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Duncan: Saints’ season ended in cruel, heartbreaking fashion

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 9:28 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Saints’ season ended in cruel, heartbreaking fashion on Sunday.

One minute the Saints appeared headed for a fifth consecutive playoff appearance. The next … their postseason hopes dashed by an improbable last-minute comeback by the San Francisco 49ers.

The joy of beating the archrival Falcons on their home field in the season finale was quickly replaced by the abrupt and sobering disappointment of an unfulfilled goal. The Saints were going home ... to watch the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

In a season where little went right for the Saints, we probably should have anticipated it would end this way.

It’s been a year filled with frustration, setbacks and adversity. A season that began with the promise of a 5-2 start quickly descended into mediocrity because of injuries, infections and bad breaks. Whatever could go wrong at times did go wrong. And the Saints showed admirable grit and tenacity to finish the year at 9-8.

It was a tough season, a year to forget in so many ways. But the Saints’ future remains bright. They won four of their last five games and the core is in place to rebound quickly next season. There are major decisions to make this offseason but this team is a quarterback away from returning to the playoff mix. And I fully expect them to find that quarterback -- and their championship mojo again -- in 2022.

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