|2003 New Orleans Saints season|
|Head coach||Jim Haslett|
|General manager||Mickey Loomis|
|Home field||Louisiana Superdome|
|Division place||2nd NFC South|
|Playoff finish||Did not qualify|
|Pro Bowlers||G LeCharles Bentley |
RB Deuce McAllister
|AP All-Pros||RB Deuce McAllister (1st team)|
The 2003 season was the New Orleans Saints' 37th in the National Football League and their 28th playing home games at the Louisiana Superdome. They failed to improve on their 9–7 record from 2002 and finished with a record of 8–8.
This was the season of the River City Relay, a play that has gone down in NFL lore from a week 16 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Saints were 7–7 and needed a victory to keep their postseason hopes alive. The Jaguars held a 20–13 lead with seven seconds left in regulation, and the Saints had possession on their own 25. In a scene evoking memories of The Play, Aaron Brooks passed to Donté Stallworth for 42 yards, Stallworth lateraled to Michael Lewis for 7 yards, Lewis lateraled to Deuce McAllister for 5 yards, and McAllister lateraled to Jerome Pathon for 21 yards and a touchdown. The score was 20–19, leaving only the extra point to force overtime. However, in an unlikely twist, John Carney, who in his career made 98.4% of extra points attempted and had not missed one in a full decade, inexplicably missed the kick wide right, causing the Saints to miss the playoffs for the third consecutive season and 10th time in the past 11.
|2003 New Orleans Saints draft|
|1||6||Johnathan Sullivan||Defensive tackle||Georgia|
|2||37||Jon Stinchcomb *||Offensive tackle||Georgia|
|3||86||Cie Grant||Linebacker||Ohio State|
|4||102||Montrae Holland||Guard||Florida State|
|5||155||Melvin Williams||Defensive end||Kansas State|
|6||203||Kareem Kelly||Wide receiver||USC|
|7||231||Talman Gardner||Wide receiver||Florida State|
|Made roster * Made at least one Pro Bowl during career|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
During the 2003 regular season, the Saints’ non-division opponents were primarily from the NFC East and AFC South based on the NFL schedule rotation. They also played the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears based on the teams' 2002 divisional placement. Their non-conference opponents were from the AFC South.
|1||September 7||at Seattle Seahawks||L 10–27||0–1|
|2||September 14||Houston Texans||W 31–10||1–1|
|3||September 21||at Tennessee Titans||L 12–27||1–2|
|4||September 28||Indianapolis Colts||L 21–55||1–3|
|5||October 5||at Carolina Panthers||L 13–19||1–4|
|6||October 12||Chicago Bears||W 20–13||2–4|
|7||October 19||at Atlanta Falcons||W 45–17||3–4|
|8||October 26||Carolina Panthers||L 20–23||3–5|
|9||November 2||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 17–14||4–5|
|11||November 16||Atlanta Falcons||W 23–20||5–5|
|12||November 23||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 20–33||5–6|
|13||November 30||at Washington Redskins||W 24–20||6–6|
|14||December 7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||L 7–14||6–7|
|15||December 14||New York Giants||W 45–7||7–7|
|16||December 21||at Jacksonville Jaguars||L 19–20||7–8|
|17||December 28||Dallas Cowboys||W 13–7||8–8|
|(3) Carolina Panthers||11||5||0||.688||5–1||9–3||325||304||W3|
|New Orleans Saints||8||8||0||.500||3–3||7–5||340||326||W1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7||9||0||.438||2–4||6–6||301||264||L2|
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