Will Foles keep the magic alive? Will the Saints put the Minneapolis Miracle to bed? Breakout Live predicts the divisional playoff matchup between the Eagles and Saints.
Eagles @ Saints
Remember back in Week 11 when the Saints embarrassed the Eagles 48-7 and seemingly killed the defending champs’ playoff hopes? Neither do I. Flash forward nearly two months later and Philly doesn’t even look like the same team. Their defense is finally playing like they were expected to all year, their patchwork secondary has somehow jelled like they’ve been slapped with gobs of Gorilla Glue, and the entire team and city has rallied around Super Bowl MVP/Backup QB Nick Foles and rode him into the postseason. You can’t write the kind of story that Foles is penning for himself. The dude won’t die. Is the defense getting enough credit for what they’ve done in support of Foles? Probably not. But this guy has been the magic elixir for this team and there’s really no way to explain it.
On the other side, the Saints don’t exactly look like they used to, either. They’re no longer beating the snot out of everyone they play, and they’ve certainly been exposed by their total lack of a deep threat. But they’re still the #1 seed in the NFC, and they’re certainly not lacking in motivation. What do you think went through the minds of Saints players when Sean Payton rolled into the locker room with the Lombardi Trophy and $225k in cold hard cash? I know what I’d be thinking: ‘Coach has done lost his damn marbles.’ Whichever way you slice it, can’t hate Payton for pulling out all the stops in what could be Drew Brees’ last best chance to win another Lombardi.
There’s really no better way to put a bow on the best weekend in the NFL (yes, the Divisional round is better than the Wild Card) than two teams who absolutely despise each other. It dates all the way back to last year after the Saints lost to the Vikings in the 2018 Divisional round and Alvin Kamara said New Orleans would have beaten the you-know-what out of the Eagles in the NFC Championship, and the chirping hasn’t stopped since. Well, here’s your chance, Al. put up or shut up time.
Much like these two teams, Sunday’s game won’t look anything like the one in Week 11 did. The only thing that will look the same, though, is the winner. Foles is a winner but he’s no game changer – Brees, Michael Thomas and Kamara are. The Eagles’ secondary is ripe for the pickin’, Brees will pick them apart, and not even Foles-Magic can save Philly this time.
Prediction: Saints, 26-20