ditka, and the Saints, Williams would struggle adjusting to life in the NFL, and with injuries and the Saints would finish with a woeful 3-13 record. After the season Saints owner Tom Benson proclaimed "I will take whatever steps necessary at the end of the regular season to make the New Orleans Saints a winning franchise." His first step was to fire Mike Ditka.

: Since they traded their first Round pick in the Ricky Williams trade, the Saints had to rebuild through other means. The Saints would sign eight Free Agents off other rosters, and trade for the Green Bay Packers third string Quarterback Aaron Brooks to back up the newly signed Jeff Blake. To lead the new look Saints the club hired former Saints assistant coach & defensive coordinator Jim Haslett as the new head coach. Under Haslett the Saints would get off to a slow 1-3 start, but on October 8th The Saints began to march to a new tune as they won 6 straight. However, injuries threatened the Saints when Quarterback Jeff Blake, and Running Back Ricky Williams were both lost for the season.  However, thanks to back up Aaron Brooks the Saints did not miss a beat. On November 26th the Saints would stun the St. Louis Rams with a 31-24 win in St. Louis. In fact the win was the key victory of the season as the Saints finished 10-6 (thanks to a 7-1 record on the road), and won their second division title in franchise history, as Coach Jim Haslett earned NFL Coach of the Year honors. Even though the Saints had won the NFC West, and were the host team for the playoffs not many experts gave them a shot of beating the defending Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams despite struggling to make the playoffs as the sixth seed. In fact many experts saw the Rams as prime Super Bowl contenders, and the Saints as pretenders. Not helping the Saints was the fact that they were 0-4 in their four previous trips to the postseason. However, these Saints were different and in a spectacular shoot out the Saints would grab a lead at halftime, and every time the Rams got within a Field the Saints would surge out to a ten point lead again. However, in the 4th Quarter the Rams looked on the verge of taking a lead after Az-Zhair Hakim returned a punt deep into Saints territory. However, a penalty on the play wiped out the return and the Saints were able to hold on for a 31-28 victory.  Even though the Saints would go on to lose in the next round 34-16 to the Vikings in Minnesota. The Saints were finally a postseason winner, and had hope for the future.

: Coming off their first playoff victory the Saints were expected to contend for the postseason again. However, Quarterback Aaron Brooks struggled early and the Saints hovered at 5-5 through the first ten games. The Saints would look to get healthy by winning their next 2 and entered the final quarter of the season in strong playoff position at 7-5. However after a close loss to the St. Louis Rams, the Saints entered a key game in Tampa Bay with Buccaneers with the postseason on the line. The playoffs showdown was over quickly as the Saints were shelled 48-10, and all hopes of the postseason were lost. Things would only get worse form there in fighting in the locker room, and the reports that Wide Receiver Albert Connell stole money from team mates made a lost season even worse as the Saints seemed to just quit losing their final two games by a combined 78-10 score to finish with a record of 7-9. Following the season the Saints would deal away stars William Roaf, and Ricky Williams, and would watch helplessly as a La'Roi Glover was lost to free agency.

: Deuce McAllister established himself as one of the top rushers in the NFC as the Saints got off to a strong start winning six of their first seven games. However, as Aaron Brooks sustained several injuries the Saints would begin to struggle as they dropped out of first place in the newly formed NFC South by losing three of their next four games. The Saints seemed to have rebounded on December 1st as they completed the season sweep over the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an impressive 23-20 win in primetime at the Superdome. After beating the Baltimore Ravens a week later the Saints at 9-4 were a win away from the playoffs. However, the Saints would not win another game dropping three straight games to last place teams as they missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record.

: The Saints end of the season collapse carried over into the new season as the Saints lost four of their first five games. Needing to turn themselves around fast the Saints would start to play better football as they won four of their next five games to get back into the playoff picture, as Deuce McAllister ran off nine straight 100 yard rushing games on the way to a stellar 1,641 yard season. However, the Saints could not continue the momentum as they alternated wins and loses the rest of the season on the way to an 8-8 season, good enough for second place in the NFC South, but not good enough for a playoff berth.

