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Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Since the Superdomes reopening in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the increased success of the New Orleans Saints, the Superdome has developed a reputation for having a very strong home field advantage.

Fun Facts:

he first two seasons Mark Ingram played in New Orleans, 2011 and 2012, he wore jersey number 28. At the beginning of the 2013 season he changed to jersey number 22.

In 2006, his very first season in New Orleans, Drew Brees threw for 4,418 yards which was more than any other quarterback in the NFL that year.

The most points ever scored by the New Orleans Saints in their season opener is 45, they accomplished this to start the 2009 NFL season in a victory over the Detroit Lions.

Because of Hurricane Katrina, the Saints played some home games in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and some at Louisiana State University.

The NFL quarterback drafted by the Saints to go on and get the most victories as a starter during his career was Marc Bulger who they selected in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He would end up with a total of 41 wins over eight seasons playing for the Rams.

The longest TD reception Jimmy Graham had while playing tight end for the Saints was a 56 yarder Drew Brees threw to him in a 2013 win over the Buccaneers.

Pierre Thomas led the Saints in rushing yards during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Four years later, Thomas led the team in rushing again in 2013. In between, the Saints leading rushers were Chris Ivory in 2010, Darren Sproles in 2011, and Mark Ingram in 2012.

Kicker Morten Andersen is the Saints all-time leading scorer as of the 2006 season. 

Amazingly, he also holds the same distinction for one of the Saints biggest rivals the Atlanta Falcons.

The most points the Saints have ever scored in a game is 51.  They have done this three times, the first in 1969 in a week one victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, then again in 1976 in a week 11 victory over the expansion Seattle Seahawks, and finally in 2008 in a week 12 win against the Green Bay Packers.

It wasn’t until the Saints’ 11th season in the league that they had the same running back lead the team in rushing two years in a row.

Prior to Drew Brees playing for the team, the career leader in 300 yard passing games for the Saints was Aaron Brooks with a total of 10. Before that it had been Archie Manning with a total of nine. Drew Brees took possession of the team record before even finishing his second season with the team.

Between the Saints first year in football in 1967 and 2015, the Saints had two first round draft picks on four different occasions. In 1975 they would use them to select wide receiver Larry Burton and offensive lineman Kurt Schumacher. In 1993 they would use them to take offensive lineman Willie Roaf and tight end Irv Smith. In 2002 they would use them to select wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth and defensive end Charles Grant. 

Finally, in 2015 they would use them to take offensive lineman Andrus Peat and linebacker Stephone Anthony.

The first team Sean Payton would get a win against as an NFL head coach was the Browns who the Saints defeated 19-14 on the opening weekend of the 2006 season. The first team he would lose to as a head coach was the Panthers.

The first penalty Saints receiver Marques Colston ever had called on him in the NFL was for a false start. It came in a win over the Buccaneers during his rookie year.

Founded in 1967, the Saints went more than a decade before achieving their first .500 season. It took the Saints more than two decades to achieve their first winning season.

In the 2000 season, the Saints beat the defending Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams in the playoffs for their first playoff victory ever.

Because of Hurricane Katrina that struck before the 2005 season, Giants Stadium in New Jersey has now hosted home games by three different NFL teams; the New York Giants, the New York Jets, and the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints reached the NFC Championship game following the 2006 season; they are the first team ever in the NFL to reach the conference championship game while finishing with 13 or more losses the previous year.

The first two Saints quarterbacks to rush for over 300 yards in a season were Archie Manning with 351 in 1972 and Aaron Brooks with 358 in 2001.

The first opponent to give up more than one rushing touchdown to Saints running back Mark Ingram during his career was the Carolina Panthers.

The team’s colors (Black and Gold) came about as a salute to the city’s long standing ties to the oil industry (“Black Gold”).

The city of New Orleans was awarded a franchise as part of a back room deal between the NFL and a senator from Louisiana so that Congress would approve the NFL-AFL merger.

The Saints returned the opening kickoff of their first game ever in the NFL for a touchdown. It was returned by Wide Receiver John Gilliam.

In 1970, the Saints beat the Lions 19-17 thanks to a last second field goal by Kicker Tom Dempsey. The field goal set the record for longest ever kicked at 63 yards.

During the 1999 NFL Draft, the Saints traded all of their picks plus some future picks for the rights to draft University of Texas Running Back Ricky Williams.

General Manager Randy Mueller was named 2000 NFL Executive of the Year and then was fired following the 2001 season.

During the 2002 season the New Orleans Saints defeated the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice, becoming only the second team ever to accomplish such a feat (the 1995 Redskins were the first).

In his five seasons playing for the Saints, Jimmy Graham caught 51 touchdown passes. Each one of them was thrown to him by Drew Brees.

2011 saw the Saints trade their second round pick and the next season’s first round pick to the Patriots for their first round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. New Orleans would select running back Mark Ingram.

The first two passes Drew Brees threw as a member of the Saints were incompletions.

His first completion as the Saints quarterback came on an 11 yarder to Reggie Bush on the very next play after those initial incompletions.

Because of the effects of Hurricane Katrina, 2005 is the only season that an NFL team hasn’t played one game in their home city (the Saints played in San Antonio and at LSU).
The official name of the design that makes up the Saints logo is a “fleur-di-lis”.

In 1969, the Saints switched to black helmets with a gold logo. Although these helmets were used during the preseason, NFL commissioner banned them from regular season use as the team had not officially cleared the equipment change with the league.

