There’s a perception that the Saints are a team that often wins at home and wins just enough on the road to periodically make the playoffs. The reality is a bit different.
In the time that Sean Payton has coached the Saints (excluding 2012, when he didn’t), the Saints are 46-43 on the road in the regular season. (They’re 47-43 if you count the win from earlier this season as the visiting team against the Dolphins in London.)
Four years ago, the Saints secured the first, and only, road playoff win in franchise history, toppling the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Saints get a chance to double that amount on Sunday in Minnesota.
They’ll be playing in a dome at a time when the Saints actually are built to compete on the road and in the elements, which will happen next Sunday if the Saints upset the Vikings and the Eagles beat the Falcons. Or maybe, if the Saints win on the road tomorrow, they’ll get to invite the Falcons back to the Superdome for an all-NFC South NFC Championship.
Regardless, the “Saints stink on the road” narrative isn’t accurate, and they could prove that loudly and clearly on Sunday.
It won’t be easy, that’s for sure. The stadium will be loud, perhaps even louder than the “Beastquake” game from seven years ago in Seattle. And the Saints, many of whom don’t have much playoff experience (since the franchise hadn’t been there since 2013) will be experiencing noise that could be deafening when the team is on offense. To advance, they’ll need to overcome the noise, an underrated Minnesota offense, and a Vikings defense that is excellent but not dominant, perhaps because it hasn’t had to be.