Rematch trend points in Saints’ favor Sunday

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Eagles at Saints 2018: Michael Thomas

For the fourth consecutive playoff game and the 10th time in its playoff history, the Saints will meet a team it faced in the regular season when it takes on the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

If history is an indicator among the first nine rematch situations, the Saints have more of an advantage than just home field next weekend.

Of the six non-divisional opponents the Saints faced in both the regular season and the playoffs, the regular season winner also won the playoff game five times. The outlier was in 2010, when the Saints defeated the Seattle Seahawks in the regular season but lost at Seattle in an NFC Wild Card game.

Three times, the Saints faced division opponents for the third time in a season, and each time, the playoff winner also won at least one of the regular-season meetings.

In 1991, the Saints and Falcons split two regular-season meetings before New Orleans claimed its first-ever division title. The Falcons turned the table on their rivals, however, winning 27-20 in the Wild Card round in New Orleans.

In 2000, the Saints and St. Louis Rams split in the regular season, including a Rams victory in the season finale. The Saints broke the tie with their first-ever playoff victory, 31-28, six days later.

Most recently, the Saints completed a three-game season sweep of the Carolina Panthers in 2017 with a Wild Card victory.

Perhaps ironically with as many similarities as there have been between the 2009 Super Bowl season and this season, none of the 2009 playoff games – Arizona, Minnesota or Indianapolis – were regular-season rematches. If the Saints are to return to the Super Bowl next month, it would have to win a pair of rematch games.

The Saints-Eagles game is the only regular-season rematch in the Divisional round this season.

A chart with the history of Saints regular-season rematches in the playoffs:

Season Opponent Reg Season 1 Reg Season 2 Playoffs
2017 Minnesota Vikings L 19-29 (A) L 24-29 (A)
2017 Carolina Panthers W 34-13 (A) W 31-21 (H) W 31-26 (H)
2013 Seattle Seahawks L 7-34 (A) L 15-23 (A)
2011 Detroit Lions W 31-17 (H) W 45-28 (H)
2010 Seattle Seahawks W 34-19 (H) L 36-41 (A)
2006 Philadelphia Eagles W 27-24 (H) W 27-24 (H)
2000 St. Louis Rams W 31-24 (A) L 21-26 (H) W 31-28 (H)
1992 Philadelphia Eagles L 13-15 (A) L 20-36 (H)
1991 Atlanta Falcons W 27-6 (A) L 20-23 (H) L 20-27 (H)
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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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