The idea for the formation of New Orleans Saints was brought forth by a local entrepreneur Dave Dixon. Upon NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle’s arrival in the city, the AFL-NFL merger was finally announced and Dixon attained the rights to the franchise. The team was named after the jazz song ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’
The Saints started off in style by setting a record as the first team to have returned a kickoff for a touchdown (by John Gillian) in its very first season. Although the team lost that particular match, yet it remained one of the most memorable moments of the season. It ended with a score of 11-3 by the Saints, which is another NFL record for the maximum number of wins by an expansion team.
Orleans Stellar Coaches
Tom Benson, current owner of the New Orleans Saints acquired the rights to the franchise in 1985. Subsequently, he hired Jim Mora as the head coach of the team while Jim Finks took over as the general manager. It proved to be a winning combination and led the Saints to their first playoff appearance and a winning record of (12-3) in 1987. Their first division title followed in 1991. Under the coaching of Mora, the team made a total of four playoff appearances. He resigned from his position in 1996, leaving the Saints with a 93 win record, which was a first in the team’s history.
Former Chicago Bears coach, Mike Ditka then took the place of Jim Mora. However, after three consecutive low performance seasons (1997, 1998 and 1999), it was decided to make a change in the coaching staff.
The following year coach Jim Haslett led the Saints to the playoffs. In the 2004 season, the team won three back to back matches leading up to the finale. They were even able to defeat the strong rivals Carolina in week 17.
Recent Achievements and Wins
In 2009, New Orleans Saints played their 43rd season in the NFL. This turned out to be the most successful season in the history of the franchise. The team scored a total of 13 regular season wins. They won the divisional playoffs by defeating the Cardinals by a score of 45-14. They also won the Conference Championship final against the Vikings. The Saints further defeated the Colts to win the Super Bowl XLIV.
In 2011, the Saints won the Wild Card Playoffs against the Lions by a score of 41-36. New Orleans Saints are known for their on-field competitiveness and their ability to give their best till the last minute. They proved this once again during their 2012 divisional round, in which although they lost to San Francisco 49ers, but the Saints were highly praised for the level of determination and zeal they showed throughout the play. It was one of the closest football matches, as it saw a number of quick and interesting twists within the last four minutes.
Since inception, New Orleans Saints have had quite a number of tough rivals to compete against. Among them are Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers. The Saints have played some very close matches against these teams and once again it is set to give them a fierce competition on field. One of the most highly anticipated events of their upcoming series is their showdown with St Louis Rams, for which New Orleans Saints tickets are now available.