The New Orleans Saints have been a championship contender for the last decade, perennially vying for one of the top spots in the NFC. No season in the team’s history, however, has eclipsed their 2009 run in which they won the Super Bowl. There’s one trait that may point to this year’s Saints squad being similar to that 2009 edition. But what exactly do they have in common? (Note: All statistics and results valid through games played before November 10, 2019).
The 2019 New Orleans Saints’ season
Through eight games, the 2019 Saints were sitting pretty at 7-1. The team didn’t miss a beat when veteran starter Drew Brees went down with a thumb injury, inserting the more than capable backup Teddy Bridgewater. Here’s how they’ve performed:
- 7-1 win-loss record
- 195 points scored (15th in the NFL)
- 156 points allowed (10th in the league)
- 3,002 total yards on offense
- 2,532 total yards allowed on defense
- 2,088 passing yards
- 1,858 passing yards allowed
- 914 rushing yards
- 674 rushing yards allowed
The 2009 New Orleans Saints’ season overview
The Saints’ 2009 season culminated in a thrilling victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game followed by an even more thrilling victory over the Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl. Here’s how they performed during the 2009 regular season:
- 13-3 win-loss record
- 510 points scored – First in the league
- 341 points allowed – 20th in the league
- 6,461 total yards on offense
- 5,724 total yards allowed on defense
- 4,355 passing yards
- 3,769 passing yards allowed
- 2,106 rushing yards
- 1,955 rushing yards allowed
The 2009 Saints had a tremendous offense and a bend but don’t break defense that specialized in forcing turnovers. The unit finished with 26 interceptions and 15 forced fumbles that season. Their two biggest turnovers came in the playoffs.
The first came in the NFC championship game when Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre threw an interception at the end of regulation to defensive back Tracy Porter. The Saints defense forced overtime, and they eventually won the game to go to the Super Bowl. They also forced six fumbles in the game, further showing their ability to create takeaways.
The second came in Super Bowl XLIV when Porter again made a play. That time, he made a game-clinching interception thrown by Peyton Manning, returning it for a touchdown. The Saints won the game 31-17.
What the 2019 Saints have in common with the 2009 team
According to a piece on FanSided, one of the biggest similarities between the Saints of ’19 and the Saints of ’09 (other than the quarterback, of course)? Their defense, which has been incredibly effective this year:
“The cornerstone of any defense is stopping the run. Through eight games, the Saints have given up 674 rushing yards for an average of 82 yards per game. Additionally, they have not allowed a 100-yard rusher. Equally as impressive are the seven touchdowns allowed on the ground.
For comparison, in ’09, New Orleans allowed eleven rushing touchdowns while giving up an average of 112 rushing yards per game. Rushing yards and touchdowns allowed aren’t the only categories this year’s defense ranks better in.”
The Saints are pretty famously known for their ability to move the ball downfield with ease on offense. But it may be their defensive prowess this season that gets them back into the Super Bowl.