The Saints suffered a tough loss in the playoffs after the 2017 season when then-Vikings quarterback Case Keenum hit Stefon Diggs for a pass that Diggs turned into a touchdown on the final play of the game.
The team was able to bounce back from being on the wrong side of the Minnesota Miracle by going 13-3 last season and advancing to the NFC Championship Game, but another tough loss was the result of that trip. An uncalled pass interference on the Rams late in the fourth quarter and a Drew Brees interception in overtime were the memorable moments of a loss to the Rams.
That missed call will have an impact on the 2019 season as it is unlikely that the league would have adopted a new rule allowing for the review of pass interference penalties had a flag been thrown. While speaking with Chris Simms from the American Century Championship golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Payton said he doesn’t feel it will impact his team any more than the Vikings loss did.
Payton acknowledged that the Rams loss “was a lot more difficult” for the team to deal with, but said that the Saints have “a young, resilient locker room” and that “the sense of being around our team” is that they are ready to move forward without the loss creating a cloud overhead.
That will get put to an early test in the regular season. The Saints play the Rams in Week Two and that means there will be plenty of references to what happened in January to accompany the other tests that come with facing a talented opponent.