The Saints might not get another chance to play inside, but they made heading outside look easy.
The Saints hammered the Buccaneers 42-17 to claim the final available playoff spot in the NFC, a Wild Card berth. That means a trip to either the winner of the NFC East or North, depending on late results.
The Saints were 8-0 in the Superdome this year, but just 3-5 on the road, winning at Tampa Bay, at Atlanta, and in Chicago in October when it was 60 degrees at kickoff.
The Saints used a familiar formula to do it, with quarterback Drew Brees putting on another clinic. Brees finished 24-of-31 for 381 yards and four touchdowns, with 321 of the yards and all the scores coming in the first half. For good measure, Brees added a touchdown run in the second half, before letting Luke McCown finish up.
The loss drops the Buccaneers to 4-12, and it seems like a long time since that three-game win streak that earned coach Greg Schiano what seemed like a bit of a vote of confidence.
He’s now 11-21 in two seasons, and there are reasonable questions about the direction of a team with some solid parts, but no apparent answer at quarterback.