Saints stunned season ended so soon

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The Saints had won nine straight games. Heck, they had covered the point spread in nine straight games, which is almost unheard of.

New Orleans didn’t think their season would end Saturday, especially after Jimmy Graham’s second touchdown in the furious final five minutes of the game.

“It stings right now because of the expectation level we had coming into this,” Drew Brees said after the game via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “A tough pill to swallow.”

Ultimately, the 49ers did the little things better. They tackled better. They avoided unforced errors. They put pressure on Brees well until late in the game.

“I never felt so good about a team ever,” tackle Jermon Bushrod said. “So yeah, it felt like ’09. It felt like we had everything going for us. And to have our season end the way that it did. The way we were able to go out there and put our better foot forward (late in the game), it just hurts. It hurts, man.”

Saturday’s game against the 49ers will go down as an all-time classic. It included two teams with legitimate championship hopes and some team had to lose.

Two years after their incredible Super Bowl run, the Saints faced the realization that this wasn’t their year.

“I felt like we had all the pieces in place. I felt like we were playing very, very well,” Brees said. “We were getting better each week. We were healthy. I felt like this was our opportunity to make a run.”

114 responses to “Saints stunned season ended so soon

  1. well it wasn’t the saints year last year either. Maybe if they could run the ball, and instead of throwing for 5 million yards this season, they could win a playoff game.

    and I don’t count the lions/saints as a playoff game because we all knew what was going to happen there

  2. Yes, the offense looks great. The defense played decent. But throw in five turnovers and it doesn’t matter how high octane your team is. When only one team has overcome a -4 turnover margin in playoff history, it is going to be tough to win.

  3. Good, both the fans of N.O. And the media/NFL have attempted to make the Saints “Americas Team” when in real life most of the country finds them arrogant, over-confident and annoying. I loved seeing them feel as though they got slighted by the 49ers by losing. You weren’t ready to make a run, it wasn’t your year and you didn’t have everything going for you because you lost to a better team, fair and square…

    Who dat?

  4. Not a fan of anybody in the NFC but I have to admit I’m disappointed the Saints gave away they’re shot by being so careless with the football. Was really looking forward to a possible Packers-Saints shootout next week.

  5. Had a team ever had 3 guys with 100 yards receiving and lost? Regular season or poatseason? Anybody know?

  6. I think one can make the argument that this Saints team is actually better than the ’09 team. They were both 13-3 I believe. But that team in ’09 had the critical home-field advantage in the playoffs. They didn’t have it this year and I think that is ultimately why they were sent home early.

  7. 49er fans aren’t. This is the most “under the radar” Division Winner this year.

    Oh, and thanks to St.Louis for beating the Saints, they would have won the game had it been in the Superdome.

    Saints fall on the road against NFC West again.

    Here’s to a Giants win and the NFCCG at the ‘Stick next week !

  8. AMAZING game. Hats off to both teams. Niners D played like they did ll year, bend but don’t break. The hits and way they went after the ball was second to none. And Alex Smith (to quote Swingers) “Is all growns up, pawing at the bunnies!!!!!”

  9. Yeah Drew, well, you can always know your yardage record is attached to a one and out. Your obsession with setting the record was embarrassingly transparent. You’re phony as a $3 bill.

  10. they lost. they are finished. now stop talking about breese like he’s the greatest qb ever. he’s done.

  11. There goes the “Experts” theory on a great offense always beats a great run game and a great defense in the playoffs.

    And the other brilliant theory of RB’s are easily replaceable. The Saints run game vanished without Pierre Thomas. Oh, and yeah, how valuable was Frank Gore? Think he’s easily replaceable…… I Think not. Alex Smith was horrible half of the game (2nd and 3rd quarter). But he produced when is counted and you’ve got to give him credit for that.

  12. Well spare us your feelings homeboy cause you’re done along with the rest of the NFC South. See ya next year you classless bunch of stat mongers.

  13. Doesnt help the “can’t win on the road or outside a dome” conversation! Also Id like to hear how brees is too much of a gunslinger, and forces too many throws! That’s right we only say that about Palmer, Favre, and Romo, brees is too likeable I guess

  14. When Alex Smith ran for his TD, I was yelling for him to just go down, run the clock out and kick the FG to win it. Then when Graham scored I thought the same thing. I am glad neither did because we wouldn’t have witnessed such a great ending.

