In 1966, the New Orleans Saints become the league’s 16th franchise. When the team began play in 1967, John Gilliam brought back a 94-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff of their first regular season game.
Unfortunately, the team would be mostly irrelevant until the late 1980s and didn’t win a division title until 1991. After a 12-4 record in 1992, the Saints would only have one more winning year (2000) until 2006.
But 2006 marked the start of a new era in New Orleans. Still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the city was looking for hope and rookie head coach Sean Payton and newly acquired QB Drew Brees more than delivered.