Joe Vitt: New Orleans Saints' season ends with sadness

A strange and disappointing season for the New Orleans Saints is all but over. Sunday's 34-31 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys was too little, too late for a team that has zero shot at the playoffs after winning the NFC South a season ago.

"This is a game of heartbreak and setbacks, and it's all about how you respond," Saints interim coach Joe Vitt told The Times-Picayune on Monday. "There's a sense of depression when the season comes to an end."

Fingers crossed, we're done sharing stories about the bounty scandal, the legacy this year's team was burdened with and now leaves behind. From that angle, a quiet offseason is inviting for this organization.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay will re-air the New Orleans Saints' 34-31 OT victory over the Dallas  Cowboys from Week 16 on Tuesday, Dec. 25 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

» NFL Network schedule

On the field, the 7-8 Saints kept their playoff hopes alive longer than some expected following a 1-4 start, leaving one reporter to ask Vitt what might have happened if New Orleans snuck into January play. The coach wanted nothing to do with what-ifs.

"If my aunt had a beard, she'd be my uncle," Vitt quipped, and if the Saints were a better team in 2012, we'd be looking forward -- not back -- on this season.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.