Could this be the year for Saints?

The Saints could be this year's version of .500 to the Super Bowl.

Updated: September 6, 2004, 12:06 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Everybody pretty much knows the hope springs eternal statistics, numbers from the past half-dozen NFL seasons, a recent history coaches and general managers recite by rote to convince even the shabbiest of rosters that the playoffs are a realistic possibility at the outset of any campaign.

Over the last six years, seven of the 12 teams that advanced to the Super Bowl were at .500 or below in the season preceding their championship game appearance, and eight did not qualify for the playoffs ...

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