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KFFL Saints- Eagles in Depth Analysis

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; NEW ORLEANS SAINTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES The New Orleans Saints have rebounded from a 1-4 start to sit at 5-5 and in position to partially control whether they are able to make the playoffs.ÂÂÂ*After coming back from 17 points down ...

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Old 11-20-2003, 04:37 PM   #1
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KFFL Saints- Eagles in Depth Analysis


The New Orleans Saints have rebounded from a 1-4 start to sit at 5-5 and in position to partially control whether they are able to make the playoffs.ÂÂÂ*After coming back from 17 points down to beat the Falcons 23-20, the Saints enter play one of the hottest teams in the Philadelphia Eagles.ÂÂÂ*The Eagles are one of the teams that the Saints will have to pass up if they want to make the playoffs, as the Eagles are 7-3.ÂÂÂ*Against the Falcons, the Saints played the first half like a deer in headlights but came out in the second half with a renewed fire.ÂÂÂ*They won’t be able to play a half as poor as the first one last week and come out with a win as they will have to play a complete game in a hostile environment.

The Saints should be as close to their intended starting defense as they have been all year.ÂÂÂ*After losing as many as 7 starters on defense, most are back from injury and they have improved every week.ÂÂÂ*Unfortunately for the Saints, the injury bug has started to hit the offense with the loss of TE Ernie Conwell (ankle) for the season, WR Joe Horn barely played against the Falcons due to a bruised knee, WR Donte Stallworth injured his ankle, OG Kendyl Jacox will miss some time after knee surgery and more.ÂÂÂ*The players that are able to play will have to play through the injuries and the backups who are stepping in for people too injured to play will have elevate their game.


Saints QB Aaron Brooks had a horrible half and a very good half against Atlanta, but he made enough plays to lead the team back and didn’t make any mistakes after two costly interceptions in the first half.ÂÂÂ*He finished the game 21-of-37 for 228 yards with 0 TD and 2 INT.ÂÂÂ*He also had 37 rushing yards on eight attempts.ÂÂÂ*One of the interceptions was returned for a touchdown and the other one was returned to the 5-yard line before Brooks made a touchdown saving tackle (The Falcons scored a couple of plays later anyway).ÂÂÂ*The offense threw more in the first half trying to succeed the way it did in Atlanta, but it was largely unsuccessful with the absence of Joe Horn.ÂÂÂ*In the second half, Deuce McAllister took over and it created some opportunities for Brooks to succeed.

In the last three games, Brooks has averaged 186 passing yards, 1 TD and 1 INT a game.ÂÂÂ*The offense continued the trend of spreading the field in the first half, but it wasn’t as successful as it has been in recent weeks.ÂÂÂ*Instead, the Saints chose to pound Deuce in the second half and build the passing game off of the running game.ÂÂÂ*This strategy was successful as the Saints were able to come back and get the victory.ÂÂÂ*He has also rushed for an average of 18 yards a game the past three games.ÂÂÂ*The Saints will have to keep the Eagles off balance by using a good combination of run and pass to be successful.

In the past four games, Philadelphia has given up 202 yards passing a game to opposing QBs and they have yielded one passing touchdowns a game during the same span.ÂÂÂ*The Eagles defense against opposing quarterbacks is a middle of the road or average defense in terms of passing yards allowed.ÂÂÂ*This is worse than they usually are, but they have suffered a number of injuries to the defensive starters.


Saints RB Deuce McAllister had a career day against the Falcons by rushing for over 100 yards for the seventh consecutive game.ÂÂÂ*McAllister finished with 173 yards on 28 rushes with two touchdowns and he had nine receptions for another 64 yards.ÂÂÂ*While he statistically had the best game of his career, he had two costly fumbles.ÂÂÂ*The first one was deep in Atlanta territory near the end of the fourth quarter, but the Falcons fumbled it back.ÂÂÂ*The second one was at the 2-yard line after a 58-yard run in overtime, which would have won the game.ÂÂÂ*Despite the two fumbles, McAllister is one of the best backs in the game and he dominated the Falcons in the last two quarters and overtime.

In the last three games, McAllister has averaged 128 yards rushing, 37 yards receiving and 0.67 touchdowns a game.ÂÂÂ*He is the primary weapon in the offense and that won’t change any time soon.ÂÂÂ*During the same time period, he has been the target of 44 percent of the plays with 99, and this includes 56 percent of the red zone plays where he has been targeted nine times, and twice was inside the 5.ÂÂÂ*In overtime last week, he broke the long run that has been expected, but that is the play that he fumbled at the two.ÂÂÂ*He is constantly a threat to break long runs.

