2018 New Orleans Saints season

The 2018 season was the New Orleans Saints' 52nd in the National Football League, their 43rd at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and their 12th under head coach Sean Payton.

This season was the first since 1984 without owner Tom Benson, who died in March. On week 11, the Saints beat the Eagles to reach their first 9 game winning streak since their Super Bowl winning season in 2009, ensuring they clinched their second consecutive winning season for the first time since 2010/2011. They swept their division rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, after a 31–17 victory on Thanksgiving night for the first time since 2015 while extending their second longest winning streak in franchise history to 10 games,[2] which came to an end when the Saints lost to the Dallas Cowboys 13–10, on November 29th. On December 9th, the Saints clinched their second straight NFC South division championship when they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their first back-to-back titles in franchise history. On December 17th, after beating their division rivals Carolina Panthers on Monday Night, the Saints improved on their 11–5 record from a season ago. After a Week 16 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Saints clinched homefield advantage throughout the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Saints finished the Season with a 13–3 record for the third time in franchise history, matching their franchise win record with their 2009 and 2011 teams.

In the playoffs, the Saints defeated the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles 20–14 in the Divisional Round. However, the Saints' season came to an end in an overtime loss 23–26 at home to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game in controversial fashion, which ended their hopes of returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since Super Bowl XLIV and was their first time since 2006 losing in the NFC Championship Game, which was also the first year of the Brees/Payton era. Additionally, it marked the first time since 1992 that the Saints lost a postseason game at home.

2018 New Orleans Saints season
Head coachSean Payton
General managerMickey Loomis
OwnerGayle Benson[1]
Home fieldMercedes-Benz Superdome
Results
Record13–3
Division place1st NFC South
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (Eagles) 20–14
Lost NFC Championship (Rams) 23–26 (OT)
Pro BowlersQB Drew Brees
WR Michael Thomas
C Max Unger
OT Terron Armstead
DE Cameron Jordan
RB Alvin Kamara
OG Larry Warford
OG Andrus Peat
AP All-ProsWR Michael Thomas (1st team)
QB Drew Brees (2nd team)
OT Terron Armstead (2nd team)
OT Ryan Ramczyk (2nd team)
DE Cameron Jordan (2nd team)
Uniform
Saints 2018 Uniforms - Full Collar Jersey

Draft

2018 New Orleans Saints Draft
Round Selection Player Position College
1 14 Marcus Davenport DE UTSA
3 91 Tre'Quan Smith WR UCF
4 127 Rick Leonard OT FSU
5 164 Natrell Jamerson S Wisconsin
6 189 Kamrin Moore CB Boston College
6 201 Boston Scott RB Louisiana Tech
7 245 Will Clapp C LSU

Notes

Staff

2018 New Orleans Saints staff
Front office
  • Owner – Gayle Benson
  • President – Dennis Lauscha
  • Executive vice president/general manager – Mickey Loomis
  • Asst general manager/college scouting director – Jeff Ireland
  • Vice president of football administration – Khai Harley
  • Director of operations – James Nagaoka
  • Director of pro scouting – Terry Fontenot

Head coaches

  • Head coach – Sean Payton
  • Assistant head coach/tight ends – Dan Campbell
  • Assistant to the head coach – Kevin Petry

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Head strength and conditioning – Dan Dalrymple
  • Assistant strength and conditioning – Charles Byrd
  • Assistant strength and conditioning – Rob Wenning

Final roster

2018 New Orleans Saints final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad


Rookies in italics
53 Active, 11 Inactive, 10 Practice squad

Preseason

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site NFL.com
recap
1 August 9 at Jacksonville Jaguars W 24–20 1–0 TIAA Bank Field Recap
2 August 17 Arizona Cardinals L 15–20 1–1 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
3 August 25 at Los Angeles Chargers W 36–7 2–1 StubHub Center Recap
4 August 30 Los Angeles Rams W 28–0 3–1 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap

Regular season

Schedule

The Saints' 2018 schedule was released on April 19.

