6 Facts About the New Orleans Saints


The New Orleans Saints have been part of the National Football League for over fifty years now, having begun play for the 1967 season. In 2021, the franchise is about to enter a very interesting season, as their long-time Super Bowl winning Quarterback, Drew Brees, announced his retirement earlier this offseason.

The franchise as a whole has certainly had its ups and downs over the past several decades. Here are seven fascinating facts about the New Orleans Saints.

6 New Orleans Saints Facts

  1. The Saints held OJ Simpson to a season low in his 2,000 yard season. (source) Former Buffalo Bills RB OJ Simpson is one of only eight running backs in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season. In 1973, Simpson rushed for a league leading 2,003 yards. However, over the course of the 14-game season, the New Orleans Saints were the only team to hold Simpson to under 100 yards (79), as the Saints shut out the Bills in a 13-0 victory.

  2. It took 20 years for the Saints to make the playoffs. (source) The Saints began play for the 1967 season, but they wouldn’t have their first playoff appearance until 1987, making it one of the longest initial droughts in NFL history.

  3. Throughout their history, the Saints have had three different owners. (source) John W. Mecom, Jr. was the franchise’s founding owner in 1967, having purchased the Saints for $8.5 million from the NFL, making him the youngest owner of one of the league’s coveted franchises. He would eventually sell the team to Tom Benson for $64 million in 1985, who would own it until he passed away in 2018. His wife, Gayle Benson, has owned the New Orleans Saints since.

  4. One of the NFL’s worst trades ever involved the New Orleans Saints. (source) In the National Football League, draft selections are very valuable currency. For the 1999 NFL Draft, Saints Head Coach Mike Ditka traded his entire draft slate, along with picks for the following years, to move up to fifth selection to select Texas RB Ricky Williams. In the trade, the Washington Redskins received first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and sevenths round selections in the 1999 NFL Draft, and fist and third round selections in 2000. The trade proved to be a colossal mistake, as Ricky Williams only played for the Saints for three seasons, rushing for 3,129 yards and 16 touchdowns.

  5. The Superdome has been the home of the Saints since 1975. (source) Today, the Superdome in New Orleans is one of the loudest stadiums in the National Football League, and the Saints have called the dome home since 1975. Prior to playing in the Superdome, all Saints home games took place at Tulane Stadium (1967-1974).

  6. The Saints became the first ever NFL team to finish a season 1-15. (source) For the past several seasons, the New Orleans Saints have been one of the toughest teams in the NFL, but this wasn’t always the case. In 1980, the franchise became the first team ever to total 15 losses in a single season. It would be another 29 years before the Saints won their first Super Bowl (against the Colts following the 2009 season).

Have more New Orleans Saints facts? Share them below!

Featured image photo credit: Football Schedule, 2012. Originally found on Flickr. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.

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