NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — WGNO Sports takes a look back at the Top 10 moments in Sean Payton’s career as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints:
Jan. 18, 2006 – Saints hire Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Sean Payton. The 42-year-old Payton takes over a team that won 3, lost 13, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
March 14, 2006 – Saints sign free-agent quarterback Drew Brees. The Payton/Brees combo would lead New Orleans to a Super Bowl title, and three NFC championship game appearances. The pair would combine to lead the Saints to 9 seasons of 10 victories or more, the greatest stretch by far in franchise history.
Sept. 26, 2006 – Saints defeated Falcons 13-3 in “Domecoming.” Saints equal 2005 win total in emotional victory over archrival Atlanta.
Jan. 21, 2007 – Saints fall to Bears, 39-14 in NFC championship game. Saints, and New Orleans, are the comeback story of the year in the NFL. Payton is named 2006 NFL coach of the year.
Jan. 24, 2010 – Saints win NFC championship game, 31-28 over Vikings to earn a berth in Super Bowl XXLIV. Kicker Garrett Hartley boots 40-yard field goal to give Saints victory in overtime.
Feb. 7, 2010 – Saints win Super Bowl defeating Colts, 31-17. LSU’s Tracy Porter intercepts Peyton Manning in the fourth quarter and returns a pick for a touchdown. Saints are Super Bowl champs. New Orleans parties all night, and then parties all offseason.
Jan. 14, 2012 – Saints upset by 49ers in NFC Divisional playoffs at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Saints, despite 13 wins, and prolific offense, are sent home in what was the 2nd toughest defeat of the Payton era.
March 21, 2012 – Sean Payton suspended one season for his alleged role in Bountygate. Without Payton, the Saints stumble to a 7 win season under interim head coaches Aaron Kromer and Joe Vitt.
Jan. 20, 2019 – Rams rally to defeat Saints, 26-23 in the infamous NOLA no-call game. Pass interference on the Rams would have given the Saints a fresh set of downs inside the 10-yard line in regulation. But, the call isn’t made, and the Saints fall in overtime. Saints fans protest en masse downtown. On Super Bowl Sunday, New Orleans metro area TV ratings for the game sink to an all-time low as thousands of Saints fans boycott the game.
Jan. 25, 2022 – Sean Payton retires as the most successful coach in franchise history after 16 years and 15 seasons.