Best in the West!
For the first time in their 24 year existence, the New Orleans Saints had a Western Division Title. The year started with 7 straight victories including a 26-0 shutout against Minnesota and 6-sack games against the Eagles and Buccaneers. The Eagles game also netted 6 turnovers as philly could only manage 2 fieldgoals.
The offense was somewhat uneventful, but productive. Fred McAfee led the team rushing with 494 yards, but Gil Fenerety was right behind with 477. Eric Martin again led the team in Receiving with 66 grabs and 803 yards, but Floyd Turner really came on with 64 catches and 927 yards. His 8 TDs was nice too.
The QB duties were split.
--- Steve Walsh: 255-141-55.3%-1638-11 TDs-6 int
--- Bobby Hebert:248-149-60.1%-1676-9 TDs-8 int
Both quarterback were pretty even with the stats, but the difference was that New Orleans was 9-2 when Hebert was in the lineup.
Morten Andersen had 113 points (5th best in the league) along with a 60-yarder against Chicago.
The strength of the team was, without doubt, the defense. With shutouts against the Vikings and Raiders, the performance of the The Dome Patrol was nothing short of phenomenal. At least 1 turnover in 15 of 16 games, they led the league in turnovers and fewest points allowed and #2 in total yards given up. The 50 sacks were third best in the league.
Defensive highlights were numerous:
3 sacks or more in 10 games, 4 or more in 6. Against Tampa and Philadelphia 6 each.
2 or more interceptions in 9 games, with 5 apiece against Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Linebacker Pat Swilling was tops in the league in sacking opposing QBs with 17 and also had a 39-yard interception return for a score in the season opener against Seattle. His performance for the year earned him the AP Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team Pro Bowl appearance. Joining him in the Pro Bowl where Vaughn Johnson, Sam Mills and Bennie Thompson.
The third playoff appearance for the Saints in five years saw arch rival Atlanta beat us in the fourth quarter 27-20.