Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
By Josh Katzenstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
The New Orleans Saints have never been in this situation.
Sure, in 2009, they were the best team in the NFC, finishing 13-3 to earn the No. 1 seed. That performance in the regular season produced Super Bowl expectations, both internally and externally.
Those expectations existed in 2011, when the Saints were 13-3. They were there in 2006, for the 10-6 team that was the No. 2 seed and eventually made it to the NFC Championship game. Frankly, every Saints team that has made it to the postseason, and even a few that haven’t, have at some point experienced heightened expectations.
The difference this year, at least as far as record, is that the Saints are the best team this late in the season. At 12-2, the Saints have the best record in the NFL, and no other team matches it.
The only other time in the Saints’ 52-year history that they had the unmatched best record in the NFL was in 1993 when they were 5-0. They finished that season 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
How sports teams — and people in general — handle adversity often determines success, but the Saints have a new challenge this year. ...
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