Drew Brees is unquestionably a great quarterback destined for the Hall. Sean Payton is, by a vote of his own peers in the NFL, one of the top 3 coaches in the game. Together, they rebuilt the moribund Saints into an offensive powerhouse from their first season in 2006 to present day. The Saints play an exciting brand of football. They move fast, they can beat you in the short to intermediate game, and then they exploit that to get vertical on you quickly for big touchdowns.
While the so-called mystique of playing at the Superdome is really little more than a good old fashioned homefield advantage, perhaps made more notable by the two superb offensive talents that lead the team, there is no question that the Saints had a truly fearsome home record in the bright lights of primetime. Since Brees showed up in the Katrina-ravaged state of New Orleans from San Diego in 2006, the Saints had amassed a 19-3 record in home primetime games, playoffs included. That is really damn good.
In fact, only one team was better since 2006 and that is the Seattle Seahawks who are rather notable for their very real homefield advantage. Now at 19-4 in such games, the Saints are still second in the NFL with a 0.826 winning percentage.
But it was more than the record. The Saints were crushing opponents in these games. The median margin of victory in these 23 games was 15 points meaning they won by at least two touchdowns half the time. As recently as last month, they crushed the Packers by three touchdowns at home in primetime. The same Packers who look like one of the three best teams in football at this exact moment.
After a season like this, it's easy to write off the NFC South as simply being a bad division. And to be clear, it is. The AFC North all sits at 7-4 or better and make no mistake, the NFC South is the primary reason for that.
Nevertheless, that should not dissuade you from the impressiveness of the Ravens victory. This had the makings of a game that the Saints arguably should have won, and certainly if past history was any indicator, they would have. Instead, Baltimore played a mostly good game overall on the road when it very much needs to keep pace with its division rivals. As a result, Baltimore became just the fourth team to defeat the long-dominant Saints at the Superdome in primetime. Regardless of what you think of the Saints current record, that is a feat to be proud of.