Opinion

With Saints a win away from Atlanta's Super Bowl, Falcons fans on edge

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(AP Photo/David Goldman)

By: Tyler Estep, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | WSBTV.com

ATLANTA - The New Orleans Saints are just one win away from playing in the Super Bowl right here in Atlanta, in the gleaming new stadium that’s home to their biggest, albeit title-less rival.

And if they’re being honest, long-suffering Falcons fans from the mayor on down really would prefer to see the Saints fail to punch their proverbial ticket. Even for a city that’s grown accustomed to having sports-related disappointment and despair delivered in extraordinary fashion, this would be a new level of indignity.

“All I can say is, we don’t need no ‘who...

Generation gap: Saints fandom a vastly different experience for fans over the years

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AP Photo - Bill Haber

By Chad Calder | The Advocate

Ryan Lemons doesn’t know about the paper bags.

Born just weeks after the New Orleans Saints’ 2010 Super Bowl victory, he’s known only Drew Brees at quarterback, a high-octane offense and a team that, even in a bad year, will at least give you a win for every loss.

Waiting for a streetcar after Friday’s pep rally for the Saints' NFC Championship game Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, Ryan’s mother, Shara Stokes, decides to let her son in on a dark chapter in the team’s past.

“The Saints? It was bad,” she explained over the din of a cheerful crowd. “They used to always lose and people...

Nomadic Rams, having jilted home cities twice, have complicated relationship with fan base

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By Bryn Stole | The Advocate

The Rams have broken hearts and left behind bitter fans in two different cities — in St. Louis, where the team spent 21 years, won a Super Bowl and then split town in a nasty divorce, and in Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest city and team’s original home from 1946 to 1995, where the Rams built and lost a fan base before returning three seasons ago.

Steering the ship through those choppy waters were two controversial owners, each beloved in one town and reviled in the other, each of whom dragged the Rams halfway across the country in pursuit of new stadiums and better fortunes.

The Saints, too, once seemed like they...

Intuitive, confident head coaches power Saints, Rams offenses

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(Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

By Luke Johnson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The down and distance, the spot on the field, the defense they’re anticipating — everything has been talked through, dissected, drilled and factored into the game plan. All that remains is the call.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton looks down at his creation, a two-sided, color-coded and laminated play sheet with a few notes scribbled onto it in marker. The choices are extensive, the writing so small that it is hard to read. The play clock ticks as Payton quickly calculates the variables and lands on what his preparation and...

Will the Saints and Rams get into another shootout? Dat Chat Predictions Show

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By NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

In Week 9, the New Orleans Saints handed the Los Angeles Rams their first loss of the season with a 45-35 victory at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. On Sunday (Jan. 20), the stakes are much greater as the winner of the rematch advances to Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta.

Will the NFC Championship Game be another shootout between the two offensive juggernauts? Can the Saints stop running back Todd Gurley and the Rams' offense? Does New Orleans' ailing offensive line have an answer for slowing defensive tackle Aaron Donald? And who will win the AFC championship? ...

Saints will rout the Rams and reach the Super Bowl. Here are 5 reasons why.

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Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The Los Angeles Rams say they are ready for the New Orleans Saints.

They insist the Mercedes-Benz Superdome crowd noise will be a nonfactor in their rematch with the Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

But I think otherwise. They sound like they are trying to convince themselves that everything’s going to be OK. They sound to me like a team in denial.

The Saints are in their heads. And trust me, the sellout crowd of 73,000 will be in their ears on Sunday.

Five reasons why the Saints will win:

1. The Dome-field advantage is not a...

Saints facing unexpected looks on defense has made them masters of adjusting on the fly

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Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD

By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

The New Orleans Saints like to think they get everyone's best effort.

They spend every week watching an opponent do one thing, only to end up seeing something completely different on Sunday. The only thing that surprises the Saints is when there are no surprises.

