The Saints should be well rested and somewhat healed going into their game this upcoming Sunday in Tampa following a bye week. But is the bye week a blessing? Sometimes teams come back rejuvinated and other times teams come back rusty. I figured this would be a good time to look back at how the first game back from the bye week has gone for the Saints in the Sean Payton era. Below is a recap of the last five seasons after the bye week:
2006 – Ravens @ Saints 35-22 L
2007 – Panthers @ Saints 16-13 L
2008 – Saints @ Falcons 20-34 L
2009 – Giants @ Saints 27-48 W
2010 – Seahawks @ Saints 19-34 W
2011 – Giants @ Saints 24-49 W
Oddly there was a significant stink made by the media in 2009 that as successful as Sean Payton had been in three and a half years in New Orleans, he was 0-3 following bye weeks. That stat weighed on Sean Payton to at extent, as he admitted multiple times to seeking outside help and advice for how to handle his players with the downtime. Obviously his luck shifted as the Saints have run off three straight victories in post byes since. Surprisingly the Saints have hosted five out of six of their post bye week games in the Sean Payton, with the only road game being a bad loss in Atlanta in 2008. This game in Tampa will represent the second post bye road game in the era, but it comes on the heels of a three game win streak in similar situations.
Do you see the Saints coming into this game rusty or firing on all cylinders?