Regaining 'Domefield Advantage' Pivotal To The Success Of The New Orleans Saints

Saints must recapture their once formidable homefield advantage to even have a chance for the playoffs.
Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports
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It wasn't that long ago that the Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints, was undoubtedly one of the toughest places to play for NFL opponents. Raucous crowds, a fast-track surface, and the way that the Saints often elevated their play at home made this one of the toughest venues to play at in all of sports.

Since 1975, the building has been the home site for Saints football. It's also hosted several other national events, including more Super Bowls than any other stadium. An intimidating place to play, opponents often had their hands full with even New Orleans teams lacking in talent over the years.

It has been said that the ''great'' teams often find ways to win on the road, but that the ''good'' teams will at least win most of their home games. Even the mediocre squads will often have a winning record when they play at home.

Between 2006 and 2020, with Drew Brees at quarterback and Sean Payton as head coach, that homefield advantage rose to an even higher level. Over those 15 years, the Saints went to the playoffs nine times. Their record at home over that span was 92-45, a winning percentage of. 672 and one of the better marks in the NFL.

In those nine playoff years, the Saints had a 64-18 record inside the Superdome (including postseason), a winning percentage of .781. Their record in the six seasons they did not qualify for the postseason was a somewhat dismal 28-27, a winning percentage of just .509.

New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen looks on against the Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen looks on against the Atlanta Falcons / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Simply put, playoff teams at least find a way to win at home. Looking at their results at home since 2021, it is not a coincidence that the Saints have missed the playoffs for three straight seasons.

Since Drew Brees retired following the 2020 season, New Orleans is an almost embarrassing 11-12 inside the Superdome. They were an abysmal 2-5 inside their building in 2021, Sean Payton's last as head coach of the Saints.

In 2022, Dennis Allen's first year as head coach of the team, New Orleans was 4-4 at the Superdome. Last season, their home mark increased to an almost respectable 5-3. Allen's record as a head coach at home in two years is a mediocre 9-7, much like his overall win-loss record as a head coach.

The Saints were once nearly unbeatable in the Superdome in prime-time games. This has been where the team has perhaps fallen the furthest. Since 2021, New Orleans has an 0-5 record when playing at home on Thursday, Sunday, or Monday nights. They've been outscored 136-63 in those contests, an average of 27-12 per game.

Under Dennis Allen, the Saints are 0-2 in prime-time home games over the last two years. They lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 27-13, on a Monday night in the Superdome in 2022. Last season, they were defeated 31-24 by the Jacksonville Jaguars at home on a Thursday night. The Jacksonville loss was the only time in those five prime-time home losses that the Saints were even within 10 points in the defeat.

New Orleans Saints special teams before a kick off against the Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints special teams before a kick off against the Atlanta Falcons / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans has nine home games on their 2024-25 schedule.

• Week 1 - Carolina Panthers
• Week 3 - Philadelphia Eagles
• Week 6 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• Week 7 - Denver Broncos
• Week 10 - Atlanta Falcons
• Week 11 - Cleveland Browns
• Week 13 - Los Angeles Rams
• Week 15 - Washington
• Week 17 - Las Vegas Raiders

Barring schedule flexing late in the year, only one of those nine home games is scheduled to be in front of a prime-time audience. On Thursday, October 20, the Saints will host former coach Sean Payton and the Denver Broncos.
Four of the Saints home games (Eagles, Buccaneers, Browns, and Rams) are against teams that made the postseason last year.

New Orleans has home games in consecutive weeks only twice. However, they have four home games over a six-week stretch between November 10 and December 15, separated by just one road game and a bye week.

The New Orleans Saints must answer a lot of questions to return to the playoffs this season. Near the top of that list is whether they can regain their once formidable play in the Superdome.

Bob Rose


Covers the New Orleans Saints as a senior writer for the Saints News Network.  Co-Host of the Bayou Blitz Podcast.