The Saints kicked the season off with a bang, beating up on the Lions 45-7. Drew Brees led the way with 358 passing yards and six TD passes while Jeremy Shockey, who struggled for much of 2008, caught two touchdowns.
2 of 18Al Tielemans/SI
The high-powered Saints flew past the Eagles as Drew Brees threw another three TD passes, two to Marques Colston. Kevin Kolb, playing for the injured Donovan McNabb, threw for 391 yards, but was intercepted three times and sacked twice. Mike Bell picked up 86 rushing yards and a touchdown.
3 of 18Kellen Micah/Icon SMI
After missing the first two games with a knee injury, Saints RB Pierre Thomas burst loose with 126 rushing yards and two touchdowns as the Saints rolled through the Bills 27-7.
4 of 18John Biever/SI, Simon Bruty/SI
The defense led the way against an improved Jets squad as safety Darren Sharper picked off two Mark Sanchez passes, running one back for a 99-yard touchdown in the 24-10 victory. Drew Brees finished the day 20-of-32 with 190 yards and no touchdowns.
5 of 18Simon Bruty/SI
The Saints' offense got back on track against the Giants as Drew Brees carved up New York's secondary en route to a 369-yard, four-touchdown performance. Marques Colston added eight catches for 166 yards and a touchdown in the 48-27 victory.
6 of 18Bob Rosato/SI
Cornerback Tracy Porter picked off a Chad Henne pass and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown with just under two minutes remaining to clinch the 46-34 victory over Miami.
7 of 18Derick Hingle/Icon SMI
The Falcons put up a fight, but couldn't keep up as Pierre Thomas scored twice and Drew Brees threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns in the 35-27 win. The Saints tied the best start in franchise history (7-0).
8 of 18 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Robert Meachem sparked the Saints with a 54-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter as the Saints rallied past the Panthers 30-20. The defense caused three fumbles.
9 of 18G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images
Reggie Bush helped the Saints overcome a sluggish performance by rushing for 83 yards and one touchdown. He also added a 15-yard scoring reception as New Orleans overpowered St. Louis 28-23. New Orleans improved to 9-0 for the first time in club history.
10 of 18Heinz Kluetmeier/SI, Bill Frakes/SI
Tampa Bay was no match for the undefeated Saints as Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns and Mike Bell added two scores on the ground in the 38-7 victory.
11 of 18Bob Rosato/SI
What was billed as a potential game of the season turned into a laugher as New Orleans piled the points on New England, defeating the Patriots 38-17. Drew Brees completed 18 of 23 passes for 371 yards and five touchdowns. The New Orleans defense recorded two sacks, forced a fumble and recorded two interceptions.
12 of 18Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Garrett Hartley's 18-yard field goal sailed cleanly through the uprights to give the Saints a 33-30 victory in overtime against a tough Redskins squad. Robert Meachem was the game's MVP, scoring a game-tying touchdown in the final minute and stripping Kareem Moore at the end of the first half as he was returning an interception. Meachem returned the ball for a touchdown.
13 of 18Bob Rosato/SI
Jonathan Vilma tackled Jason Snelling short of the first-down marker on fourth-and-2 with 1:18 remaining to preserve a New Orleans victory, 26-23, over rival Atlanta.
14 of 18Bob Rosato/SI
New Orleans' dream of a perfect season came to a crashing halt as Tony Romo threw for 312 yards and a touchdown and Miles Austin added 7 receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys' 24-17 victory.
15 of 18Jamie Squire/Getty Images
New Orleans wanted to get back on the winning track against Tampa Bay, but Connor Barth's 47-yard field goal in overtime gave Tampa Bay a 20-17 victory in one of the season's biggest upsets. Pierre Thomas rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
16 of 18Chris Keane/Icon SMI, Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Saints' late season swoon continued as the Panthers got 125 yards and a touchdown from Jonathan Stewart on their way to a 23-10 victory. Drew Brees sat out the game. His backup, Mark Brunell, was ineffective, throwing for just 102 yards and no touchdowns.
17 of 18Simon Bruty/SI
After three straight losses to close the season, the Saints were accused of peaking too early and tailing off at the worst point of the season. Reggie Bush felt differently, amassing 108 yards from scrimmage on only nine touches, and another 109 on three punt returns. He also scored twice as New Orleans powered past defending NFC champion Arizona 45-14.
18 of 18Bob Rosato/SI, Simon Bruty/SI
The Vikings were driving late in the fourth quarter of a tie game, but Brett Favre threw an interception with 12 seconds remaining. The Saints won the coin toss to start overtime and never looked back, winning on a 40-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley to earn their first Super Bowl berth.
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