: Through most of the season the Saints frustrated their fans by underachieving as they got off to a terrible 4-8 start. Making matters worse, rumors of a move to Los Angeles began to swirl as Owner Tom Benson demanded the city of New Orleans build his team a new stadium. With the season all but appearing loss and the axe about to fall on Coach Jim Haslet the Saints suddenly began to play well winning their final four games to close the season with an 8-8 record, actually getting on the cusp of the playoffs, but losing out by a tiebreaker.

: As the Saints were getting ready to begin the season, they like the rest of New Orleans were forced to scramble as a major hurricane was coming down the gulf, as many of New Orleans residents gathered in the Louisiana Superdome to ride out the storm. For many years people have worried that a storm could hit New Orleans, a city that sits below sea level so hard that it would destroy the levies and leave in its wake a flood of biblical proportion. On August 29, 2005 those worse fears were realized, as Hurricane Katrina slammed the city and led to the breaking of the levies, flooding throughout the city, and a complete loss of power. The deviation made rescuing those left behind including those in the Superdome difficult, and over several days the Superdome became cesspool as the storm damaged the roof, while panicked people tore apart the stadium from the inside, with disease and filth making conditions unbearable. The damage to the Superdome and the city's infrastructure made playing in New Orleans an impossibility for the Saints in 2005 as they forced to scramble to find a place to play. Despite the devastation an inspired Saints team started the season well as Deuce McAllister scored two Touchdowns in a dramatic 23-20 over the Carolina Panthers as John Carney hit a 47-yard Field Goal with three seconds left. However, the following week the NFL dealt the Saints an unfair blow, despite working out deals to play games in San Antonio's Alamo dome, and Tiger Stadium on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge, the league decided to have the Saints play their home opener in a Monday Night Charity Game, with the league raising money throughout the telecast for victims of the storm. However, they would have to play a "home game" against the New York Giants in the New Jersey Meadowlands. Saints players were not happy and blew off a meeting with Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as they lost 27-10. The following week the Saints dropped another game on the road to the Minnesota Vikings 33-16. Finally getting a real home game in the Alamo dome the Saints improved to 2-2 with a 19-7 win over the Buffalo Bills, as McAllister rushed for 130 yards. The following week the Saints would lose McAllister to a season ending knee injury, as they were humiliated by the Green Bay Packers 51-3. The loss to the Packers would signal troubled times ahead for the Saints, as things began to snowball the rest of the way, as they would win just one more game finishing with an awful 3-13 record, along the way Quarterback Aaron Brooks was benched, while Todd Bauman did not manage to do much better. October 30th would see the Saints return to Louisiana as they faced the Miami Dolphins in Baton Rouge, as 61, 643 fans turned out mostly to see former LSU Coach Nick Saban lead the Dolphins to a 21-6 win. Sadly for the Saints in their remaining games in Baton Rouge brought disappointing crowds, as Owner Tom Benson's talk about moving the team seemed to alienate their loyal fan base, who had bigger concerns with their own homes. Following the season the Saints would clean house firing Coach Jim Haslett, while releasing Quarterback Aaron Brooks. Haslett would be replaced by Sean Payton, while they broke open the bank to sign free agent Quarterback Drew Brees away from the San Diego Chargers. Then the Saints got a little luck in the NFL Draft as the Houston Texans passed up on Heisman Winner Reggie Bush, allowing the Saints to select the Running Back who has talent that has been labeled can't miss.