  15. Defense wins championships which is why we could be seeing Giants – 49ers next week. And yes they will be facing the Patriots because their defensive players, Chung, Mayo, are back.

  16. Sorry to tell you, but you didn’t deserve it in 09 either. Vikings were the better team and EVERYONE knows it. NFL gave you the championship!! 5 turnovers and a few calls didn’t go your way? Sounds pretty familiar. What goes around, comes around!!! Go San Fran!!

  17. Good season, but sometimes, its not about the passing records, its about winning on the road, away from the dome.

    They’ll be back in it, but they have to replace Gregg Williams, regardless of him leaving for St. Louis or not. Maybe Mike Nolan returns to where his father once coached.

  18. Bye Greg Williams. Don’t let the door hit your behind on the way to St Louis. That was some horrible D calling the final two minutes of the game.

  19. The 49ers went into to the game thirsty. Its been 10 years since the last win in the playoffs.
    Don’t underestimate the power of a tough and stingy defense.
    Who dat?….49ers

  20. Too bad you can’t take your dome on the road, Brees. The numbers you put up all season were a fantasy, a fraud. Watch Brady on Saturday night in the bitter cold, and 25 mph winds put on a clinic. Watch Rodgers play in freezing Lambeau field today and not be affected by it. THOSE are the real all-world QB’s in this league.

  21. We have a lot to be proud of. We made some mistakes at crucial times against a great team….. But we have nothing to hang our heads for. It is disappointing….. But I can assure you that every Saints hater running his mouth this morning would be more than happy to have this much talent. We are going to keep doing what we do.
    WHO DAT!!!!

  22. Saints are done, now over the hill, and that retirement clock is banging away.

    Watch ’em fall to mediocre next season and have to deal with over paid stars past their prime.

  23. I think it was really nice seeing the Bruce Willis smirk face Sean Payton and the everything went right for me this year Drew Brees get served a big healthy portion of humble pie ,,,enjoy !

  24. Hope the Packers were watching that one.

    There’s a lesson to be learned.

    Can’t take anything for granted.

    Fundamentals count.

    Jints – Packers is a classic NFL match-up.

    Go Pack Go!

  25. So does this mean the Saints are more stunned by going one and out this year against the 49’rs than last years one and out againt those mighty Seahawks?

  26. What happened?

    Didn’t Brees do his simple minded chanting before the game?

    Didn’t Gregg Williams give Jonathan Vilma unprecedented freedom to call and change defensive alignments?

  27. I don’t know if defense still wins championships in this offensive driven league, but I know one thing, bad defense loses championships, as the Saints proved yesterday

  28. If you’re letting Alex Smith march down the field for 50+ yards 3 times in the last 5 mins, and having Vernon Davis, a TE, outrun your secondary coverage over the top, multiple times you deserve to lose.

    Brees and his passing attack are that good, so that wasn’t surprising that they could battle through SF’s defense and make big scores…but for Williams to play the type of defense he did, and the pathetic execution on the field that last 5 mins, is inexcusible against average offensive players on SF.

    Given the debacle last year in Seattle (not just the Lynch run, Seattle lit up NO for 34 other points too, the most SEA got all year) last playoffs, its surprising Williams hasn’t been fired yet.

  29. @breesforpresident – I agree! none of the other teams have a qb with his uniform in NFL Hall of Fame Museum for the all-time passing record. We are STILL the Best! #whodat

  30. 5 turnovers and they’re stunned they lost? Just to be in position to win was amazing enough
    ————————————————–
    Yeah, seriously. I know the Saints defense wasn’t stellar, but they’re getting way too much heat for the loss.

    i wasn’t rooting for the Saints, but one of the reasons i thought they would win as the game went on was because the 49ers were getting a bunch of short fields because of turnovers and only getting FGs out of them.

    It’s a credit to the Niners that they left so many points on the field and still won.

  31. As a neutral, congrats to both teams for putting on a fantastic game; thats why we love the NFL.

    Good to see the Bengals had a big hand in the 9’ers win, by letting them have Just Smith and Ahmad Brooks……..

