Saints will play on the road in the NFC Wildcards playoffs beginning Saturday

By A.J. Giardina – bio | email

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - The New Orleans Saints must become Road Warriors in the playoffs.  Atlanta took care of business by crushing Carolina to lock up the top seed in the NFC and the Saints stumbled against Tampa Bay.

The young Buccaneers had something to play for, an outside shot at cracking the playoffs, if the Giants and Packers both loss.

Quarterback Josh Freeman didn't play like a second year pro. He completed 21 of 26 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns. Freeman ended the day with a 133-point-2 quarterback rating. That's outstanding.

On the other side of the football, Drew Brees connected on 22 of 38 passes for 196 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Brees also lost a fumble. His quarterback rating was 69.6.

Offensive lineman Carl Nicks says despite the loss, the Saints will head into the playoffs with confidence.

He said, "We know how to play through adversity. It's not going to be as comfortable, as easy for us now that we don't have home field advantage. But we're going to who what we're made of coming out, loud crowd out there and battle.

Playing on the road is going to be challenging. The Wildcard Saints are the 5th seed in the NFC and Darren Sharper says they'll be ready Saturday at 3:30.

Darren Sharper said, "I know that we're definitely a threat in the playoffs and everyone knows that and the playoffs are a different tournament, a new season. We have to look at it that way.

Linebacker Scott Shanle admitted playing on the road will make it more difficult, saying, "You can't deny it." He added, "We have been a good road team and the one thing about this team when it's challenged and when it is told something is going to be harder, this team responds and rises to adversity. So, we're looking forward to it.@

Anything can happen in the playoffs but injuries to running back Chris Ivory and tight end Jimmy Graham places a cloud over the Saints offense.  After the Tampa Bay loss Saints head coach Sean Payton wouldn't comment on any injuries.

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