: With a new Coach Sean Payton, a new Quarterback Drew Brees, and Rookie Running Back Reggie Bush, who was labeled can't miss the Saints looked forward to their return to New Orleans, as the Louisiana Superdome underwent a $185 Million renovation to fix the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Before coming home the Saints started the season on the road with two wins, as Drew Brees showed no ill effects from the shoulder injury he suffered at the end of the previous season with the San Diego Chargers. The home coming on September 25th would become more than just a football game as a pre-game concert featuring U2, Green Day, and the Goo Goo Dolls became New Orleans way of announcing to the world that it was back in business despite many parts of the city still far from recovered from the worst natural disaster in the history of the USA. With a sold out crowd in the Superdome and over 10 million watching at home, the second highest cable telecast in television history began with a bang for the fired up Saints as they scored a Touchdown on a blocked punt just 90 seconds into the game as they cruised to a 23-3 win over the Atlanta Falcons, in a loud dome that's only moment of silence came during a memorial for Katrina's Victims. After such an emotional win the Saints had to have a letdown and that would come in the form of a 21-18 loss to the Carolina Panthers on the road. A week later back at the Superdome the Saints found themselves trailing again with less than five minutes to play, when Reggie Bush showed fans just what the hype was all about as he returned a punt 65 yards for a Touchdown to give the Saints a 24-21 win. The following week there were more dramatics at the Superdome, as the Saints improved to 5-1 with a 31-yard Field Goal by John Carney as time expired in a 27-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Saints would hit a rough stretch losing three of their next four games. However, the team that became the symbol for renewed hope in a devastated city recovered with three impressive wins in a row to put themselves in the driver's seat for a division title, which they would win with a 10-6 record, earning a first round bye in the process. The Saints incredible season would earn Coach of the Year honors for Sean Payton, as Quarterback Drew finished second in NFL MVP voting with 4,418 yards passing and 26 Touchdowns while only throwing 11 interceptions. Helping Brees lead the Saints offense were two rookies picked on opposite ends of the draft as Reggie Bush, the second overall pick who shared the backfield with Deuce McAllister, had a solid rookie season with 1,297 APY and eight Touchdowns from scrimmage while also returning two punts for Touchdown was joined by Wide Receiver Marques Colston who was selected 252nd out of 255 led the team with 1,038 receiving yards with eight Touchdowns. The playoffs brought a rematch with the Eagles, which for the first 30 minutes was not going the Saints way as the Eagles held a 14-13 lead at halftime, as Reggie Bush had his bell rung early, before scoring a Touchdown in the second quarter. Things would not get much better at the start of the 3rd Quarter as Brian Westbrook extended the lead to 21-13 with a 62-yard Touchdown run. However, the Saints would respond with a Deuce McCallister Touchdown run less than five minutes later. McCallister would strike end at the end of the 3rd Quarter giving the Saints a lead on an 11-yard screen pass from Drew Brees. The Eagles would cut the lead to 27-24 on a David Akers field goal in the 4th Quarter, but the Saints defense would hold the lead the rest of the way as the Saints reached the NFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history. Facing the Chicago Bears on a snowy day at Soldier Field, the Saints dug a deep hole early as mistakes early led the Bears to a 16-0 lead. However, just before halftime the Saints got some momentum as Brees found Colston in the end zone for a 13-yard Touchdown pass. The momentum would carry over into the second half as Brees found Reggie Bush open on a screen pass that the Running Back to down the field for an 88-yard Touchdown catch and run doing a tumble salt into the end zone. After stopping the Bears on a three and out the Saints had a shot to take the lead as Billy Cundiff lined up for a 47-yard Field Goal attempt that feel short. From there the game would be all downhill as the Saints defense stopped the Bears again, but found themselves backed up to their own end zone when they got the ball back, as Brees was called for intentional grounding in the end zone giving the Bears a safety. The Bears would close the game with three unanswered Touchdowns in the 4th Quarter to advance to Super Bowl XLI with a 39-14 win.

