The Atlantic

How the Showtime Saints Became Championship Favorites

With shrewd drafting and a style adjustment, New Orleans built a team capable of helping out its star quarterback—and winning a Super Bowl.
Source: Butch Dill / AP

Last Sunday evening, after the top-seeded New Orleans Saints dispatched the Philadelphia Eagles to earn a berth in the NFC Championship game, Drew Brees stood at a podium to give reporters his thoughts. The Saints quarterback, who turned 40 on Tuesday, brings no small amount of polish to the discrete elements of his job—fitting passes into tight windows during a game, deflecting praise afterward—and this evening was no exception. “We found a bunch of ways to win during the season … It took everybody,” he said. “But they were all great team victories, and it looks like that’s carried over into the playoffs.”

Brees might have offered a similar quote at—for teams that have bowed out in the postseason’s early rounds or missed it entirely.

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