Turn back the clock: Saints bring Super Bowl stars back, defeat Panthers in Wild Card Playoffs

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 07: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints reacts after his team defeated the Carolina Panthers during the NFC Wild Card playoff game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The calendar says January 2018, but Sunday in the Superdome, it seemed much like January of 2010.

A host of Saints from the 2009 Super Bowl champions, including Saints running back Reggie Bush returned to take part in the Who Dat cheer, then watched the Saints beat the Panthers 31-26 in an NFC Wildcard game. Only two Saints from the Super Bowl champions, punter Thomas Morstead and quarterback Drew Brees were active for the victory over the Panthers. Here’s the cheer, led by Bush before the game.

The win was the first for the Saints at home in the playoffs in exactly 6 years. January 7th, 2012 the Saints defeated the Detroit Lions.

Brees completed 23 of 33 passes for 376 yards and 2 touchdowns, including an 80 yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn in the first quarter.

Ginn caught 4 passes for 115 yards. Michael Thomas had 8 receptions for 131 yards.

The Saints won despite rushing for only 41 yards on 22 carries.

The Saints led 31-19 in the fourth, before Carolina quarterback Cam Newton completed a 56 yard touchdown pass to running back Christian McCaffery. At the two minute warning, the Saints went for it on fourth and two at the Carolina 47. Brees was intercepted  by safety Mike Adams at the Carolina 31.

The Panthers then drove to the Saints 21, before Newton was flagged for intentional grounding, and was sacked for a 17 yard loss by safety Vonn Bell.

Brees said bringing back the 2009 Super Bowl Saints served as extra motivation.\

The Saints play at Minnesota Sunday at 3:40 pm in the divisional playoffs.