NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The season officially opens today for the Saints in Arizona, but just how important is the season opener to the success of a season? Is it just one of 16? Or is it more?
For the saints, it's been a pretty good indicator of just how good or bad the season will go.
Since 2006, the Saints are 5-4 in season openers. Of those five wins, four of those seasons resulted in playoff berths. The only time the Saints won a season opener and didn't make the playoffs was 2008 when they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
On the flipside, in three of those four season opening losses, the saints didn't make the playoffs. The only time the Saints made the playoffs while losing the opener was in 2011 when they lost to Green Bay.
But these games aren't just crucial. They're are also usually very close.
Only two of those nine season openers have been decided by more than eight points. The first in 2007 when the Saints lost by 31 points to the Indianapolis Colts. The second came in 2009 when they defeated the Lions by 18.
In the other seven games, the average margin of victory or defeat was just over five points.
So how much significance will today's outcome have? Only time will tell, but if history is any indication, it's usually a pretty good sign of where this season is heading.