The Saints first home field was at Tulane University which they shared with the Tulane football team.

In 1971 Tulane University changed their field, which they shared with the Saints, to Astroturf. In the Saints first home game that year, and also Quarterback Archie Manning’s first game as a pro, the on-field temperature was recorded at 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

In 1996 the Saints wore gold numbers on both their white and black jerseys; complaints about the gold numbers being hard to read on the white jersey forced them to change their design.

Former Head Coach Jim Mora coached Sam Mills with both the Saints and the USFL’s Philadelphia Stars.

In a week 5 road game against the Carolina Panthers during the 2001 season, the Saints became the first NFL team to wear all-black pants and jerseys during a game.

Notre Dame and Green Bay Packer great Paul Hornung retired as a Saint in training camp though he never played a game for New Orleans.

The Saints have two former coaches and a former GM in the Hall-of-Fame, although all were inducted primarily for their accomplishments with other teams; Hank Stram, Mike Ditka, and Jim Finks.

The first time Pierre Thomas touched the ball in the NFL came in the first quarter of a 2007 game against the Panthers when he returned a John Kasay kickoff 23 yards. His first run from scrimmage was good for three yards.

In 2006 rookie Running Back Reggie Bush petitioned the NFL to allow him to wear #5 (NFL rules stipulate Running Backs must wear numbers from 20-49), even going so far as saying he’d donate 25% of all money made from jersey sales to Hurricane Katrina victims. The NFL denied his petition and through a deal worked out with teammate Fred McAfee, he wears #25. He has followed through with the donation pledge anyway.

Running Back Reggie Bush’s first NFL touchdown came as a 65 yard punt return in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Reggie Bush’s first rushing touchdown came on a reverse against the Steelers.

The Heisman Trophy was won by three different USC Trojans in four years (Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, and Saints Running Back Reggie Bush).

New Orleans opened their Saints Hall-of-Fame in 1988 with their first two inductees: Archie Manning and Danny Abramowicz.

Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson, and Pat Swilling all played Linebacker for the Saints during the same era (late 1980’s and early 1990’s), and all have since been inducted into the team’s Hall-of-Fame.

In 1973, former Head Coach J.D. Roberts was fired before the regular season started, but after the preseason games.

During the 1985 season the Saints’ Head Coach was Bum Phillips for most of the season until he resigned, then the head coaching duties went to his son Wade Phillips.

Mike Ditka and Hank Stram both coached other teams to Super Bowl victories, but their combined records as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints is 22-54.

As a rookie in 2006, Marques Colston scored eight touchdowns. Half of them came in the fourth quarter.

Saints icon Archie Manning finished his career with the Houston Oilers for two seasons, followed by two seasons on the roster of the Minnesota Vikings.

Former Head Coach Bum Phillips real first name was Oail.

When the Saints lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1977, it was the first Bucs win ever after starting off with 26 consecutive losses.

Former Running Back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward was a fan favorite because of his sense of humor and girth (reportedly weighing at times in the neighborhood of 320-340 pounds). Heyward died of brain cancer at the age of 39 in 2006. He will be missed by football fans everywhere.

Former Quarterback John Fourcade not only broke Saints legend Archie Manning’s Ole Miss passing record, but went on to play for more professional football teams than any other player. This includes teams in the NFL, USFL, CFL, Arena Football League, and National Indoor Football League.

Guido Merkens played for the Saints from 1980-1985. During his stay in New Orleans he played Safety, Quarterback, Wide Receiver, and Punter.

The Saints have a history of drafting or signing players who have either Cajun or Louisiana ties, or who played college football in the Louisiana area. Some notables are: Hokie Gajan, Dalton Hilliard, John Fourcade, Jake Delhomme, Willie Roaf, Bobby Hebert, Eric Martin, and Jim Taylor.

Fullback and Hall-of-Famer Jim Taylor played 12 seasons with the Green Bay Packers before playing his last year with the New Orleans Saints. Though he only played there one season, the Saints retired Taylor’s jersey number 31. Taylor was born in Baton Rouge and played collegiately at Louisiana State University.

In 1984,the Saints traded for Oilers Running Back and future Hall-of-Famer Earl Campbell. This trade reunited Campbell with his former Oilers Head Coach Bum Phillips.

Former Saints Wide Receiver and record setter Joe Horn’s collegiate football experience consists of two years at Itawamba Junior College.

Former All-Pro and Saints Linebacker Sam Mills got his start in professional football with the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL.

On Kicker Morten Andersen’s first kickoff for the New Orleans Saints he twisted his ankle and spent 8 weeks on the sidelines.

In a 2006 game, after making 5 field goals and two extra points against his former team, the New Orleans Saints, Morten Andersen became the oldest player ever named Special Teams Player of the Week.

While in college at the Purdue University, Saints Quarterback Drew Brees won the Socrates Award for top college athlete in terms of academics.

In 2006, Quarterback Drew Brees shared the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award with former San Diego teammate LaDainian Tomlinson.

Drew Brees joins Mark Herrmann and Jim Everett as Quarterbacks who have started games for both Purdue University and the New Orleans Saints.

Running Back George Rogers was the first former Heisman Trophy winner selected by the Saints; they went on to also draft Danny Wuerffel, Ricky Williams, Reggie Bush, and Mark Ingram who had also won the Heisman Trophy.

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