2019 NFL Divisional Playoff Preview
Last Preview of the week. Who do you have Saints or Eagles? (The Daily Advertiser-USA TODAY)

The last 2019 NFL Divisional playoff game of the weekend takes place in New Orleans. The Philadelphia Eagles will travel to the Bayou to take on the Saints. New Orleans pummeled Philly earlier in the season 48-7. But that ass beating came at the hands of the Carson Wentz Eagles. Swinging Nick Foles comes to town on fire and can’t lose. New Orleans is favored to win by 8 points.

Philly back door-ed their way into the playoffs at 9-7. The Birds then beat Chicago after a double doink field goal miss by former Eagle, Cody Parkey. The Saints are a different kind of test. 13-3 while outscoring their opponents by a league-best 151 points on the season. New Orleans is coming off a bye and will look to smack the birds in the mouth for a second straight meeting. Here we go. Check out why each team has a chance to move to the NFC Title Game!


2019 NFL Divisional Playoff
Never Doubt Nick Foles (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

1: Nobody Believes In Us Team

This is so similar to a year ago. The only difference is the Eagles don’t have home field this time. What if this era just turns into the Eli Manning Giants runs? The Eagles have been dead men walking for weeks. They have no business being in the playoffs. But… the Eagles are playing with house money. They are back in the same spot they were a year ago. Nobody believes in us. The dog masks are back. Philly is the biggest underdog of any playoff team in the second round. That’s a powerful thing. The Saints blew this team out once. It’s really hard to beat a team twice in one year.

2: Nick Foles Magic

Can anyone explain the Nick Foles magic? He’s the ultimate closer. Is Nick Foles’ success sustainable over the course over an entire season? Probably not. We started to see those early limitations in the Tampa game. Some guys are just made for the postseason. Foles is 4-1 in postseason play with that lone loss coming in 2013. In postseason play, Foles has a 10-3 TD to INT ratio, 8.4 yards per pass, and 69.8 completion percentage. Those are crazy numbers.

For whatever reason, Nick Foles wins when it counts. You know what’s even better? He can handle the blitz. During this last three-game stretch, Foles has a passer rating of 90.6 while facing pressure which would rank first in the NFL. Go ahead and blitz, Bears. It may not be the best idea. Foles is completing 66 percent of his throws under pressure this year. That’s not even possible. Slinging it down the field with high success seems high. The Saints strength on defense starts up front. They can be had in the secondary.

3: Eagles Defensive Front

Did you know that the Eagles are the best run stuffing team in the NFL? Chicago ran the ball 18 times for just 65 yards. It’s why they lost. Fletcher Cox is a game changer. Philadelphia is 7th against the run and they are getting healthy. Timmy Jernigan is back. Haloti Ngata is still productive. Michael Bennett, Brandon Graham, and Chris Long are studs as well. I think it’s even fair to make the case that Philly has the best defensive line in football. The Eagles have 37 more quarterback pressures than any other team in the NFL. They have the best defensive line win percentage in the league. They have created havoc all season.


2019 Divisonal Playoff
Drew Brees is winning the Super Bowl. The Eagles are just a bum in the way (A.J. Sisco/UPI)

1: Have You Smelled The Eagles Secondary Lately?

When Mitchell Trubisky is throwing for more than 300 yards on you, there’s an issue. Oh, wait. We already saw Drew Brees carve this unit up. 363 yards, 3 touchdowns, and game over by the second quarter. We are talking about some real scrubs on the back end. Malcolm Jenkins is the lone starter from the Week 1 game.

Avonte Maddox is good for getting burned on double moves every week. Tre Sullivan stinks. Cre’Von LeBlanc was picked up off the street. Nate Gerry somehow gets snaps at linebacker? What a world. You know what’s even worse than all of that? The last time these two teams played, Philly was only able to pressure Drew Brees 8 out of 30 dropbacks. The Saints are allowing just 7.7 pressures per game which is the second lowest in the NFL. The Saints offensive line did a fantastic job protecting Brees so why would things change?

2: Drew Brees Is Winning The Super Bowl

The Saints were my Super Bowl pick before the year so I’m sticking with it. This just feels like the year that Drew Brees gets number two. The first one came back in 2009. Do you know what’s weird? New Orleans also last a prime time game to Dallas in 2009 before winning it all. Sounds a lot like this year.

The Saints are just flat out loaded. The Saints have the better team. Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are superstars. Ted Ginn Jr. has come back late in the season to provide a deep threat. Mark Ingram still figures to provide that extra punch. The Saints are at home in the best home field in the NFL. Sean Payton brought the Lombardi Trophy in the locker room already and gave an emotional pep talk. It’s the Saints year.

3: This Saints Defense Is Improved

Remember the days when Drew Brees had to throw for 600 yards per game just to win? That isn’t the case anymore. New Orleans is a middle of the pack defense on the year. At home, that defense always plays up another level. What we do know what we’re getting out of the Saints is they will stop the run. Number 2 against the run allowing 80.2 yards per game. The Eagles already can’t run as it is without Jay Ajayi. Forcing Nick Foles to do it all is a tall ask.

I sort of gave away my pick but I’m in on the Saints. They were my Super Bowl pick before the year and I’m sticking with it. This team is loaded, in the dome, and has been the best team all year. Shorter preview then the others but there isn’t much to say beyond that. Two outcomes are possible. 1 the Saints blow the doors off again. 2 the Eagles keep it close but Brees is too much at the end. Either way Saints.

Saints Defeat Eagles 31-14