The 2012 New Orleans Saints season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League, and the 37th with home games at the Superdome. It was going to be the seventh season under head coachSean Payton; however, he was suspended by the NFL for the entire 2012 season as part of the punishment for the team's bounty scandal. On April 12, 2012, linebackers coach Joe Vitt was named interim head coach to replace Sean Payton while he served his one-year suspension. On August 22, 2012, it was announced that Aaron Kromer would take over while Vitt himself served a six-game suspension to start the regular season. The Saints attempted to make history as the first host team to play the Super Bowl on their own home field, but they were eliminated from post-season contention in Week 16. The Saints set an NFL record for most yards given up by a defense, 7,042 yards, surpassing the 1981 Baltimore Colts record of 6,793 yards.
After his contract expired, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was hired by the St. Louis Rams to the same position on January 16, 2012. Former Rams' head coach Steve Spagnuolo replaced Williams. Williams was later handed an indefinite suspension from the NFL for his role in the bounty scandal.
All signings were to active roster, except where otherwise noted.
With the loss, the Saints started their season 0–1.
Week 2: at Carolina Panthers
With the loss, the Saints fell to 0–2.
Week 3: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
With the close loss, the Saints fell to 0–3.
Week 4: at Green Bay Packers
With the loss, the Saints face their first 0–4 start since 2007.
Week 5: vs. San Diego Chargers
Drew Brees broke Johnny Unitas' record of consecutive games with a touchdown in the first quarter. The record touchdown was witnessed by Unitas' son Joe. With the surprising win, the Saints go into their bye week at 1–4.
Week 7: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With the win, the Saints improved to 2–4. Also, QB Drew Brees increased his number of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 49.
Week 8: at Denver Broncos
With the loss, the Saints fell to 2–5. However, despite the loss, QB Drew Brees increased his record of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 50.
Week 9: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
With the win, the Saints improved to 3–5. Also, QB Drew Brees increased his streak of games with at least one passing touchdown to 51.
Week 10: vs. Atlanta Falcons
After their huge win over the Eagles, the Saints stayed home for a game against their heated rival Falcons. Sitting at 3–5, the Falcons came into this game at 8–0. The Saints surprisingly won their 4th-straight game against the Falcons and improved their record to 4–5 while the Falcons dropped to 8–1. Drew Brees brought his total of games with a passing touchdown to 52.
Week 11: at Oakland Raiders
After 2 straight dominant home wins, the Saints traveled to Oakland to take on the Raiders. The Saints again dominated this game after the Raiders took the first points of the game. The Saints would win and improve to 5–5 on the season keeping their playoff hopes alive. Also Drew Brees brought his streak of at least 1 passing touchdown in a single game to 53.
Week 12: vs. San Francisco 49ers
The loss dropped the team to 5–6, but Brees' record of games with at least 1 passing touchdown stood at 54.
Week 13: at Atlanta Falcons
After the tough road loss to the Niners, the Saints traveled to take on the Falcons in a TNF matchup. The Saints' 4-game winning streak against the Falcons would be snapped as the team dropped to 5–7. Also, QB Drew Brees' streak of consecutive games with at least 1 passing touchdown would come to an end as he threw a career-high 5 interceptions in one game on the night. Regardless, his total passing touchdowns at this point was 31 bringing him his 5th straight season with 30+ passing touchdowns.
Week 15: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With the win, The Saints improved to 6–8 and swept the Buccaneers for the first time since 2006 and posted their first shutout win since 1995 to the New York Jets 12–0
Week 16: at Dallas Cowboys
With the win, the Saints improved to 7–8. However, the Saints were eliminated from postseason contention, thus rendering them unable to play Super Bowl XLVII on their own home turf (as of 2018, no team has done this in Super Bowl history).
Week 17: vs. Carolina Panthers
With the loss, the Saints finished with their first losing season since 2007 at 7–9. Also, the team was swept by the Panthers for the first time since 2008.
FG- Billy Cundiff 37 yard kick WAS
TD- Jimmy Graham 20 yard pass from Drew Brees (Garret Hartley kick) NO
TD- Pierre Garçon 88 yard pass from Robert Griffin III (Cundiff kick) WAS
TD- Aldrick Robinson 5 yard pass from Griffin III (Cundiff kick) WAS
FG- Cundiff 41 yard kick WAS
TD- Courtney Roby 4 blocked punt (Hartley kick) NO
TD- Alfred Morris 1 yard run (Cundiff kick) WAS
FG- Cundiff 37 yard kick WAS
FG- Hartley 21 yard kick NO
FG- Billy Cundiff 45 yard kick WAS
TD- Lance Moore 33 yard pass from Brees (Hartley kick)
TD- Morris 3 yard run (Cundiff kick)
TD- Darren Sproles 2 yard pass from Brees (Hartley kick)
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