NFL New Orleans Saints

2014 NFL Playoffs: 5 Reasons Why You Don’t Want to Face the Saints

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New Orleans Saints Are a Scary Playoff Team

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints have been one of the most puzzling teams in the NFL this season. The Saints went 9-0 at home in New Orleans and simply dominated all of their opponents in the Superdome. However, Sean Payton and his crew have been criticized for their lackluster play when not competing in Louisiana, going 2-5 when playing away this season. Despite their inconsistent play, the Saints are still an incredibly formidable team that any team would not want to play, especially when their whole season hangs in the balance.

The Saints were led by Drew Brees, who has been fantastic yet again this season. He threw 39 touchdowns with only 12 interceptions and passed for over 5,000 yards. He completed 68.6 percent of his passes this season and posted a passer rating of 104.7. Brees has been the heart and soul this team for some time now, and the Saints' success depends on his play throughout the postseason.

Along with the receiving core lead by Jimmy Graham, the Saints' backfield has been solid this year. They rank a measly 25th in the league in rushing yards per game, but it is the receiving out of the backfield that makes them special. Darren Sproles does a great job of catching the ball out of the backfield and makes plays. He caught the ball for 604 yards this season on 8.5 yards per catch.

With all of the things that the Saints have experienced within the past few years concerning the bounty scandal, it would be something to see them make a playoff run and they definitely can.

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Drew Brees

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Drew Brees is one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. Not only does he have large amounts of playoff experience, his poise in the pocket and accuracy make him an incredibly difficult passer to defend against. He has also won a Super Bowl, which isn't too shabby either.

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Saints Have Proven They Can Play in the Cold

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people like to talk down the Saints, saying they don't have what it takes to win in the cold. This is simply a myth, as the Saints defeated the Philadelphia Eagles during 25 degree weather in the recent Wild Card game. Furthermore, Drew Brees does not struggle in the cold. In his five games played in temperatures lower than 32 degrees, Brees has completed 61 percent of his passes, posted 260.8 yards per game and has thrown 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.

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Sean Payton

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Sean Payton is one of the most brilliant offensive coaching minds and play callers in the NFL. During his absence because of the bounty scandal in 2012, the Saints finished last in the division at 7-9. Seeing as they are now playing for a chance at the NFC Championship game, this only shows Payton makes a huge difference when he is on the sideline.

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Jimmy Graham in the Red Zone

Joe Nichols-USA TODAY

In the past few years, Jimmy Graham has emerged as one of the best tight ends in the NFL. When the Saints get into the red zone, opponents should be afraid of what Graham can do. His height and tremendous athletic ability renders him almost impossible to cover, especially since Drew Brees is throwing the football.

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The Defensive Mind of Rob Ryan

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Rob Ryan is a fantastic defensive coordinator. He took the Saints, who were last in the NFL in overall defense, and have turned them into the fourth best defense in the league. In last week's Wild Card game, Ryan's defense only allowed the high-powered Eagles offense to have 256 yards.