New Orleans Saints (6) at Philadelphia Eagles (3)
Time: Saturday Jan 4th @ 5:10 PM Pacific
Weather: 25° F and Clear w/ light wind
Radio: Westwood One(Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Steve Tasker)
TV: NBC(Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth)
Total: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Spread: Eagles -2.5
State Your Case: New Orleans Saints
Matchup: Drew Brees and Sean Payton vs Nick Foles and Chip Kelly. Nick Foles and Chip Kelly have combined for 0 playoff starts, and Foles big game inexperience showed last week as he became wide eyed and held onto the ball too long taking 5 sacks and fumbling in Philly territory. This will be Brees 10th playoff start and the Saints seem to have a bounty out on doubters of their road abilities.
Situation: The Eagles just won their Super Bowl by beating the Dallas Cowboys in prime time for the NFC East title and seem ripe for a let down game. The Eagles could of called this season a success at 8-8, the Saints have their sights set much higher. The well publicized road woes of the Saints have Eagles players and fans looking past a first ballot Hall of Fame QB which is a dangerous proposition.
Stats: The Saints are second in the NFL in passing and the Eagles are dead last in passing defense. The Birds have been able to win by bending and not breaking, but Drew Brees and the Saints are poised to bust things wide open. Jason Witten only had one game in which he got double digit catches and that was the 12 he had last week against Philly going for 135 yards a season high. You can only imagine what Jimmy Graham will be able to do, and if he scores a TD he will move ahead Andrew Bynum in all time dunks in Philadelphia.
Donkey Trend: 3-5 on the road. Yes the New Orleans Saints lost 5 games on the road, but of those 5 loses only 1 team had a losing record the feisty St Louis Rams at 7-9.
Sharp Trend: Eagles are 0-6-1 ATS in their past seven home games against teams with winning records. The fans of Philadelphia will be forced to return to cheese steak eating as their cupcake days are behind them.
State Your Case: Philadelphia Eagles
Matchup: This just cant be overlooked or left as a side note, the matchup of the Saints vs the weather will most likely decide this game as the kick off temp is projected to be in the mid 20s. Just can’t ignore that Brees as a Saint is 3-7 in games below 40 degrees. Brees /Payton are 3-5 when playing outside in December and January…Nuff Said
Situation: Lets not over think this now, all season the Saints have struggled to score on the road scoring over 20 pts just twice (26@CHI,27@NE). Meanwhile the Eagles defense t home this year has only given up over 20 pts 3 times and only once in their last 6(SD-33,KC-26,ARZ-21). This opportunistic defense seems poised to frustrate Brees and create timely turnovers.
Stats: The Saints defense has struggled against teams that can run the ball, well they are playing the best running back group in the league (Philly is 1st in Rush Off. DVOA). Shady, Brown, Polk and Foles will run to set up the pass (Philly is 5th in Pass Off. DVOA) and allow Chip Kelly’s 3rd ranked Offense (W Off. DVOA) to frustrate Rob Ryan and keep Brees off the field. *For more on DVOA check out the Football Outsiders
Donkey Trend: Undoubtedly you’ll hear your buddy who randomly likes the Saints for no good reason say “You cant win in the playoffs with a 1st year starter.” Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, this part of the list is dedicated to Sean, Tim Tebow, Andrew Luck.
Sharp Trend: Kinda feel like a broken record but this is easy Saints 1-7 ATS this year on the road.
Ryan’s Pick: Eagles -2.5 is the play, u don’t play the Saints on the road.
Ryan’s Score: Eagles 34 – Saints 24.
Ryan’s Bonus: Over LeSean McCoy 102.5 Rush yards.
Sean’s Pick: Eagles ML -145.
Sean’s Score: Eagles 28 – Saints 27.
Sean’s Bonus: Shortest TD Over 1.5 yards -105.