When polling New Orleans Saints fans about who they think the best team was in franchise history, almost everyone would probably have the same answer — The Super Bowl-winning 2009 team.
Bryan DeArdo had an easy choice for the Saints when putting together his list of every NFL team’s best season. For the Saints, it was — You guessed it — 2009. DeArdo wrote:
"Led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints roared out to a 13-0 start before coasting to the NFC South division title. In the playoffs, the Saints routed the defending NFC champion Cardinals before outlasting Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and the rest of the Vikings in the NFC title game. In Super Bowl XLIV, the Saints overcame a 10-0 deficit to defeat Peyton Manning and the Colts, 31-17."
This was a no-brainer.
The 2009 Saints team is the best in franchise history.
The Saints weren’t much of anything before Drew Brees came to the Big Easy and turned them into a Super Bowl contender. They appeared in and won their first Super Bowl and did so against a feisty Peyton Manning-led Colts team.
The onside kick attempted to start the second half was a gutsy call but it paid off, as the Saints got the ball and we all know what happened next. It was truly a moment that’s frozen in all Saints fans’ memories and for good reason.
Brees was on fire in 2009, throwing for 4,388 yards, 34 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. It wasn’t common for quarterbacks to throw for that many yards over a decade ago, which is a testament to how good Brees was. He was firing on all cylinders before other quarterbacks were. He was also named Super Bowl MVP after he threw for 288 yards and two touchdowns in the big game.
Thomas had a nice year, rushing the ball 147 times for 793 yards and six touchdowns. He also made plays as a pass-catcher, hauling in 39 receptions for 302 yards and two touchdowns. This was Thomas’ best year in the NFL.
Marques Colston led the Saints in receiving yards, grabbing 70 receptions for 1,074 yards and nine touchdowns. Colston had only been in the league for four years at that point and this was the third year in which he had over 1,000 yards receiving. Devery Henderson also had a nice year with 804 yards and Robert Meachem was one of the best WR3 options in the league with 722 yards that year.
Defensively, Will Smith (R.I.P.) led the Saints in sacks with 13 and Darren Sharper had nine interceptions while returning three of them for touchdowns. Both sides of the ball were on fire and that’s what made the 2009 Saints team so darn good.
New Orleans has had good times since then but none of them have been able to do what the 2009 team did, despite coming close. Many felt this was only the beginning for the Saints when it came to being on top of the NFL world but unfortunately, New Orleans has failed to reach the Super Bowl again since they did so over a decade ago.