New Orleans, LO (PressExposure) June 17, 2009 -- The New Orleans Saints are an NFL team that plays in the NFC South Division. The team has been playing in the Louisiana Superdome since 1970 and has been a successful franchise throughout their existence, even though they have never played in the Super Bowl. Year in and year out they always put a competitive team on the field. However, in the 2005 NFL Season, the team was playing for more than just a Super Bowl, they were playing for the city of New Orleans. The city had just been through the devastating Hurricane Katrina and the citizens of New Orleans needed something or someone to take their minds off of the devastation of the hurricane. The team was not able to play any games in their home city of New Orleans as Baton Rouge was heavily damaged in the Hurricane. The team was forced to play many of its games in Baton Rouge at Tiger Stadium, as well as playing a few games at the Alamo dome in San Antonio, and they even played their home opener in Giants Stadium in New Jersey. The traveling took a toll on the team, not to mention the fact they were equally affected by Hurricane Katrina with many houses being heavily damaged or destroyed. However, the 2006 season would allow fans to rebuild and pick up the pieces from the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
The team returned home in 2006 and played all of their home games at the Superdome, which was a sigh of relief for many fans happy to see their team back home. The team was led by new coach Sean Payton, who came over from the Dallas Cowboys where he was an assistant coach. The team went out and drafted highly touted running back Reggie Bush and also acquired Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees from the San Diego Chargers. The team was very excited about the retooling of the offense and also excited to be able to play in front of their fans in the Superdome. The season started off great and the Saints got off to a quick 3-0 start including winning their first home game in over two years by beating the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football. The team continued their turnaround season by continuing to win and they completed the first half of the season at 6-2 and looked primed to make a deep push into the playoffs. More importantly, the team was helping the city of New Orleans forget about the past year of cleanup and rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina and the city began to rally behind the Cinderella story of the New Orleans Saints. The team finished the season at 10-6 and was the NFC South champion and would be hosting their first playoff game in six years.
The team won their first playoff game 27-24 against the Eagles and would be playing in an NFC Championship game for the first time in franchise history. However, the team not used to playing in frigid conditions was forced to travel to Chicago to play the heavily favored Bears. The Saints were dismantled by the Bears losing by a score of 39-14; however the team had their most successful season in team history at a time when the city was counting on them to help the rebuilding process. The team has not been able to build on the success of the 2006 season as they have not returned to the playoffs since, however the team has been competitive and has given the fans something to cheer for with one of the most exciting teams in all of football.