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6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The New Orleans Saints rallied from an early deficit to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 in the NFC Divisional playoffs Sunday (Jan. 13) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The victory advances the Saints to the NFC Championship Game against the Los ...

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Old 01-14-2019, 12:30 AM   #1
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The New Orleans Saints rallied from an early deficit to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 in the NFC Divisional playoffs Sunday (Jan. 13) at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The victory advances the Saints to the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday (Jan. 20) at 2:05 p.m. It's only the third NFC Championship Game appearance in Saints club history.



A look at my takeaways from the big win:

1. The game-winning drive was an all-timer
Drives don't get any better or more dominant than the one the Saints compiled midway through the second half. Trailing 14-10, the Saints marched 92 yards in 18 plays for the go-ahead touchdown, a 2-yard catch by Michael Thomas. The Saints actually gained 112 yards in the drive because they overcame three penalties, including a pair of holding calls that left them with two second-and-20 situations. The monster scoring march took the starch out of the Eagles' defense and surely will go down in Saints' lore if the team continues on its Super Bowl run.

2. Drew Brees was Drew Brees after a slow start
The Saints' All-Pro quarterback suffered an uncharacteristically slow start. But once he found his rhythm, there was no stopping him. After starting the game 0-for-3 with an interception, Brees completed 28 of 38 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. His final passer rating was an impressive 103.1. The Eagles had no answer for Brees in the final three quarters.

3. Give a game ball to Sean Payton
One of Sean Payton's greatest attributes as a head coach is his aggressiveness. Unlike many of his peers, he's not afraid to fail and he showed his riverboat gambler mentality in the second quarter by calling a trick play on fourth-and-short at his own 30-yard line. The call, which came with the Eagles leading 14-0, might just have saved the Saints' season. Payton took advantage of Eagles' coach Doug Pederson's decision to not accept a holding call on the previous play, a third-and-1 run by Mark Ingram that the Eagles stopped for no gain. Instead of setting up a third-and-11, Pederson declined the penalty and left the Saints with a fourth-and-1. The Saints sent out the punt team, then direct-snapped the ball to the powerful Hill, who blasted into the line for a 4-yard gain to convert the first down.

4. The first quarter was a nightmare
You could not have written a worse start for the Saints. Brees threw an interception on the first snap from scrimmage and Sheldon Rankins suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon tear on the second defensive series. The Eagles drove 75 and 76 yards for touchdowns on their first two drives to take a 14-0 lead, which they took into the second quarter. The Eagles outgained the Saints 8-2 in first downs and 153-21 in total yards in the first quarter. The quick start was allowed the Eagles to take the crowd out of the game early.

5. Marshon Lattimore's interception came at a critical time
The Saints trailed 14-0 and had just given up the ball again on offense. The defense desperately needed to make a play and Marshon Lattimore delivered with a terrific leaping interception on a pass intended for Zach Ertz. Nick Foles slightly underthrew the ball to Ertz, who had slipped behind the Saints' secondary but Lattimore showed excellent recovery speed and ball skills to make the leaping interception while tumbling to the turf. Interestingly, Lattimore had just re-entered the game after skipping the previous play after taking a low blow while making a tackle on Alshon Jeffrey.

6. Michael Thomas came up huge when it counted
What a game by the Saints' All-Pro receiver. He was all over the place, making critical catches in all of the key situations: third down, red zone, short yardage. The Eagles had no answer for him as he finished with 12 catches for a team postseason-record 171 yards and the go-ahead touchdown. Thomas was the best playmaker on the field and it wasn't close.

NOLA





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Old 01-14-2019, 04:18 AM   #2
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Re: 6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

7. The refs were quite horrible and called a really uneven game.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:38 AM   #3
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Re: 6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
7. The refs were quite horrible and called a really uneven game.
Only horrible call was the one against Unger.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:44 AM   #4
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Re: 6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

There was a no-call PI on a would be catch to M. Thomas that was egregious.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:55 AM   #5
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Re: 6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

My problem wasn't with what was called. I had a problem with all the stuff the eagles got away with. Cox hitting Brees in the head with his hand, same thing drew a penalty against us. Okafor getting wrestled to the ground by Peters. And so on.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:57 AM   #6
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Re: 6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

8. Charles Davis needs to be taken out to the woodshed. He is biased and just spews a bunch of nonsense. But most of all, any commentator that applauds flopping like he did yesterday should not be allowed on air. Its a scourge for all sports.
I don't like the other guy whateverhisface either.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:37 AM   #7
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Re: 6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
7. The refs were quite horrible and called a really uneven game.
Yeah and here was the best line from the local Philly sports station:

"Yes I could tell it was a fairly well officiated game because I didn't have anything that really stood out to complain about"

Right because the ****ty calls were on us.

A fan actually called in and tried to complain there were missed PI calls on us.


Goes to show how full of **** some fans are. We had more than double the penalties...actually had like 4 on one drive and they missed more calls on us. They actually called back a TD on us...
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:33 AM   #8
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Re: 6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
My problem wasn't with what was called. I had a problem with all the stuff the eagles got away with. Cox hitting Brees in the head with his hand, same thing drew a penalty against us. Okafor getting wrestled to the ground by Peters. And so on.
This 1000x.

Unger pushed a guy to the floor, flag thrown.
Andrus Peat falls over - flagged because Eagle landed on him, called holding on us.

Screen to Sproles and Okafor gets tackled and choked by Peters, not a damn bean.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:34 AM   #9
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Re: 6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

Originally Posted by Crusader View Post
7. The refs were quite horrible and called a really uneven game.
Originally Posted by cmike View Post
Only horrible call was the one against Unger.
It wasn't just that phantom hold call against Unger, but there were many non-calls, e.g. twice against Bennett vs Brees that should've been flagged for roughing as Bennett was giving him the business...

And while even I'd argue that that's football, you had a much lighter transgression against Davenport vs Foles that was in fact flagged...

Crusader's point is that the game was called unevenly, and as much fandom as I have for my Saints, an objective mind with knowledge of the game could see it...

And then there's this factual statistical comparison:

Team: Penalties - Penalty Yards

Philadelphia: 4 - 30

New Orleans: 11-84

Even if you take away Peat's four flags that Brees-Thomas overcame, that's still 7-4 - that's how uneven the game was called...

And don't even get me started with flagrant hands to the face on nearly every single play by the Eagles defensive line...

Will we ever learn? Never let it come down to the officiating...
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:37 AM   #10
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Re: 6 takeaways from the Saints' 20-14 playoff victory over the Eagles

I hated how late some of the flags were, at least from the TV broadcast standpoint they seemed late. And we sure seemed to get nailed with more ticky tack calls than the Eagles did.
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