Text Us: 870870
Studio: (504)260.1870
Toll Free: (866)889.0870
A   A   A
 Follow 
Share

Saints say experience, talent trumps seeding



METAIRIE, La. (AP) Pierre Thomas and the New Orleans Saints aren't too keen on playing the underdog role in the playoffs.

They've had too much success over most of the past half-decade to see themselves that way, even if they needed until the final day of the regular season to wrap up the last playoff seed in the NFC.

"If we were a sixth seed, if we were a first seed, we're going to come at these playoffs the same way," Thomas said Monday, as the Saints began preparations for Saturday night's wild card-round game in Philadelphia. "We're going to get the job done. We're going to stay focused. We know everything is on the line at this point. So we're going to have to take this game serious, which we will, and just go out here and play our game."

Thomas said the Saints essentially went into playoff mode last week while preparing for their regular-season finale against Tampa Bay - a game they had to win to assure themselves of a playoff spot. The Saints rolled up 468 yards of offense, while New Orleans' defense allowed only a field goal in the second half of a 42-17 demolition of the Buccaneers.

As it turned out, Arizona's narrow loss to San Francisco would have put New Orleans in the postseason regardless, but the Saints wanted to finish the season in good form after losing the previous two weeks.

"We have to come out here and put everything on the line just like we did against Tampa," Thomas said. "If we play the way we did and stay focused and hit on all cylinders, then we're going to be a tough out."

Then again, if history - both recent and otherwise - is any guide, the Saints will be out of the playoffs sooner than later.

The Saints went 3-5 on the road this season, losing five of their last six outside the Superdome. If the Saints overcome their road woes against the Eagles, it will mark the first playoff victory in an opponent's stadium in franchise history. The Saints are 0-5 in such games in their 47-years as an NFL franchise.

Since Sean Payton took over as head coach in 2006, the Saints have gone 0-3 as the visiting team in the playoffs, losing at Chicago (2006-07 NFC title game), at Seattle (2010-11 wild card round) and at San Francisco (2011-12 divisional round).

Yet Payton and his players don't buy the notion that history can dictate how they play. If anything, they've made a mockery of questions about their road struggles by talking about changing up everything from the way they dress to the color of sports drink they imbibe on the road.

"The red Gatorade that we have been drinking and the orange obviously isn't doing it, so we are going to switch I think to green," Payton said Monday. "The night before, what we eat, I think is going to be changed up a bit and how we dress is going to be different. Those are things that are important."

Beyond that, the Saints are largely shrugging off questions about how they slid to a sixth seed after starting 9-2, or the fact that they have to win three straight road games to get to the Super Bowl.

"We're in the postseason. That's all that matters," said outside linebacker Junior Galette, who had two sacks on Sunday. "It gives us a chance to go get a ring, so that's it."

On offense, the Saints still have a number of key players who've been with Payton since his hiring in New Orleans. Drew Brees has thrown for more yards than any NFL quarterback since then, eclipsing 5,000 yards in a season for an unprecedented fourth time this season. Receivers Marques Colston and Lance Moore won a Super Bowl with Brees in the 2009 season, as did Thomas, as steady a running back as the Saints have had. Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham in now on his third playoff team in New Orleans and Darren Sproles his second.

"It is hard to keep rosters together in today's NFL and I think that we've been fortunate with the health number one and the durability of a lot of these players," Payton said. "We still have that veteran leadership that has been in these types of games."

And that is why players such as Thomas balk at the thought of being considered an underdog, even if the odds makers have listed the Eagles as slight favorites.

"We're comfortable with our situation," Thomas said. "It's going to show what type of team we really are."

A   A   A
 Follow 
Share
Deke's Blog
Deke: Mainieri and Tigers back on track
Just two weeks ago LSU's baseball team was coming off a week of action in which they did not win a single game. Since then the Tigers won seven of their last eight games. "We did not play our best, but we did what we needed to do to win the series....
Read More
Deke: LSU QB Harris looks like a star in the making
Some of his passes were overthrown; others too short and he was only 11-of-28 in pass attempts, BUT after watching freshman QB Brandon Harris at the LSU spring football game, I came away impressed. Certainly you have to realize Harris was in a...
Read More
Deke: Ahead of LSU spring game, Les Miles "likes where we are"
The LSU Tigers will conclude spring football practice this weekend as they hold their annual L-Club spring game, and Coach Miles joined me on "Sports Talk" Wednesday to talk about their preparations. "I think we've been able to get in some quality...
Read More
Deke: LSU's Mainieri says "We'll be ok"
In his days of coaching the game, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri has not often had weeks in which his team did not win a single game. "Wasn't much fun, I can tell you that. Let's hope we don't experience that again." Mainieri was talking about the...
Read More
Deke: New Saints FB Erik Lorig greets us with a "Who Dat?"
To Saints fans, there is no better way to start off than by saying “Who Dat!”  Well, new Saints fullback Erik Lorig sounded off with a big “Who Dat” as he spoke with me and Bobby for the first time on Wednesday’s Sports...
Read More
Hokie's Blog
Bobby's Blog
Kristian's Blog
Kristian: Saints make solid decision keeping Meachem
The Saints announced today that they've re-signed wide receiver Robert Meachem on a 1 year deal. Meachem rejoined the Saints last season after spending 2012 with the San Diego Chargers. Meachem played in 15 games in 2013 for New Orleans and...
Read More
Kristian: Jonathan Goodwin visiting with Saints
Veteran center Jonathan Goodwin is making a free-agency visit with the Saints this week after spending three years in San Francisco. Black & Gold fans will remember that Goodwin was starting center for the Super Bowl-winning 2009 squad. Of course, the...
Read More
Kristian: Bush recoups fine money from Harvin hit
Saints safety Rafael Bush is $21,000 dollars richer today after successfully appealing a fine from the NFL for his hit on Seahawks WR Percy Harvin in the divisional play off game this past January. I just realized it took me 3 months to appeal my...
Read More
Kristian: Saints play money game, again
The entire Saints coaching staff descended upon Baton Rouge for LSU Pro Day, including Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis (who, by the way, I'm convinced has Secret Service and CIA-level technology to get in touch with agents and the who's who...
Read More
Kristian: Rafael Bush still a Saint
The New Orleans Saints have matched the 2-year $4.5 million dollar restricted free agent offer for safety Rafael Bush. The Atlanta Falcons signed Bush to an offer sheet last week. I'm still a saint yep — rafael bush (@rbush36) April...
Read More
NFL Draft

Team News
Saints Schedule
Team Leaders
Division Standings
NFC Standings
ADVERTISEMENT

FACEBOOK

1 Thing

Contact Us

Contests

WWL iPhone App

Powered By InterTech Media, LLC™