The New Orleans Saints 2005 season was very forgetful to say the very least. After the devastation from Hurricane Katrina many people had no idea if the Saints would ever play in New Orleans ever again.
Many NFL experts believed Coach Jim Haslett would get a “free pass” that year considering the circumstances. No matter what the Saints final record would be his job would be safe.
Oh how they were all so wrong. The Saints finished that year 3-13. Haslett was fired and many people were wondering if owner Tom Benson would move the team to San Antonio.
In January of 2006 the Saints hired Dallas offensive coordinator Sean Payton. Then weeks later he released Saints starting QB Aaron Brooks and signed Drew Brees.
The Saints had the number 2 pick in the NFL draft and took USC running back Reggie Bush. The 2006 saints already had a much different look then the 2005 version. No one really knew what to expect from these guys.
Drew Brees was coming off major shoulder surgery and Reggie Bush was a rookie. However in week 1 of the 2006 season they saints looked impressive defeating the Cleveland Browns.
Then in week 2 they traveled to historic Lambeau Field to take on Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. If they could beat the pack they would be going into the biggest home game in Saints history UNDEFEATED!
Drew Brees lead the saints to victory again setting up a showdown of two unbeaten rivals on Monday Night Football.
It was billed as the Saints homecoming. The Reopening of the Superdome where one year earlier served as shelter for many people from Hurricane Katrina. Many saints fans in new Orleans and louisiana and throughout the world were very emotional on this night.
On this night the New Orleans Saints became Americas Team. After U2 and GreenDay left the field the Saints took to the Superdome turf for the first time since Katrina and the dome was never louder welcoming back their Beloved Saints.
However that moment would be surpassed minutes later when Special teamer Steve Gleason blocked an Atlanta punt and the saints fell on it in the endzone for their first touchdown.
I had never heard the Superdome louder than that moment. You just had that feeling that something special was happening that night and the falcons would have no chance.
The Falcons, the week before ran for a franchise-record 306 yards against Tampa
Bay. The saints held them to 117 yards rushing on the night. Michael Vick had a bad game, completing 12 of 31 for 137 yards.
The Saints went on to defeat the falcons 23-3 in what was the biggest night in New Orleans Saints history and one of the biggest nights in New Orleans history.
"If we had lost, the fans still would have been partying, they still would have been happy, because the organization is still in New Orleans,” receiver Joe Horn said. But we wanted to put the icing on the cake."
There were signs everywhere throughout the stadium, such as “Home Sweet Dome” and “Thank You America. New Orleans & Saints Are Here to Stay.
It was a night I’ll never forget. Being in that dome was just indescribable. The atmosphere was unmatched up to that point. Unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Our saints were back home.
Bless our boys.