Eagles vs. Saints: Divisional Round Preview
The Philadelphia Eagles bring their ski masks and underdog mentality to New Orleans to take on the Saints. The Eagles will be riding the impressive play of quarterback Nick Foles, while the Saints boast the talents of Drew Brees and that tremendous home field advantage. Here’s what to watch for in this week’s divisional matchup:
1 – Stopping the Saints run game: The Saints utilize two dynamic running backs in Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. Both athletes have the ability to burn defenses on the ground, and through the air. The Eagles did a great job shutting down Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen last week and will need to have a repeat performance to emerge victorious.
2 – Zach Ertz: With Nick Foles spreading the ball around so much, Ertz has seen a drop in his receiving yards. Ertz has eclipsed the 50-yard receiving mark just twice in the last five games and only has one game over 100 yards in that span. In a game that’s so critical, look for him to show up in a bigger way than of recent.
3 – Drew Brees: Pure and simple, the Eagles need to pressure Drew Brees much more than their first outing. Brees torched the Eagles defense for 363 yards and 4 touchdowns on 22/30 passing in their meeting earlier this season. The Eagles will need to limit his effectiveness and force him out of his comfort zone.
4 – Eagles secondary vs. Michael Thomas: Michael Thomas has exploded this season for 1,405 yards and 9 touchdowns. He is absolute threat all over the field and the Eagles secondary will need a tremendous performance to shut him down While the Eagles banged up secondary has played extremely well recently, it is going to take a village to stop the Saints pass attack.
5 – History: According to Tim McManus, Brees and Foles are the only two Super Bowl MVP’s to ever attend the same high school and faceoff in a playoff game. The last time the Eagles played the Saints in the playoffs, the Eagles were defeated on a field goal that ended their season. Does history repeat itself, or will the Eagles write a new chapter in their franchise book?