New Orleans Saints now turn their attention to the Super Bowl
By the time the Saints report for practice on Thursday, the historic game will be a distant memory. By then, their full attention will be on the Indianapolis Colts, the team New Orleans will meet in Super Bowl XLIV on Feb 7 in Miami.
Their mission, several Saints said, is not complete.
"(Sunday) night was great, but we know what the ultimate goal is," New Orleans All-Pro right guard Jahri Evans said. "The ultimate goal is to go down to Miami and get a win.
"We are just going to have to just put one of our best games together like we have all year, keep our composure and just handle the game as it comes it us."
When the Saints and the Colts meet, it'll be the first time since the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys played in Super Bowl XXVIII that two No. 1 seeds have squared off for the title.
Saints Coach Sean Payton, who was the New York Giants' offensive coordinator when they lost 34-7 to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV, said he expects his team to regain its focus by the time preparation for the Colts begins.
He also doesn't expect the Saints to be overwhelmed by the atmosphere. New Orleans is making the first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, but there are several players and coaches with Super Bowl experience.
"Having been in this game before and coached in this game, I think this is the goal," Payton said. "We set it yesterday. We were excited about the win yesterday. What it did was it gives us an opportunity to play in this next game, which when you get into coaching or playing, your goal is to someday win a Super Bowl championship.
"I don't think the focus is that of the first time. I think each year when you look at a team that goes, it's made up of so many different players. You know, the Steelers a year ago you could say well, they've been to X number of Super Bowls. Yet when you look at the roster, the guy that makes the play of the game is a first-or second-year player. I think the challenge is winning a championship and understanding that we're playing a great Indianapolis team."
The Colts had the best regular-season record (14-2) in the NFL, bolting to 14-0 before resting their starters in much of their final two regular-season games -- both losses...
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