    Great job Mike Brown…..

  32. If the NY Football Gints Miraculously beat
    the frozenville cheezwhizzeRs,
    they travel to San Fran?

    Mud and guts would be fun.
    SF, a fattened duck
    for Trophy Four.
    To be renamed the Thomas Trophy.

    (settle down fricktards, I be still feeling a bit good about the donkey BBQ)

    So, is GB aware there is a game today?
    not sure NO gave it much thought.
    More than a minor formality, one must actually show up, play.
    That sort of thing.

    a memo for Green and Yeller,
    (missed in Bourbon land, not big readers down there)
    ….

    Shotgun, shoot em for they run now…

  33. A typical sore loser fan would say its a classic case of the better team lost! NINERS have the better all around team hands down!!!!! Lol you guys thought you had it! NINERS baby!!!

  34. So I’m a Falcons fan and I’m having this NFC Championship party next Sunday. I’m having a lot of food and a bunch of friends coming over. Quite of few of my friends are Saints fans. I expect a quiet affair.

  35. They’ve been all offense, little or no defense since Peyton arrived……. Even the Super Season the defense was bailed out with turnovers…… Thank God Williams is leaving……

  36. I guess now they can relate to Minnesota when it comes to greatly outplaying a team in the playoffs but losing because of self-inflicted mistakes.

  37. Not as stunned as NFL Network who will now have to stop ignoring the 49ers. Oh wait, there’s still time for a look back at Tim Tebow’s amazing season!! How silly of me to forget about that fixation!

  38. To all the Saints/Brees haters the reason they play is to win. If the Falcons or anyone else thinks a team needs to stop playing because someone is losing go back to grade school. The Patriots play the same way but nothing is said.

    Congrats to the 49ers. You played a great game but your some of your fans need to realize you haven’t won the Superbowl yet and there is a big difference between being excited and being an arrogant jerk.

  39. Saturday’s game against the 49ers will go down as an all-time classic. It included two teams with legitimate championship hopes and some team had to lose.
    —————-

    About as classic as an even bigger game for the NFC Championship against Minnesota. The Saints and their fans now know the what it feels like to get kicked in the nads.

  40. Being at yesterdays game is the reason to be a season ticket holder. As a Niners fan, im so excited but it stinks there had to be a losing team. The Saints offense is awesome. They have a lot of good guys to root for. You will definitely be back next year.

    Absolutely awesome game.

    Go Niners!

  41. Jim Harbaugh taking the same group of players that have been average at best the last few years and coaching them up to be this team. That’s what I took away from yesterdays game. Congrats Niners.

  42. londonbengal says: Jan 15, 2012 11:49 AM

    As a neutral, congrats to both teams for putting on a fantastic game; thats why we love the NFL.

    Good to see the Bengals had a big hand in the 9′ers win, by letting them have Just Smith and Ahmad Brooks……..

    Great job Mike Brown…..

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    Yeah but Mike got Nate, Manny, and Taylor. And NO got Abreyo, SD got Takeo…Niners GM Baalke should be arrested for abusing the other GMs

  43. cowboysfan74 says: Jan 15, 2012 12:15 PM

    To all the Saints/Brees haters the reason they play is to win. If the Falcons or anyone else thinks a team needs to stop playing because someone is losing go back to grade school. The Patriots play the same way but nothing is said.

    Congrats to the 49ers. You played a great game but your some of your fans need to realize you haven’t won the Superbowl yet and there is a big difference between being excited and being an arrogant jerk.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Now that is rich…a Cowboy fans talking smack about being arrogant

  44. Not too many teams who turn the ball over five times win games. They also didn’t play a good sixty minute game on either side of the ball. I’ll give SF some credit. But the Saints just played a sloppy game.

  45. Niners out played NO in all 3 phases with solid fundamentals and physical play. That formula will work against any of the remaining teams. GB & NE have worse D’s than NO and you can argue that NO has the best O. The Ravens will give NE a tough test. They are also built in the same fashion as the Niners. Could we see the Super Harbowl?

  46. Were it not for the fact that Drew Brees is as awesome as he is, this game wouldnt have been close. The Saints were sloppy with the ball, looked lost on defense, and just arent fundamentally sound when they have to play outdoors. The 49ers tackling was vastly superior.

