2006 - Ravens @ Saints 35-22 L
2007 - Panthers @ Saints 16-13 L
2008 - Saints @ Falcons 20-34 L
2009 - Giants @ Saints 27-48 W
2010 - Seahawks @ Saints 19-34 W
2011 - Giants @ Saints 24-49 W
Oddly there was a significant stink made by the media in 2009 that as successful as Sean Payton had been in three and a half years in New Orleans, he was 0-3 following bye weeks. That stat weighed on Sean Payton to at extent, as he admitted multiple times to seeking outside help and advice for how to handle his players with the downtime. Obviously his luck shifted as the Saints have run off three straight victories in post byes since. Surprisingly the Saints have hosted five out of six of their post bye week games in the Sean Payton, with the only road game being a bad loss in Atlanta in 2008. This game in Tampa will represent the second post bye road game in the era, but it comes on the heels of a three game win streak in similar situations.
Do you see the Saints coming into this game rusty or firing on all cylinders?
I have no idea this time. Will they remember what Payton has been doing the last few years? I don't think it is that case. However they have won the last game and they really wanna prove they can go and be in a winning team. I also think it is important for them to win from a team inside the division. If they go 5-1 in the division and the Falcons have a meltdown they might be nr 1 in the division.
Also.. it is Tampa and not Atlanta. So a weaker team (though underestimation is a weakness for the saints) should be beaten. No time for underestimation, they are in need of a W at the moment. They wanna prove to be first team to go 0-4 and win an SB.
Btw... coincidentally... I remember the 2 giant games very well. Nobody has creamed the Giants that hard in the last 20 years then those 2 times they played the Saints after their bye week... So. Lets just see is Tampa can be of the same calibre as the Giants are.