The Eagles are in the lower half of the league in defending the run against running backs over the past four games.ÂÂÂ*During that span, they have given up 146 rushing yards, 29 yards receiving and 1.25 touchdowns a game to running backs.ÂÂÂ*This group has had problems defending the run, and McAllister can exploit the weakness.ÂÂÂ*

Saints RB Ki-Jana Carter hasn’t been utilized too often as McAllister is involved in the complete offense.ÂÂÂ*He entered the game against the Falcons whenever Deuce was winded, but he never got the ball on those plays.ÂÂÂ*

The fullback in the Saints’ offense is Terrelle Smith and he is a non-factor when it comes to production.ÂÂÂ*Smith has no carries and only two receptions for seven yards this season.


The Saints’ receivers were limited by the injuries to Joe Horn and Donte’ Stallworth, but Michael Lewis stepped up for the second game in a row and put up some solid numbers.ÂÂÂ*The leading receiver was Lewis who was filling in for injured WR Donte Stallworth.ÂÂÂ*Lewis led the team with four receptions for 85 yards.ÂÂÂ*Saints WR Joe Horn was limited to 21 yards while playing in only a handful of plays and WR Jerome Pathon only had three receptions but three costly drops.ÂÂÂ*Despite the limited success, the receivers were huge in the Saints’ comeback, including Pathon who made a huge 15-yard catch on third and 13.ÂÂÂ*

Horn finished the game against the Bucs with three receptions for 21 yards and no touchdowns.ÂÂÂ*He was in the game for more than 10 plays and he was noticeably hobbling.ÂÂÂ*Over the last three games, he has averaged 45 yards and 0.67 touchdowns a game.ÂÂÂ*He has been the target in 11 percent of the plays (24 targets), but has only been targeted once in the red zone accounting for 6.21 percent of the red zone opportunities.ÂÂÂ*

Stallworth played in most of the game, but he had to come out after twisting an ankle.ÂÂÂ*From that point on, he wasn’t in on every play and he did not finish the game on the field.ÂÂÂ*He finished the game with one reception for five yards and the absence of Horn was noticeable.ÂÂÂ*Without Horn, the passing defense turned its attention to Stallworth and was successful in shutting him down.ÂÂÂ*

Pathon continues to succeed despite limited opportunities.ÂÂÂ*After increasing for a while, Pathon’s chances have decreased the past few weeks.ÂÂÂ*While he made some big plays, he also had some costly drops, which came at inopportune times in the first and second halves.ÂÂÂ*He eventually made up for the mistakes with his huge catch, but he needs to be more consistent.ÂÂÂ*He finished the game against the Bucs with three receptions for 47 yards.ÂÂÂ*Over the past three weeks, he has been the target on 7.16 percent of the offensive plays with 16 opportunities, including one red zone chances to account for 6.21 percent of the red zone offense.ÂÂÂ*

The Eagles are in the lower half in defending wide receivers with 595 yards or 149 yards per game. They are also giving up an average of .25 touchdowns a game and 12 receptions a game during the same span to opposing receivers.



Saints TE Ernie Conwell (ankle) was lost for the season when he broke his lower leg early in the game against the Falcons.ÂÂÂ*Conwell was the most rounded tight end who was a competent blocker and receiver.ÂÂÂ*Boo Williams will assume the role as the start and he is more of a threat receiving the ball, but he is a liability blocking.ÂÂÂ*Williams has been the target of six plays or 2.68 percent of the plays over the last three weeks.

The Eagles are one of the better teams in the NFL in giving up yards to tight ends.ÂÂÂ*Over the past four games, they have given up an average of 25 yards receiving and zero TDs a game to opposing tight ends.ÂÂÂ*The linebacking corps and safeties are very effective in neutralizing the tight end.

Saints TEs Walter Rasby and Zack Hilton have not been consistent factors in the offense with very limited production and opportunities due to the focus on the other players.ÂÂÂ*


Philadelphia has been an above-average team against opposing kickers recently.ÂÂÂ*In the last four games, they have averaged 1.25 field goals on 1.75 attempts and 1.5 PATs a game.ÂÂÂ*Their defense is solid against kickers and the climate may not be conducive to opposing kickers.

Carney was 3-of-3 in FGAs against Atlanta and 2-for-2 on PAT attempts.ÂÂÂ*As the offense has shown some improvement, Carney’s production has increased.ÂÂÂ*He has averaged 2 FGs and 2 PATs per game over the past three weeks.ÂÂÂ*


With Saints WR/KR Michael Lewis returning kicks, there is always the chance of a touchdown and the return game is improved when he is in the lineup.ÂÂÂ*The defense has improved the last few weeks, but they still squander some opportunities with dropped interceptions.ÂÂÂ*In the past three games, the Saints are averaging 1.33 interceptions, 1.67 fumble recoveries and 2 sacks a game.

The Eagles are averaging 0.25 interceptions, 0.5 fumbles and 2 sacks a game to opposing defenses the past four games.ÂÂÂ*The Eagles success hinges on their running game and the safe passing game is built from there.ÂÂÂ*The offense is dependent on QB Donovan McNabb’s success as the receivers are average and the running backs are by committee.ÂÂÂ*
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