New Orleans Saints: The 5 Best Teams in Franchise History
The New Orleans Saints history is not exactly great.
Before the Sean Payton/Drew Brees era, the Saints seasons were filled with mediocrity and disappointment.
Recently, the Saints have become one of the most consistent and stable franchises in the NFL.
With that being said, what is the best team in the Saints' franchise history? We know which was the most successful, but out of every Saints team in history, which would be considered the best?
Here's a look at the top five.
5. 2006 Saints
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This is probably one of the most memorable season in New Orleans Saints history. It is definitely one of the most monumental. Before the season started, the Saints brought in Sean Payton and Drew Brees. Loomis and Payton also put together one of the best drafts in Saints history when drafting Reggie Bush, Roman Harper, Jahri Evans, Zach Strief and Marques Coston.
This team finished the season at 10-6 and went on to the NFC championship game where they lost to the Bears 39-14. Despite the harsh loss in Chicago, this season was very much a success. The team was revolutionary.
The offense took the league by storm, especially Drew Brees and the passing game. The offense finished 19th in the rush and first in the pass. The offense was also No. 1 in the league and fifth in scoring. The defense struggled at times against the run but finished 11th overall and third against the pass.
At times, this team struggled like the New Orleans Saints of old. Only one of the five games they lost came to a team that finished with a winning record.
However, the '06 Saints are one of the best teams in Saints history and set the path for the Saints that we see now.
4. 2010 Saints
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This team is known for one thing and one thing only. That would be losing to a 7-9 Seahawks team in the Wild-Card round of the NFC playoffs. Better yet, this team is known for letting Marshawn Lynch run over nearly the whole defense on his way to the end zone.
This Saints team may be one of the biggest underachievers in NFL history.
However, it is also one of the best Saints teams in history.
Statistically, this may be the greatest Saints team ever. The offense finished sixth overall and 11th in points scored. The defense finished fourth overall and seventh in points allowed. The team finished the season 11-5, second in the NFC South.
Besides the two uncharacteristic losses, the Saints lost in overtime to a 13-3 Atlanta Falcons team and they lost at Baltimore to a 12-4 Ravens team. The Saints also lost to the 10-6 Buccaneers in week 17.
In the playoffs, the Saints seemed unable to put the Seahawks away, and despite how badly they played in the game, only lost by five points.
If you are a Saints fan, then you know what I am talking about. The Saints can play their worst football game of the year and still be in the game until the very last second. It is an uncanny ability seen often in the Saints.
This 2010 team had all the talent to win a Super Bowl but underperformed during crucial parts of the year. Despite the poor games, the 2010 Saints team are still one of the best in history.
3. 1991 Saints
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The 1991 New Orleans Saints lived off of their defense. The '91 Saints defense finished second against the rush, second against the pass and second overall. They also were first in the NFL in points allowed.
The offense wasn't dreadful, finishing 15th overall and eighth in the league in scoring.
This saints team finished the season with an 11-5 record. Of their five losses, four came to teams with a record of 10-6 or better. Three of the teams they lost to went on to the playoffs.
However, this team was an odd one, to say the least. Bobby Hebert and Steve Walsh split the role of quarterback and both struggled at various times. Time at the running back position was split between Fred McAfee and Gill Fenerty.
The offense definitely had its problems, but the defense seemed as if it could do no wrong. It included linebackers Pat Swilling and Rickey Jackson who had 17 and 11.5 sacks, respectively. Gene Atkins and Vince Buck each had five interceptions.
The Saints lost to the Atlanta Falcons 27-20 in the Wild-Card round of the playoffs. If this Saints team had a little bit better of an offense, we may be talking about it as the best in Saints history.
2. 2009 Saints
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The 2009 Saints team is definitely the most successful in franchise history. It won the Saints' first Super Bowl and caused the biggest celebration ever on Bourbon Street.
This Saints team may have been the most balanced team on offense in Saints history. They finished No. 1 overall, with the fourth-best passing attack and sixth-best running the ball.
The defense's statistics are a bit misleading. They finished 25th overall but led the league in turnovers and touchdowns. The best word to describe that defensive unit is opportunistic.
The 2009 Saints finished the regular season at 13-3. The Saints started 13-0 and lost their last three games. Their first loss of the season was to an 11-5 Cowboys team that later lost in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Saints also lost in overtime to the Buccaneers and in Week 17 to the Carolina Panthers (the Saints sat their starters).
Going into the playoffs, the media believed that the Saints were cold and possibly going to lose in their first game. The Saints answered by beating the Arizona Cardinals 45-17. The Saints won a close NFC championship game against the Vikings, thanks to a late interception by Brett Favre. They went on to win Super Bowl XLIV 31-17 against the Indianapolis Colts.
The 2009 Saints will always be remembered in the hearts of Saints fans because they brought home the first Lombardi trophy to the Who Dat Nation. However, they are not the best. The best team in Saints history is....
1. 1992 Saints
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The 1992 Saints team would have won a Super Bowl if the Cowboys and 49ers weren't dynasties at that point. This team is the best in Saints history.
The '92 Saints finished the season at 12-4. All four of their losses came to eventual playoff teams. The Saints first loss of 1992 came to a Philadelphia Eagles team that finished the season at 11-5 and made it to the divisional round of the playoffs.
The Saints second and third losses of the season came to the San Francisco 49ers who finished 1992 at 14-2 and played in the NFC championship game.
The Saints final loss of the '92 regular season came to the Buffalo Bills—a team that finished the season at 11-5 and made it to the Super Bowl.
The Saints four losses came by a combined 13 points.
The '92 Saints defense was unstoppable. They finished the season No. 1 overall, first against the pass and fourth against the run. The offense was respectable, finishing 11th in passing and 10th in rushing. In '92, the Saints allowed the least points in the NFL and scored the 10th most.
This Saints team made the Wild-Card spot but lost in its first playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
If the '92 Saints would have been playing in a different season, they could have won the Super Bowl. This team had the most talent of any Saints team, ever. The 1992 Saints are the best in franchise history.
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This Saints team is memorable because it won the Saints first playoff game in franchise history.
This team finished 10th overall in offense and eighth overall in defense. They finished the regular season at 10-6 and beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Rams in St. Louis for the win. After beating the Rams, the Saints lost to the Vikings 34-16 in the divisional round.
This team will forever be remember by Who Dat Nation and will go down as one of the greatest in Saints history.
The '87 Saints finished 12-3 (Week 3 of the season was cancelled due to NFL players' strike). This team was another with a great defense and average offense. The defense finished fourth overall and the offense came in at 14th. This team played well in the regular season but underperformed in the playoffs. The 1987 Saints team lost at home to the Vikings in the Wild-Card round of the playoffs.
This team was one of the best Saints team ever but failed to show up in the playoffs.