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site NFL.com
recap
1 September 9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 40–48 0–1 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
2 September 16 Cleveland Browns W 21–18 1–1 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
3 September 23 at Atlanta Falcons W 43–37 (OT) 2–1 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Recap
4 September 30 at New York Giants W 33–18 3–1 MetLife Stadium Recap
5 October 8 Washington Redskins W 43–19 4–1 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
6 Bye
7 October 21 at Baltimore Ravens W 24–23 5–1 M&T Bank Stadium Recap
8 October 28 at Minnesota Vikings W 30–20 6–1 U.S. Bank Stadium Recap
9 November 4 Los Angeles Rams W 45–35 7–1 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
10 November 11 at Cincinnati Bengals W 51–14 8–1 Paul Brown Stadium Recap
11 November 18 Philadelphia Eagles W 48–7 9–1 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
12 November 22 Atlanta Falcons W 31–17 10–1 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
13 November 29 at Dallas Cowboys L 10–13 10–2 AT&T Stadium Recap
14 December 9 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 28–14 11–2 Raymond James Stadium Recap
15 December 17 at Carolina Panthers W 12–9 12–2 Bank of America Stadium Recap
16 December 23 Pittsburgh Steelers W 31–28 13–2 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
17 December 30 Carolina Panthers L 14–33 13–3 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 5: vs. Washington Redskins

This game was one year removed from last season, where the Saints overcame a 15-point deficit against the Redskins at home with three minutes remaining. This time, the Saints dominated the entire game. This game marked Drew Brees passing Brett Favre and Peyton Manning on most passing yards. The win improved the Saints to 4-1.

Week 7: at Baltimore Ravens

Drew Brees would throw his 500th touchdown pass against Baltimore, and becoming the third quarterback in modern NFL history to defeat all 32 teams playing in the 2018 season — after Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. In doing so, he improved his record against the Ravens to 1-4.

Week 8: at Minnesota Vikings

The Saints travelled to Minnesota for the first time since the 2017 Divisional round; during which safety Marcus Williams missed a tackle on the game's final play that allowed a 61-yard game-winning touchdown reception by Stefon Diggs. In this divisional round rematch, despite a good offensive showing from Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs, and Drew Brees who was held to just 120 passing yards, New Orleans still won the game 30-20 to go to 6-1 and avenge their aforementioned playoff loss.

Week 9: vs. Los Angeles Rams

With the victory, the Saints extended their winning streak to 7 games (Starting from week 2) and ended the previously 8-0 Rams' chances at completing a perfect season. Also, star wide receiver Michael Thomas, after scoring on his 12th reception, paid homage to former Saints wide receiver Joe Horn by pulling out a cell phone from underneath the goalpost pretending to make a call. This celebration drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Week 10: at Cincinnati Bengals

After losing the newly acquired Dez Bryant for the year with an Achilles' tear in practice, several players, including Michael Thomas, and running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara paid tribute by throwing up Bryant's signature 'X' celebration each time they scored. Safety Marcus Williams returned a long interception to end the first half with the Saints leading 35-7. New Orleans would eventually stun the Bengals in a 51-14 victory and their streak continued, going 8-1.

Week 11: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

After head coach Sean Payton lost a golf bet to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, the Saints, despite being the home team, wore their white color rush uniforms. It was the first time the Saints used the uniforms at home.

Week 12: vs. Atlanta Falcons

NFL on Thanksgiving Day

Week 14: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The New Orleans Saints trailed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-3 halfway through the 3rd quarter when Taysom Hill sparked a rally by blocking a punt and setting up New Orleans inside Tampa Bay territory. The Saints would go on to win in a comeback 28-14 and clinching a playoff berth in the process.

Week 16: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

With the win, the Saints clinched home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs

Week 17: vs. Carolina Panthers

Teddy Bridgewater started in this game. With the loss, the Saints finish the season 13-3.

Standings

Division

NFC South
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
(1) New Orleans Saints 13 3 0 .813 4–2 9–3 504 353 L1
Atlanta Falcons 7 9 0 .438 4–2 7–5 414 423 W3
Carolina Panthers 7 9 0 .438 2–4 5–7 376 382 W1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5 11 0 .313 2–4 4–8 396 464 L4