“We always think teams do things we’ve never seen before when they come see us,” tight end Benjamin Watson said. “We know they want to take people out of the game, but we’ll get a team, and they play man and all of the sudden they’re playing zone.”

That’s part of football — especially when Sean Payton...

Winning Saints season is all gravy for New Orleans restaurants, bars, groceries

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Saints fans at a pep rally before the Saints vs. Eagles game on Jan. 13, 2019. Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

By Ann Maloney | NOLA.com

Everybody loves a winner, and that includes New Orleans area restaurateurs, bakers and grocers who see a serious uptick in business when the New Orleans Saints have a successful season.

“The minute we made the play-offs, all of the business owners were cheering,” said Kelly Fields of Willa Jean at 611 O'Keefe Ave. in the Central Business District.

Fields estimates that, throughout the season, on winning game nights the restaurant takes in 500 percent more revenue than it would on...

Three Lessons In 'Winning' From A Fake Punt: The New Orleans Saints Story

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New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

By Don Yaeger - Contributor | Forbes

When your team finds the moment slipping away when all of the energy is flowing against you and it feels like the day just isn’t going to be yours, how do you change momentum?

Do you seek the wisdom of a mentor? Follow conventional wisdom? Circle the wagons and declare that you’ll live to fight again another day?

Not if you’re Sean Payton.

If you’re the New Orleans Saints head coach, you listen to your punter.

While plenty of people are writing about the Saints’ come-from-behind victory on Sunday or discussing one of their offensive...

Saints need complete team effort after rusty divisional performance

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(Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network)

By Kevin Foote | The Advertiser

The optimistic New Orleans Saints fan was hoping the extra rest would rejuvenate the NFC’s No. 1 seed in the postseason.

As it turned out, way too many areas went a different direction from the 13-win regular season in Sunday’s 20-14 heart-stopping victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

But a few things remained the same.

More: Saints defense optimistic it can hold up without Rankins

The most obvious mainstays were the job the defense did over the final three quarters and the outstanding play of wide receiver Michael Thomas.

It’s an approach that’s carried the...

Grades from the Saints' 20-14 win against the Eagles in the NFC playoffs

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By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Quarterbacks

Drew Brees shook off a slow start, including an interception on the game's first snap, to complete 28 of 38 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns. His passer rating of 103.1 was impressive. Brees was masterful in the pocket, avoiding the Eagles' rush with crafty footwork to buy time so he could find open receivers against the Philly zone coverage. Time and again, he riddled the Eagles on third down, going 6 for 6 for 96 yards, including completions of 22, 21 and 20 yards to Michael Thomas. Brees admitted he underthrew Taysom Hill on a post route in...

Risk-taking Saints advance to host Rams for NFC title

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By Brett Martel - AP | ABC News

Coach Sean Payton the New Orleans Saints are anything but risk averse.

After all, Payton's Saints won a Super Bowl with the help of a surprise onside kick nine years ago, and now New Orleans is one home victory away from its first Super Bowl since then — thanks to a pair of aggressive and pivotal fourth-down play calls when the Saints were trying to come back from a two-touchdown deficit.

"We needed to shift momentum and we were able to, fortunately, and take advantage of it," said Payton, who's bound to carry that approach into the NFC title game against the Los Angeles Rams next weekend.

Facing fourth-and-short on...

Giants exiled Eli Apple to the Saints and made him a winner

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Eli Apple tackles Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate on Sunday during the Saints' NFC divisional-playoff win. AP

By Paul Schwartz | New York Post

NEW ORLEANS — He did not mean to say it exactly the way it came out, but it sounded so good, so perfect that Eli Apple might as well have planned each syllable and every word.

No, he revealed, he was not “really shocked’’ when the Giants traded him on Oct. 23, forsaking one of their former first-round picks, giving up on the 10th-overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft at the tender age of 23. Teams usually hang onto their own players with such pedigree, but the Giants have a new front...

