Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will travel to the city of brotherly as they set battle against the Philadelphia Eagles. Saints enter this game with an 11-5 record which makes them the sixth seed, while the Eagles come into action with a 10-6 record which qualifies them for the third seed. Drew Brees became apart of the 5k club for the 4th time in his 13 year career as he threw for 5,162 yards and 39 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. He also ended the regular season with a rating of 104.7, which is also the 4th time he’s done that in his career.
With an All-time record of 0-5, Drew Brees looks to lead the Saints for their first rode victory in franchise history. Since Brees arrival the Saints have been one of the premier teams of the NFL. In the eight seasons in Saints have been to the playoffs five times including 2 NFC Championship appearances and 1 Superbowl victory. The Saints also have 3 NFC South Division titles to their belt in the eight year span. The Saints only had one playoff victory prior to Brees arrival in 2006.
Keys to a Saints Victory:
- Attack the Eagles weak passing defense. Despite their recent improved play, Eagles give up the 4th most total yards per game(394 YPG) and give up the most passing yards(289.8 YPG) Saints are yet again in the top 5 in Total Offense(YPG). ranked 4th with 399.4 yards per game, and rank 2nd in Passing Yards with 307.4 yards per game.
- Contain big plays. The Eagles have 19 rushing plays of 20+ yards (2nd in NFL) and have 5 rushing plays of 40+ yards (T-1st in NFL). Eagles also are 1st in the NFL in passing plays of 20+ yards with an amazing 80, twelve more than the Denver Broncos(68) and have 18 plays of 40+ yards which is also an NFL’s best.
With the arrival of Rob Ryan as their new Defensive Coordinator, the Saints have a new refurbished defense. Saints rank 4th in fewest points given up (304) , 4th in fewest total yards per game (305.7 per game) and 4th in fewest points per game (19 PPG). You can call Ryan the savior of the Saints defense after a horrible 2012 year when the Saints defense gave up the second most points, passing yards per game and most rushing yards per game. While they still continue to have some struggle against the run, ranked 19th giving up 111 yards per game, their pass defense is one of the best in the NFL second behind Seattle Seahawks in total passing yards (3,105) and in yards per game (194.1). Opposing QB’s passer rating is just 83.6. Nick Foles will have his work cut out for him in saturday’s game.
Weather forecast for saturday’s wild card game says it’ll be a cold 19 degrees with winds at 5 mph, with a windchill of 14 degrees, but there will be no snow. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:10 P.M. and will be televised on Sunday Night Football on NBC.