Conference

# Team Division W L T PCT DIV CONF SOS SOV STK
Division leaders
1[a] New Orleans Saints South 13 3 0 .813 4–2 9–3 .482 .488 L1
2[a] Los Angeles Rams West 13 3 0 .813 6–0 9–3 .480 .428 W2
3 Chicago Bears North 12 4 0 .750 5–1 10–2 .430 .419 W4
4 Dallas Cowboys East 10 6 0 .625 5–1 9–3 .488 .444 W2
Wild cards
5 Seattle Seahawks West 10 6 0 .625 3–3 8–4 .484 .400 W2
6 Philadelphia Eagles East 9 7 0 .563 4–2 6–6 .518 .486 W3
Did not qualify for the playoffs
7 Minnesota Vikings North 8 7 1 .531 3–2–1 6–5–1 .504 .355 L1
8[b] Atlanta Falcons South 7 9 0 .438 4–2 7–5 .482 .348 W3
9[b] Washington Redskins East 7 9 0 .438 2–4 6–6 .486 .371 L2
10[b] Carolina Panthers South 7 9 0 .438 2–4 5–7 .508 .518 W1
11 Green Bay Packers North 6 9 1 .406 1–4–1 3–8–1 .488 .417 L1
12 Detroit Lions North 6 10 0 .375 2–4 4–8 .504 .427 W1
13[c] New York Giants East 5 11 0 .313 1–5 4–8 .527 .487 L3
14[c] Tampa Bay Buccaneers South 5 11 0 .313 2–4 4–8 .523 .506 L4
15 San Francisco 49ers West 4 12 0 .250 1–5 2–10 .504 .406 L2
16 Arizona Cardinals West 3 13 0 .188 2–4 3–9 .527 .302 L4
Tiebreakers[d]
  1. ^ a b New Orleans finished ahead of LA Rams based on head-to-head victory.
  2. ^ a b c Atlanta finished ahead of Washington based on head-to-head victory. Atlanta finished ahead of Carolina based on head-to-head sweep. Washington finished ahead of Carolina based on head-to-head victory.
  3. ^ a b NY Giants finished ahead of Tampa Bay based on head-to-head victory.
  4. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.
  1. ^ a b New Orleans finished ahead of LA Rams based on head-to-head victory.
  2. ^ a b c Atlanta finished ahead of Washington based on head-to-head victory. Atlanta finished ahead of Carolina based on head-to-head sweep. Washington finished ahead of Carolina based on head-to-head victory.
  3. ^ a b NY Giants finished ahead of Tampa Bay based on head-to-head victory.
  4. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.

Single player milestone

Late in the first half of the Week 5, Monday Night game against the Washington Redskins, Quarterback Drew Brees surpassed Brett Favre (71,838) and Peyton Manning (71,940) for the most career passing yards. Brees surpassed Favre on a 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Josh Hill, and later he surpassed Manning with a 62-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith, giving him the NFL's All-Time Career pass yardage record.[3] Brees also threw his 500th touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens, with a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Benjamin Watson.

Postseason

Schedule

Playoff round Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Game site NFL.com
recap
Wild Card First-round bye
Divisional January 13, 2019 Philadelphia Eagles (6) W 20–14 1–0 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap
NFC Championship January 20, 2019 Los Angeles Rams (2) L 23–26 (OT) 1–1 Mercedes-Benz Superdome Recap

NFC Championship: vs. #2 Los Angeles Rams

The game was marred with controversy after the referees missed a pass interference call of Nickell Robey-Coleman's hit on Tommylee Lewis on 3rd-and-10 with 1:45 remaining in the 4th quarter.[4][5] Some fans, players, and analysts believe the missed call is among the worst in NFL history.[6] The NFL admitted to missing the call soon after the game was over,[7] but did not apologize for the situation until a week and a half later.[8] The fallout from the missed call was a factor in the NFL's decision to expand instantly replay, making pass interference (including non-calls) reviewable. [9]

References

  1. ^ "Gayle Benson becomes Saints, Pelicans owner". ProFootballTalk - NBC Sports. March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  2. ^ "Falcons vs. Saints - Game Summary - November 22, 2018 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  3. ^ "NFL Passing Yards Career Leaders". Pro Football Reference. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  4. ^ https://www.businessinsider.com/rams-beat-saints-refs-miss-pass-interference-nickell-robey-coleman-2019-1
  5. ^ http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/25812050/saints-never-get-blown-pass-interference-call
  6. ^ https://www.businessinsider.com/rams-beat-saints-refs-miss-pass-interference-nickell-robey-coleman-2019-1
  7. ^ https://clutchpoints.com/saints-news-nfl-admits-controversial-missed-call-included-both-pass-interference-and-helmet-to-helmet/
  8. ^ https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/01/30/roger-goodell-breaks-silence-on-controversial-no-call-in-nfc-championship-game/23656991/
  9. ^ http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/26367953/pass-interference-now-reviewable-nfl-officials

External links

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