REVENGE. Pay back. Bounties. Eagles players like LT Jason Peters have actually used those words. Earlier this year the Saints pasted us, 7 – 48. Did the Eagles players sulk? Did they feel sorry for themselves and mail the rest of the season in? They did neither of these things.
What the Eagles players did was meet as MEN. They talked about being embarrassed. They spoke of pride. They used it to resurrect a season that others had written off and were already throwing dirt on. And now, through teamwork and sheer will, the Eagles find themselves facing the same Saints team.
But they will do it, as a different Eagles team. Revenge.
I’m sure by now, most of you have heard about the cute stunt pulled by elderly Frankie Muniz.
If you haven’t, let me nutshell it for you: He grabbed the Saints Super Bowl trophy and 225K in cash (representing an NFL player’s SB bonus), wheeled both into their locker room, and told the players if they want these, they have to win “three fucking games”.
I guess that no one told them that QB Nick Foles, has been making extra cake for killing motherfuckers since the Rams game! Bonuses of 250K for each regular season victim. Then a cool 1M, for that ice-in-his-veins, game-winning touchdown drive last week against the Bears in a playoff game.
FYI Saints: Eagles Owner Jeff Lurie, ripped that Wanted poster off the Bears carcass and nailed it to your team’s forehead for THIS week. Because this week we’re playing for revenge, and revenge is a dish best served, with a big ol’ bottle of ice cold Spite.
So let’s talk about the Four Things we need to focus on this week versus the Saints:
1) Spread the Ball: In 3 losses (TB1, DAL, CAR2) the Saints opponent had 3 receivers with 50 yards or better. In 5 close wins/near losses (CLE, ATL, BAL, PIT, CAR1) the opponent had just 2 receivers with 50 yards or better. Spreading the ball loosens up this defense.
2) Sack Attack: Since 2015, the Saints are undefeated when their opponent doesn’t record a sack. In our loss to them this year, we couldn’t get within a 50$ cab ride of the QB, and he dissected us on national television. Our mission couldn’t be clearer here. Get those hands UP to obstruct his line of sight, to make him hold the ball and give the pass rush time to hunt.
3) Win Rushing yards: In all three losses, the Saints opponent led in rushing yards. So run it 25 times, not 11 like last time.
4) Take away the short pass: Don’t allow the RB easy releases into pass routes. Again, the idea is to make the QB hold the ball. As the rush gets closer, it gets harder for him to see over. Especially if those hands are up. It forces the ball more up than out, giving defenders a split second more to get to under the ball.
If we do all these things, we’re just about guaranteed to win. Now that we’ve covered what should happen, let’s get into what likely will happen:
Like Chicago, Eagles fans will NOT take over this venue. We will indeed be playing in a raucous and hostile environment, where it seems the very building is against us. With Chicago it was the field, in New Orleans it will be noise.
We’ll work to settle the nerves of our young Secondary, and get them to trust the communication. Once that happens, we can work on quieting that crowd.
New Orleans is going to try and come at us with a run game that they were able to lean on last time. But this time we’ll be ready for that. If their QB attempts to go by the film of how we played them the last time, this could end up as THE biggest debacle in his career.
PREDICTION: EAGLES 26 – Saints 19
I think age will catch up to Brees in this game. I think Foles will take Eagles on some slow methodical drives and will continue to take shots downfield. Look for a little more Josh Adams in open space but I think Smallwood is a very tough back. And if he can find space I think he has adequate speed to pick up big chunks. I expect a motivated Sproles to come up BIG. Although Michael Thomas is a very good WR I expect big body Douglass to get that job with backup safety help. The DTs of Nghata , Cox, Hester, Jerrnigan should create penetration for at least 3 qtrs flushing Brees out of pocket. A couple stinging hits near the knees of Kamara should make him think twice about ending his football career in a divisional playoff game. Mark Ingram will be tasked with carrying the load but with a healthy front seven it will be a large task for a guy that just doesnt possess enough speed. The physical Eagles will leave Brees with no choice but to launch balls up for grabs. In the end Brees has a solid game but not enough to March Saints forward. Eagle offensive talent continues to gain momentum in a 27-17 win setting them up with a showdown with Cowboys.
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This is about how I see it playing out. I think once Kamara gets punched in the mouth, he’ll become an emotional liability. After that, Brees is left running a vanilla scheme without the smoke and mirrors it relies on.
Another prediction pregame brawl
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It’d be nice, but the Eagles have too much confidence to let the Saints bait them into doing something stupid.
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