Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.The Saints defeated the Buccaneers 42-17. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Saints did what many thought impossible in the Wild Card Round and went to Philadelphia and defeated the Eagles — which has Sean Payton proud of his team in more ways than one.
Payton told the media, via ESPN’s Mike Triplett, that he was overwhelmingly impressed with his team’s ability to overcome the injury but all year — and against the Eagles:
"“With the injuries we’ve had — and we’ve had a number of them — and with all of the other stuff, including last year, we are sitting here with 12 wins. And I am extremely proud of them,” Payton said.“When you look at the time of possession, third-down snaps, the rushing totals, total yardage, I thought defensively we did a great job considering some of the injuries we had [to cornerback Keenan Lewis and linebacker Parys Haralson during the game],” Payton said. “The running game really helped us, and in the kicking game we came up with the plays we needed. It was a great team game . . ."
Payton should be proud. First of all, his return at the start of the season gave the Saints a major boost. Second, his decision to help bring in Rob Ryan has helped the team in countless ways, including an ability to overcome injuries on defense.
Perhaps most of all, these Saints are resilient — and deep. Not many teams can overcome such injures on a short notice, but the Saints did it away from home.
The next task is to take these traits and talent to Seattle.
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