6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

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Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

By Jeff Duncan | NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints rallied from an early deficit to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 in the NFC Divisional playoffs Sunday (Jan. 13) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The victory advances the Saints to the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday (Jan. 20) at 2:05 p.m. It's only the third NFC Championship Game appearance in Saints club history.

A look at my takeaways from the big win:

1. The game-winning drive was an all-timer

Drives don't get any better or more dominant than the one the Saints compiled...

Saints vs. Eagles: What went right, what went wrong

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NOLA.com Photo

By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

The New Orleans Saints overcame a terrible first quarter to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 20-14, and advance to the NFC Championship Game next Sunday (Jan. 20) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Despite trailing 14-0 in the first quarter, the Saints proved to be resilient as the offense found its footing and the defense completely shut down the Eagles in the final three quarters.

What went right: The Saints took their first lead, 17-14, with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter after an incredible 18-play drive that last 11 minutes, 29 minutes. The drive included three...

Eagles revenge is subplot in rematch versus Saints

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Photo - AP/Getty images

By Paul Schwartz | New York Post

NEW ORLEANS — Get the feeling the Eagles want to distance themselves as far as possible from the last time they tangled with the Saints?

Eagles coach Doug Pederson said, “You have to push the eject button.’’ He also said, “You flush it.’’ This might be easier said than done.

As different as the Eagles believe they are from the struggling team that staggered out of Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Nov. 18 on the wrong end of a 48-7 humbling, at least a few memories of that shellacking are sure to infiltrate their minds and emotions Sunday afternoon in an NFC divisional playoff game at a...

5 ways the Eagles are different (read better) since 48-7 loss to Saints in November

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(Photo: Bill Feig, AP)

Martin Frank | Delaware News Journal

PHILADELPHIA – The Eagles haven't forgotten their last trip to New Orleans, when they were thoroughly embarrassed 48-7 by the Saints on Nov. 18.

They fell behind 17-0 early in the game, 31-7 early in the third quarter. They lost several players to injury.

It was a disaster in every way possible.

As Eagles' defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz put it, "There were some good plays in there. They were hard to find."

By the time the game was over, the Eagles' record was 4-6. They were mired in third place in the NFC East, one game ahead of the last-place Giants. The possibility of a...

50 seasons with the New Orleans Saints: From their perch in the control booth, Romigs have seen it all

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Advocate Staff photo by Jeff Strout

BY SUE STRACHAN | The Advocate

TOUCCCCHDOOWWNN SAAAINTS!”

The triumphant cry resounded through the cavernous Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and the crowd answered with cheers that almost drowned it out.

The man behind the microphone, Mark Romig, is part of a family, starting with his late father, Jerry Romig, that has been entwined with New Orleans Saints history for 50 football seasons this year.

And while the game against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 30 wasn’t memorable — the Saints lost — the crew of nine in the house control booth, aka the Jerry Romig Suite — were unwavering in their attention.

They...

Underhill: Saints film room: Here are 3 things likely to change in rematch with Eagles

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Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD

By Nick Underhill | The Advocate

Another missed field goal played to the Saints' favor.

New Orleans was either going to play Philadelphia, a team it beat by 41 points, or Dallas, a team that handled the Saints in a way it hasn’t been handled in a long time. The Saints would have been favored in either game, but having the Eagles come to the Superdome for Sunday’s playoff game has to be considered the better of two outcomes.

Now, of course, all the prerequisites are required. These teams are different from the ones that played in November. The Saints offense peaked against Philadelphia and endured...

Forecast: Believe! Don't let fear ruin this season

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Link to Video

Why so much alarm by some Saints fans?

Author: Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer | WWLTV.com

The internet seems to affect everything these days, from friendships, to elections, to what we buy, watch and eat, even our mood regarding the 2018 New Orleans Saints.

If the people emailing me and chatting with me on social media are any indication, there seems to be a strain of panic running through Who Dat Nation.

Maybe my memory has faded and I’m not remembering the 2009 Saints correctly, but I...


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