New Orleans Saints get opportunity to disprove doubters By Jeff Duncan, The Times-Picayune

It sounds crazy but the Atlanta Falcons' victory against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday might be the best thing for the New Orleans Saints.

Now the Saints have their work cut out for them.

Now they have the entire football world discounting their chances of defending their Super Bowl title.

Now they have the challenge of a lifetime in front of their face masks.

In their long and somewhat tortured 43-year history, the Saints have never won a playoff game outside of the Superdome. OK, so the body of work consists of just three games. Regardless, they are 0-3 in those contests.

Now, thanks to a 23-13 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Superdome on Sunday and Atlanta's victory, they'll likely have to win three road playoff games just to get back to the Super Bowl to defend their championship, starting Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against the Seattle Seahawks. It's a daunting task but one the Saints (11-5) appear to welcome as they begin the second season.

"This is our moment coming up," Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. "This is an opportunity for our organization to do something they've never done before."