POSTED Mon. Jan 6, 2014
State of the Saints: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire

Well, that was a nailbiter. The elusive playoff road victory has been a monkey on the Saints’ back since they began (sporadically) making it to the postseason 25 years ago. Yesterday the Saints overcame two interceptions and several defensive injuries to edge out Chip Kelly’s Eagles with a last-second Shayne Graham field goal.

It was a tale of two halves, as both teams combined for just 13 points before halftime. Brees ended the Saints’ third and fifth drives with interceptions, but the defense managed to keep Westlake High alumnus Nick Foles in check for most of the first half, forcing four punts. The second half was nuts.

The defense forced a big three and out to open the third quarter, and it was off to the races for the Saints. Down 6-7, the Saints scored touchdowns on their next two drives, a 24-yard catch-and-run by Lance Moore and a nice 4-yard cutback run from Ingram. The latter filled in for the injured Pierre Thomas and had a good day, notching 97 yards on 18 carries (5.4 YPC), which speaks to the generally great ground game the team ran on Saturday.

The Saints thus found themselves up 20-7 and appeared to be cruising toward a victory. Then their best non-injured defensive back, Keenan Lewis, who had been effectively shutting down Desean Jackson up to this point, sustained a head injury on the following drive as he delivered a big hit on WR Jason Avant. Lewis is a trooper and demanded to be put back in but probably didn’t know what year it was and was replaced by rookie corner Rod Sweeting. Chip Kelly then began to relentlessly attack Sweeting and Corey White, the injured Jabari Greer’s replacement.

The Eagles began to surge, as Jackson immediately came down with a big catch to set up a McCoy rushing TD. Their next drive resulted in a field goal, and things began to look dicey at 20-17. After a big Meachem catch set up Shayne Graham’s third field goal, Philly got the ball back for the drive that would give them the lead for the final time.

This ‘drive’ mainly consisted of Desean Jackson drawing a huge pass interference call on Corey White that put the Eagles at the Saints’ 3-yard line. After a Zach Ertz TD catch, Philly took a 24-23 lead, and the Saints needed to produce a 5-minute drive and score. They mainly used the ground game to march methodically down the field to put Shayne Graham in a position to win the game for us. And he did.

Now that New Orleans has won a playoff game on the road, we will head back to Seattle for a rematch with the team that crushed us five weeks ago. It will be louder and wetter and windier. Generating a run push for Thomas(?)/Ingram/Sproles/Robinson won’t be nearly as easy. And we DEFINITELY will not win with a -2 turnover margin like we did yesterday. The eye is focused on us. It wants the ring.

We just won a road playoff game. So we know victory away from the Dome is possible. Seattle lost at home to the Cardinals in week 16. So we also know that defeating them at home is possible. If the Saints play at or near their highest level, they can win Saturday. In other news, Vegas is favoring the Seahawks by a touchdown, just like they favored Andy Dalton today.

Imahe courtesy of Ron Domingue.


    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



    was added to your favorites.



    Share On Twitter Share On Facebook