The New Orleans Saints ‘Cold Weather’ Myth


Nov 21, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton shakes hands with tight end Jimmy Graham (80) prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Much is made of the Saints, and their dismal record when it comes to the cold weather. However, it’s a bunch of fluff. Why? Here it comes.

All you have been hearing from anyone in sports this week is ‘The Saints can’t win in cold weather’ blanket statement. The Saints are 2-6 in cold weather games, and that’s games that are 40 degrees and below. That’s the big stat that everyone is working with, something based on a whopping 8 games. Well let’s just go ahead and look further into this.

Let’s start by looking at the Saints record by season under Sean Payton, just in the month of December, which figures to be the primary month a team would face cold weather obviously.

2006 (3-2)

2007 (2-3)

2008 (2-2)

2009 (2-2)

2010 (3-1)

2011 (4-0)

That’s a combined 16-10 record for December under Sean Payton, which seems bad right? Now, let’s go a step further for December.

2006 Road Outcomes: 2 Games (2-0)

2007 Road Outcomes: 2 Games (1-2)

2008 Road Outcomes: 2 Games (1-1)

2009 Road Outcomes: 2 Games (1-1)

2010 Road Outcomes: 3 Games (2-1)

2011 Road Outcomes: 2 Games (2-0)

So, that means the Saints have been 9-5 in Road Games under Sean Payton for December.


Got you covered.

2006 December Losses: Washington (16-10, Home), Carolina (31-21, Home)
2006 December Wins: Dallas (42-17, Away), NY Giants (30-27, Away)

2007 December Losses: Tampa (27-23, Away), Philadelphia (38-23, Home), Chicago (33-25, Away)
2007 December Wins: Atlanta (34-14, Away), Arizona (31-24, Home)

2008 December Losses: Chicago (27-24, Away), Carolina (33-31, Away)
2008 December Wins: Atlanta (29-25, Home), Detroit (42-7, Away)

2009 December Losses: Dallas (24-17, Home), Tampa (20-17, Home), Carolina (23-10, Away)
2009 December Wins: Washington (33-30, Away), Atlanta (26-23, Away)

2010 December Losses: Baltimore (30-24, Away)
2010 December Wins: Cincinnati (34-30, Away), St. Louis (31-13, Home), Atlanta (17-14, Away)

2011 December Wins: Detroit (31-17, Home), Tennessee (22-17, Away), Minnesota (42-20, Away), Atlanta (45-16, Home)

So by reading further into this ‘stat’, you mean to tell me the Saints are worse at home under Sean Payton than they are on the road at 7-6? If anything, it may be a blessing in disguise with the Saints playing on the road.

Hell, you can even throw in WITHOUT Sean Payton, and it still doesn’t matter.

2012 December Losses: NY Giants (52-27, Away), Carolina (44-38, Home)
2012 December Wins: Dallas (34-31, Away), Tampa (41-0, Home)

Oh no! COLD WEATHER argument everyone is making a huge fuss about though!

Road Wins: 2006 Dallas (47°), 2006 NY Giants (51°), 2009 Washington (34°), 2009 Cincinnati (32°), 2011 Tennessee (41°)

Road Losses: 2007 Tampa (72°), 2007 Chicago (26°), 2008 Chicago (24°), 2008 Carolina (72°), 2010 Baltimore (34°)

Let’s not forget to satisfy those wanting to point out 2012, which was January: Carolina (42°). So in the regular season, the Saints are 2-3 on games under 40°. Sure, the teams the Saints beat on those road games finished 4-12, so you’re saying a really good team goes on the road to lose to an underdog later in the season? Wow, where do you even begin with this one.


2007 December Away Losses: 4 Points, 8 Points
2008 December Away Losses: 3 Points, 2 Points
2009 December Away Losses: 13 Points
2010 December Away Losses: 6 Points


2006 Chicago (27°) / 2010 Seattle (40°) – Both games in January for what it’s worth.

What about that 6th loss?

January game. 23-10 loss against Carolina, and it was 23° in 2009. That was part of the three game skid the Saints suffered on the way to their Super Bowl run a week after they lost to Dallas at home.

The cold weather argument is composed primarily around losing to Chicago three times in the ‘horrid sub par’ temperatures. Let’s just overlook the fact the Bears haven’t won in the Superdome since 1991, and no, 2005 doesn’t count because the Saints were displaced and had to play elsewhere.

Wait, speaking of, does that mean the Bears are a terrible Dome team? They’ve lost all three of their dome matchups this season (Detroit, St. Louis, Minnesota)! Surely, they can’t win in a dome setting. That must be their poison!

Yes, the Saints historically do not have great success in the playoffs. They’re 0-3 in cold weather playoff games under 40°, and besides the two recent games, you have to go back to the 1990 Wild Card against the Bears to find anything else that’s meaningful.

"“It is certainly more difficult to go on the road and win, especially in the type of environment that we’re going to,” “If you look at our record over the last eight years, I don’t know exactly what the stats are, but I believe we (have) the second-most wins since ’06 and the most since ’09 on the road. So I guess those stats speak for themselves there.”-Drew Brees"

I say all of this to say this, you can make up any type of stat you want that influences whatever outcome you want in this day of the NFL. Even if/when the Saints win tonight’s game, nothing changes, you’ll hear this ‘fact’ many more times. This is just a type of storyline that the sports world comes up with to bring about the ‘drama’ everyone is looking for.

Arguments made on this small amount of games is utterly absurd. Wait for the playoffs, worry about now, and speaking of now? It’s December.

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