Well the match has been set. With the Philadelphia Eagles beating the New York Giants 23-20 in the first round of the playoffs, it is the Eagles that will face off against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome Saturdayat 7 p.m.
For all Saints watchers this should come as no surprise.
Other than New Orleans, the hottest team in the NFC the last month of the season has been the Philadelphia Eagles.
And who would have thought back in November.
In mid-November the Eagles lost their best player, quarterback Donovan McNabb, to a season-ending knee injury and hope for even a playoff berth seemed all but lost.
At that time, two-time Super Bowl champion head coach and current Fox Sports analyst Jimmy Johnson said the Eagles chances of making the playoffs were “zero.”
Well, somebody forgot to tell the Eagles.
Due to the excellent coaching of head coach Andy Reid, the hard-charging running efforts of Brian Westbrook, a tough veteran defense and the great leadership of veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia, the Eagles have now run off six straight victories and dream the Super Bowl dream, just like their Pennsylvania cohort in 2005 did, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now the New Orleans Saints have something to say about making that big trip to Miami in early February.
What makes this even more interesting is that the Saints had one of the best comebacks of the season in game six against the Eagles upsetting them in the Dome 27-24 after they trailed Philly by seven points early in the fourth quarter.
The game this coming Saturday will be decided by which quarterback has the hottest hand. In week six, Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees shredded the Eagles secondary hitting on 27 of his 37 passes for 275 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Eagles quarterback Jeff Garcia has been a great comeback story, but Brees is the pick here, especially if the Saints can control Eagles halfback Brian Westbrook.
The Saints love to exploit man coverage, especially when they flank out halfback Reggie Bush and with Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard questionable with a dislocated elbow, watch for Brees to spread the ball around and go after the weak points in an Eagles defense.
In this type of game the Saints must win the special teams game also. We have all seen in virtually every playoff game that a big play on special teams has a huge impact on the outcome.
Just ask Bill Parcells, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.
For all Saints fans, one bit of advice. Drive more carefully this week, if you are on medication take it like the doctor says you should, watch your diet and be careful doing yardwork.
For only the second time in the 40-year history of the Saints, they are in the second round of the playoffs and only two wins away from Super Bowl Sunday.
This Saints/Eagles game will be close and very exciting and I know no Saints’ fan would want to miss watching the most important game of the 2006 season.
This coming Saturday, be the 12th man and help cheer this football team on to their first ever NFC championship game.
Wouldn’t that be something for our “Who Dat” nation …
Sweet victory for LSU at Sugar Bowl
As we have been reporting since late August the LSU Tigers are a very good football team and quarterback JaMarcus Russell is one of the elite players in college football.
Last Wednesday the Notre Dame Fighting Irish found out just how good the Tigers are. The Tigers totally dominated play from start to finish in their 41-14 win over Notre Dame in the 2007 Sugar Bowl and wasn’t JaMarcus Russell something special!
In his last game as a Tiger, (he will officially announce this Wednesday he is coming out early for the 2007 draft) Russell shredded the Irish for 332 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing score.
His year-long efforts have him now being talked about as being the first overall selection in the 2007 draft.
But with all that said about Russell and the high-powered Tigers offense, it was the LSU defense that shut down Irish All-American quarterback Brady Quinn and his trio of talented receivers. Quinn completed less than 50% of his throws for only 148 yards and 2 pass interceptions, (one by former Hahnville High School and future 1st round pick LaRon Landry.)
For all the talk about Nick Saban and his return to SEC football in Alabama, the talk in Louisiana should be Les Miles turning in 2 straight 11-win seasons.
For two of the most criticized people in Louisiana football, Les Miles and JaMarcus Russell, the Sugar Bowl was sweet!