    Im not a fan of either team. I was surprised to see how good the 49ers really were. When Vernon Davis caught that last TD and broke down in tears, as a fan you hace to appreciate that stuff. How he held onto that ball when he got smashed just as he caught it I will never know. Those guys gave that game everything they had and deserved to win

  47. saintsfan1111 says:Jan 15, 2012 11:34 AM

    > Don’t underestimate the power of a tough and stingy defense.

    The game I saw, Brees torched that defense.

    ————————————————-

    the reasons why brees threw for as many yards as he did was #1 thomas gets knocked out of the game, #2 ivory gets shut down so with both their backs eliminated, payton and crew have no other choice but to air it out (63 passing attempts). brees gets picked twice. brees did not “torch” the niners d. i saw a few good throws to colston and graham but other than that, all his yards were to sproles on screens and check downs (15 reps 119 yrds) brees looked uncomfortable all game. Niners D > Brees

  48. touchdownroddywhite says:Jan 15, 2012 11:01 AM

    Well spare us your feelings homeboy cause you’re done along with the rest of the NFC South. See ya next year you classless bunch of stat mongers.
    ———————————————————
    heres a stat..0.. thats how many points the pathetic Falcons offense managed.. At least the Saints put up a fight and lost. Your team just rolled over and got beat the hell down

  49. yevette70 says:
    Jan 15, 2012 11:46 AM
    @breesforpresident – I agree! none of the other teams have a qb with his uniform in NFL Hall of Fame Museum for the all-time passing record. We are STILL the Best! #whodat

    Wow who cares if Brees has the uniform he used to pad his stats in blowout games in the Hall, and news flash but the saints lost yesterday so your not the best, who dat? How bout Rodgers and the pack who can play real football in real weather and don’t deflate when they leave a dome like your loser saints.

  50. dallasholeinroofcowboys says:
    Jan 15, 2012 10:36 AM
    After Saturday’s pathetic performance what do you expect???

    ———————————————

    Was it worse than ur performance from ur couch? Shut ur mouth until u become relevant.

  51. What expectation level, Drew? Did you just assume “NFC Championship Game” before you even stepped on the field, like most of your fans?

    Sounds a lot like last year. At least you’ll have that chip on your shoulder next year, until you lose unexpectedly in the playoffs to another NFC West team.

  52. Maybe Brees, a cerebral, sanctimonious, mini-quarterback, will do his teammates and all of us a favor and stop leading the stupid pre-game Saints! chant now. It must be hard for linebackers to pretend to get fired up when a filmroom dork insists on leading a chant best left for Ray Lewis types. Hooksliders should not lead war chants.

  53. gimmeabruschi says:
    Jan 15, 2012 10:56 AM
    Yeah Drew, well, you can always know your yardage record is attached to a one and out. Your obsession with setting the record was embarrassingly transparent. You’re phony as a $3 bill.

    —————————
    Get ur hater a@# out of here bum. Hide behind the computer and run ur suck. Spineless punk. By the name od your login I’d say u ride Bruschis jock. Go do something more constructive like video tape for the Pats. Worthless POS.

  54. just so you know thesportsgenius- maybe most Cowboys fans are arrogant but not all of us are. I have no problems admitting my team sucks.

    Just stating my opinion.

  55. I think N.O. has a great team. However one can go back to pre-season events when apparently, unbeknown to the new 49er coach Harbaugh, he was supposed to call Payton before the preseason matchup as a coach-to-coach gesture. Harbaugh says he was unaware of it.

    Payton took exception, and in retaliation, he violated another unwritten preseason rule of excessive blitzing. Payton decided to teach Harbaugh a lesson, and the Saints defenders came at 49ers QB Alex Smith hard.

    In that game, Niners’ QB were sacked six times and pressured throughout. Was this a wake-up call? Don’t know but SF certainly turned the tables when the game meant something.

  56. People are saying for N.O. to stay classy, but how can U when u have those arrogant punks standing at the 40 on the 49ers kickoff team dancing around, pointing and running their suck before they kickoff. Classless showing on national tv. I’ve never seen another team do that. That trickles down from the HC. I’d say next week Harbaugh will be getting the “ole Schwartz ” treatment. What goes around comes around. Grab a Websters and look up class Saint haters and whiner fans. Good job on lining yourself on a lower draft pick punks.

