METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints coach Sean Payton and players who've been in New Orleans the past few years have endured a cruel kind of three-peat.
Three straight seasons have ended with playoff loses in which the decisive points were scored on the final play. The latest loss Sunday came in overtime against the Minnesota Vikings, who also knocked the Saints out of the playoffs three seasons ago on a 61-yard touchdown as time expired in regulation.
Bouncing back yet again would require a franchise first.
The Saints, who've won the NFC South the past three seasons, have never made the playoffs four years in a row.
Uncertainty surrounds the futures of record-setting quarterback Drew Brees, who turns 41 next week, as well as a handful of other prime contributors who are either becoming free agents or in position to hold out for extensions. ...
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