It may have taken 47 years, but the New Orleans Saints finally did it—they won a playoff game on the road.
It almost seems hard to believe, especially considering how successful the organization has been since Sean Payton came to town and Drew Brees began taking snaps in 2006. During their Super Bowl run in 2009, New Orleans had the No. 1 seed and played all their playoff games at home in the Superdome. Their appearances in the 2010 and 2011 playoffs saw them losing on the road to the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.
Not only did the Saints win on the road in the playoffs, but they did so in conditions that are less than ideal for their style of play. It was an outside game in the cold, but New Orleans played remarkably well and came away with a narrow victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. There is plenty of reason to celebrate if you are a Saints fan, however, an even bigger hurdle awaits them next week.
New Orleans must now go on the road again and face off against Seattle. Saints fans remember the thrashing New Orleans took at the hands of Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson and their incredibly tough defense. That 34-7 loss was difficult to watch and at the time exposed some of the Saints’ flaws, mainly that New Orleans seems to be a completely different team when playing on the road.
Had New Orleans lost in Philadelphia last night, I think it would have been fair to say that, but the Saints definitely showed some toughness and grit in their win over the Eagles. Though Seattle will be heavily favored to come away with the win next week, the Saints have put themselves into the right position to be victorious and also have the right frame of mind.
It will not be easy for New Orleans, but you just have to have some faith.