  57. This truly was a great game to watch, made easier because I didn’t have a dog in this fight. As hard as it may be to believe in a game that ended up 36-32, the adage that defense wins championships rings true. The Niner defense was simply more agressive. I noted that one announcer said after one shoving contest between a Niner defender and New Orleans receiver during a pass route that the referees were “letting them play today”, which of course translates to ” I can’t believe they didn’t call that”. I am not saying that either team played beyond the rules, or that the fix was in, but for some reason it seemed to me that the defensive interferance rules were as lax as I have seen them this year. Speaking of interference calls, what would the Niner fans think of the back to back offensive interference calls, using the same play? Congrats to the Niners and their fans, enjoy the ride.

  58. xxwhodatxx says: Jan 15, 2012 1:27 PM

    Niners out in the next round

    ************************************

    Something tells me you had a similar prediction last week. Whatever. We’ll see. I’m pretty sure that whether it’s the Giants or the Packers, most people will not be picking the Niners.

    The Saints have one of the scariest offenses in the league. Brees is a great QB. That TE is an absolute beast. You have to give them their due. But come on, Saints fans. Give it up. The Niner defense has been taking the ball away all season. They led the league in that. The Saints didn’t play any sloppier than they do every week on the road. The Niners defense just out hit them and out ball hawked them like they’ve been doing for the last four months. And, in the last four minutes of that game, Alex Smith was every bit as good as Drew Brees. He did what nobody thought he could do – he put the team on his back and traded blows with an elite QB to win the game. Saints fans, many of you still need to learn what long-time Niner fans have known for a long time – when you’re rooting for a good team, you need to be ready for post-season heartbreak. Man up and stop being such bitter losers.

  59. The Saints’ defense picked a great time to forget how to cover the tight end. Maybe Greg Williams should have put more effort into this part of his game plan instead of his job interview with Jeff Fisher.

  60. And who was that ONE playoff team to overcome 5+ turnovers and win a playoff game? The ’81 Niners, 13-3 in the regular season (like this year’s team), in beating the Cowboys in the NFC Championship game, featuring “The Catch”. Niners turned the ball over SIX times that day 30 years ago, and the ‘boys STILL couldn’t prevail. And thus was launched one dynasty, as another came to a close. Good times by The Bay, and they’re back.

  61. dragonfly99 says:Jan 15, 2012 10:57 AM

    Sorry, the big game is today. The winner of the Packers/Giants game will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

    Im a giants fan and this is not the case. The giants already lost to the 49ers at candlestick park at about week 8. The 49ers defense is gonna be tough on Rodgers just like they were to Brees. Its gonna be at Lambeau if Green Bay wins and the 49ers could win but it will be tough.

  62. Greatest game I’ve ever seen, and fortunate enough to have seen it live.

    Much like a lot of the bandwagon “who dat” clowns posting on this board, there were a couple at the Stick yesterday. Learn how to root for your team and accept a hard fought, well played defeat without being an ass.

  63. Saints must really be Americas team. Look at all the haters who took time to show support. Thank yall! We just gone take the offseason working on Defense. So next year we can host and appear in the SB!

  64. @longdrivesaint that special teams crew that you are calling arrogant arent point and saying anything to the opposition. They are simple singing and dancing to their song. The are called the “Tony Montana Squad”. If you were at the Stick you would know that everytime they are on the field, the stadium plays a song called Tony Montana and it gets them pumped up. They started it before the Pittsburg game and if you watched that obe you can see them do the same thing. So stay classy lol

  65. Saints gave up 17 points with 5 turnovers,so yeah they played sloppy,The big key is 9er’s stopping the run.But you cant deny how bad GW defense played in the last 4 minutes of the game UP UNTIL THAT POINT THE GREAT 9ERS OFFENSE HA 198 YARDS..This Saints team need a pass rushing d-line,an they will be unbeatable..But I know the Saints will be in the hunt next year..Will the 9er’s they dont get that 2-14 schudule next year..Oh yeah will see you in the Dome next year..

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