Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Jacksonville not warm place for Saints
By Pat Yasinskas
It seems like there are a lot of reasons to look at the history of the New Orleans Saints lately.
In Sunday’s victory over Houston, the Saints wore their throwback uniforms. There also was a heart-warming story as the Saints had Steve Gleason as an honorary captain and gave him a Super Bowl ring. That came on the fifth anniversary of the re-opening of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina and brought back memories of Gleason blocking a punt in a huge New Orleans win.
This week will bring back more memories and it’s probably a good thing that not many people associated with the Saints back in 2003 are still with the team. That’s because the Saints will be making their first trip back to Jacksonville since a very unpleasant experience.
In Week 16 of the 2003 season, the Saints and Jaguars were involved in one of the most dramatic finishes in NFL history. Trailing 20-13, the Saints got off a play as time expired. Aaron Brooks (remember him?) threw a pass that ended with Jerome Pathon landing in the end zone after three laterals and 75 yards.
Seemingly, the game was headed for overtime and the Saints would have had all the momentum against the stunned Jaguars. But, then, something weird happened. Normally-reliable kicker John Carney missed the extra point, the Jaguars won 20-19 and the Saints were eliminated from contention.
That’s how things used to play out for the Saints a lot of times. But that kind of thing seemed to come to an end as soon as Brooks left and coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees arrived in 2006.