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Loss hurts, but Saints know it's been a special year

Losing in the NFC Championship Game hurts, but the Saints know their season was a success on so many levels, writes Wayne Drehs.

Updated: January 22, 2007, 3:18 PM ET
By Wayne Drehs | ESPN.com

CHICAGO -- It only took about 15 minutes for New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton to dissect his team's 39-14 playoff loss to the Chicago Bears and convey what he, his team and all those fans back in the Bayou are feeling.

Yes, losing Sunday's NFC Championship Game to the Chicago Bears was painful. Yes, he wanted nothing more than to give fans in his beleaguered city two more weeks of living on a football high they never imagined possible. And yes, at the end of the day, Payton and ...

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