: Coming off their trip to the NFC Championship Game, the Saints began the season with Super expectations. However, early on there were signs the Saints had many holes to fill before they could meet those expectations as their season began with a 41-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in a primetime special kickoff on Thursday Night. Early on the Saints played well against the defending Super Bowl Champions, as they were tied at the half 10-10. However, after halftime the Colts high powered offense exposed the Saints secondary for 31 unanswered points. A week later things were not much better as the Saints were torched by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-14. Finally returning home, the Saints continued to struggle losing 31-14 again this time to the Tennessee Titans. After the bye week the 0-3 Saints hoped they could get back on track as they faced the Carolina Panthers. However, the Panthers scored ten points in the final four minutes, including a 52-yard Field Goal by John Kasay as time expired to beat the Saints 16-13. Going to Seattle 0-4 things looked bleak for the Saints, as few road teams ever beat the Seahawks at Qwest Field. However, the Saints were simply due, as Drew Brees passed for 246 yards with two touchdowns to stun the Seahawks 28-17 for their first win of the season. That win would be a springboard for the Saints as they would win four in a row to reach .500. However, just as quickly as the Saints got things turnaround, they fell apart again as they were stunned by the St. Louis Rams at the Superdome 37-29. Following another bad loss to the Houston Texans the Saints avenged an earlier loss by beating the Panthers in Carolina 31-6, as they entered a match up with the Buccaneers at home, still having an outside shot at a division title. However, a Luke McNown four yard Touchdown pass to Jerramy Stevens with 14 seconds left sealed the Saints fait as the Bucs beat the Saints again 27-23. The Saints would end the year by splitting their final four games as they finished with a disappointing record of 7-9.

: Coming off a disappoint season the Saints hoped to rebound reclaim the NFC South Division Title. Although reality sent NOLA residents a chilling reminder as Hurricane Gustav forced another mass evacuation. This time however, the residents of New Orleans were largely spared as the Hurricane went south and made land fall in Texas. When the season began, it was Quarterback Drew Brees who was leading the Saints to a 24-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Superdome, passing for 343 yards with three Touchdown passes in the opener. Brees would be the story for the Saints all year as he passed for 5,069 yards with 34 Touchdowns, winning Offensive Player of the Year honors. However, the Saints often porous defense would be an Achilles heel, as the Saints could never find the consistency needed to make a serious push for the playoffs. On October 26th they would make history, by beating the San Diego Chargers 37-32, with Brees passing for 339 yards with Three Touchdowns in a game played in London. However, the win at the season's midway point only improved the Saints to 4-4. That would be the theme all year as the Saints never were more than one game over or one game under .500, as they finished in last place in the strong NFC South with an 8-8 record.

2009: The 2009 New Orleans Saints season is the franchise's 43rd season in the National Football League (NFL) and the most successful in franchise history in which they won Super Bowl XLIV. The Saints recorded a franchise record 13 victories, an improvement on their 8–8 record and fourth place finish in the National Football Conference (NFC)'s southern division from 2008. As a result, the Saints returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. For head coach Sean Payton, this was his fourth season with the franchise, commanding a club overall record of 36–24. After becoming 8–0 with their win over the Carolina Panthers on November 8, it marked the Saints' best start to a season in its franchise history. They would go on to set the record for the longest undefeated season opening (13–0) by an NFC team since the AFL–NFL merger, eclipsing the previous record (12–0) held by the 1985 Chicago Bears.

Although losing the last three games of the season to finish 13–3, the team clinched a playoff berth, a bye in the first round of the playoffs, and (for the first time in Saints franchise history) the top seed in the NFC. The Saints defeated the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Divisional playoffs, and proceeded to host the NFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history. There, they defeated the Minnesota Vikings to face the Indianapolis Colts at Super Bowl XLIV in the franchise's first-ever Super Bowl appearance, which they won to give the city of New Orleans its first world championship.   Although five Saints were elected to the Pro Bowl (with two others added as injury replacements), since the game was held one week prior to Super Bowl XLIV, they did not participate.

Tom Fears 1967-1970
J.D. Roberts 1970-1972
John North 1973-1975
Ernie Hefferle 1975
Hank Stram 1976-1977
Dick Nolan 1978-1980
Dick Stanfel 1980
Bum Phillips 1981-1985
Wade Phillips 1985
Jim Mora 1986-1996
Rick Venturi 1996        
Mike Ditka 1997-1999
Jim Haslett 2000-2005
Sean Payton 2006-Present

 Hall of Famers:

Doug Atkins DE 1967-1969
Earl Campbell RB 1984-1985
Jim Finks GM 1986-1993
Rickey Jackson LB 1981-1993
Hank Stram Coach 1976-1977
Jim Taylor FB 1967

 Retired Numbers:
31 Jim Taylor  FB 1967
57 Ricky Jackson LB 1981-1993
81 Doug Atkins DE 1967-1969

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