|2018 New Orleans Saints season|
|Head coach||Sean Payton|
|General manager||Mickey Loomis|
|Home field||Mercedes-Benz Superdome|
|Division place||1st NFC South|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Playoffs (vs. Eagles) 20-14|
Lost NFC Championship (vs. Rams) 23-26 (OT)
|Pro Bowlers||QB 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-Pros||WR Michael Thomas (1st team) |
QB Drew Brees (2nd team)
OT Terron Armstead (2nd team)
OT Ryan Ramczyk (2nd team)
DE Cameron Jordan (2nd team)
This season was the first since 1984 without owner Tom Benson, who died in March. In Week 11, the Saints defeated the Philadelphia Eagles to reach their first nine-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, which came to an end when the Saints lost to the Dallas Cowboys 13-10, on November 29. On December 9, the Saints clinched their second straight NFC South division championship when they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, their first back-to-back division titles in franchise history. On December 17, after beating the Carolina Panthers, the Saints improved on their 11-5 record from 2017. After a Week 16 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Saints clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Saints finished the season with a 13-3 record, tied for the most wins in a season in franchise history.
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 a 26-23 overtime loss 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. Additionally, it marked the first time since 1992 that the Saints lost a postseason game at home.
|6||189||Kamrin Moore||CB||Boston College|
|6||201||Boston Scott||RB||Louisiana Tech|
|1||at Jacksonville Jaguars||W 24-20||1-0||TIAA Bank Field||Recap|
|2||Arizona Cardinals||L 15-20||1-1||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||Recap|
|3||at Los Angeles Chargers||W 36-7||2-1||StubHub Center||Recap|
|4||Los Angeles Rams||W 28-0||3-1||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||Recap|
The Saints' 2018 schedule was released on April 19.
|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||Washington Redskins||W 43-19||4-1||Mercedes-Benz Superdome||Recap|
|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||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||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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Michael Thomas recorded his 90th catch of the season, joining Odell Beckham Jr. as the only players in NFL history to record at least 90 receptions in their first three seasons. However, Drew Brees would lose the game for the Saints by throwing an interception to Jourdan Lewis, thus snapping the Saints' 10-game win streak and dropping them to 10-2.
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.
With the win, the Saints clinched home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Mark Ingram recorded his 50th touchdown, surpassing Deuce McAllister for the Saints franchise record for rushing touchdowns.
Teddy Bridgewater started in this game. With the loss, the Saints finish the season 13-3.
|(1)New Orleans Saints||13||3||0||.813||4-2||9-3||504||353||L1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||11||0||.313||2-4||4-8||396||464||L4|
|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|
|Did not qualify for the playoffs|
|11||Green Bay Packers||North||6||9||1||.406||1-4-1||3-8-1||.488||.417||L1|
|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|
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. Brees also threw his 500th touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens, with a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Benjamin Watson.
|Playoff round||Date||Opponent (seed)||Result||Record||Game site||NFL.com|
|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|
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. Some fans, players, and analysts believe the missed call is among the worst in NFL history. The NFL admitted to missing the call soon after the game was over, but did not apologize for the situation until a week and a half later. The fallout from the missed call was a factor in the NFL's decision to expand instant replay, making pass interference (including non-calls) reviewable.