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Saints have not done well in cold weather

Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints looks

Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field. (Jan. 4, 2014) Credit: Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA -- It wasn't Lambeau cold for Saturday night's NFC wild-card game at Lincoln Financial Field. But it wasn't Superdome warm, either.

The temperature at kickoff was 24 degrees. And the Saints lost their last three road games of the regular season and looked particularly lackluster in games at Seattle in cold weather and at Carolina in a chilly rain. Coming in, Drew Brees had never won an outdoors playoff game.

"We can't practice in it," the Saints' quarterback said of the cold in Philadelphia earlier this week. "But once you're there, it's football. Whatever the conditions are, you manage it."

Saints coach Sean Payton had some fun with ideas about dealing with the elements to change the team's luck.

"We got new travel warm-up suits," Payton joked. "They actually look a little nicer, too . . . After the sweatsuits, we are changing the Gatorade color on game day. We're also changing up the snack the night before. Those are big changes in terms of dealing with the weather and especially the wind."

McCoy: We're real

LeSean McCoy was the NFL's rushing champion this season. Now he wants to be plain champion.

"There are tons of backs that were great that didn't play in the playoffs or Super Bowls," McCoy said. "Still, as a team and as a player there are things you want to do. You want to win games, you want to go to the playoffs, you want to have success as a team."

A five-year veteran, McCoy has played in two playoff games in his career. In a 2009 loss to the Cowboys he was limited to five carries and 24 yards. A year later the Eagles lost to the Packers and he had 46 yards on 12 carries.

He hoped this year would be different. "We're made for the playoffs," McCoy said. "Everyone is so excited for us to be here, but we should be here. We prepared to be champions of this division, and we're prepared to win this game."

Wild cards

The Saints were without Pierre Thomas (chest). He led the team with 549 rushing yards and his 77 receptions were the most for an NFL running back in 2013 . . .Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan won two Super Bowl rings with the Patriots as linebackers coach, but hasn't been to the playoffs in 10 years. "I am undefeated, though," Ryan said of his postseason record.

New York Sports