With New Orleans’ Super Bowl XLVIII just a few months away, the Saints are trying to make sure their legacy doesn’t get overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are some of the most notable twists, turns and gimmicks that went into this year’s team, and what it means for the rest of the league:1.
The New Orleans Chargers won their Super Bowl despite having to play without the injured quarterback Philip Rivers.
After an impressive opening drive, New Orleans got an early touchdown when Philip Rivers threw a touchdown pass to Kenny Stills, who then went to the ground and recovered the fumble.
But then New Orleans scored a touchdown on the next play when they went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 with just over a minute to go.
Rivers got sacked on the ensuing kickoff return and then had to go to the locker room.
His next play was a 10-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline to Keenan Allen.
But this was one of the team’s more bizarre plays.
On third-and‑five, Rivers fumbled a third-down pass in front of the Chargers’ 15-yard line.
New Orleans took the ball back with 10 seconds to go and had a field goal attempt blocked.
The Saints tried again on fourth down, but the ball bounced out of bounds.
On the ensuing drive, the Chargers tried to take advantage by trying to score on fourth and six.
The clock was stopped on fourth quarter, and Rivers was sacked for the fourth time of the game.
Rivers returned to the field, but he was seen by the trainers in the locker-room, wearing a white mask and a bandana covering his mouth.
Rivers was immediately replaced by running back Mike Tolbert, who had already scored a rushing touchdown earlier in the game, and the Saints went on to win 31-20.
This wasn’t the only strange play during the game: After the Saints had already gone for it with 10 minutes to go, Tolbert missed a field-goal attempt that would have tied the game with 8 seconds left.
After the team failed to convert on its first attempt, New England drove to the Saints’ 16-yard-line and scored a 7-yard field goal.
After New Orleans had a chance to tie the game on fourth downs, Rivers was pressured and sacked for a 14-yard loss.
New England then had the ball at the New England 8 with 7:55 left in the second half and tried to convert, but Rivers was knocked out of the play with a shoulder injury.
Rivers missed the remainder of the third quarter.
This was one reason why the Saints struggled for much of the season.
They needed Rivers to lead them to a win after a season-ending loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs.
Rivers played just two games after that loss, including the first five games of the year.
He was injured in Week 5 and the team started to struggle in Week 10 when they lost at Detroit.
Rivers struggled again the following week, as New Orleans lost at Pittsburgh and went down to 1-5 on the year after beating the Steelers.
Rivers had just nine carries for 17 yards in Week 11 and then played just 14 snaps for the first half of the next game.
He went on the field for only 12 plays in the next two games, and was replaced by Tolbert in Week 13, but still had 15 carries for 47 yards in the final two games.
It took Rivers until Week 17 to finally play again.
After missing the first four games of 2016 due to a shoulder issue, Rivers returned in Week 12 to carry the ball for a season high-tying fourth-quarter touchdown, but his play suffered again as he rushed for just eight yards on 13 carries in the win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After another poor performance in Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Rivers missed two games and then was replaced with rookie rookie Alvin Kamara in Week 16.
Rivers’ last game was against the Chicago Bears.
Rivers started for just the second time this season and finished with just nine yards on eight carries.
He had just five carries for 14 yards in this game.
Kamara, who has just three carries for 13 yards, played just nine snaps for five yards.
Rivers and Kamara combined for two sacks, two quarterback hits, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a punt return for a touchdown, a blocked field goal and a punt.
The Chargers won the game 28-17.2.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning had a disappointing 2016 season.
He struggled mightily throughout the season, completing just 56 percent of his passes for 4,847 yards with a league-worst 18 interceptions.
After Manning left the Giants for the Philadelphia Phillies, he was drafted No. 1 overall by the New York Jets.
Manning struggled to get the job done in New York.
The Jets signed a $20 million deal with Manning in July but the Jets struggled