Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Consider this: Why did the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night defeat, run over and just demoralize the ever-dangerous Philadelphia Eagles? Was it because of the run-stuffing Saints defense (Brian Westbrook had 11 yards at the half.) Was it the penalties called on the Eagles? Or was it that they couldn't stop the Saints running game? (Duece McAllister grounded out 143 yards). Below are the top 5 reasons why the Eagles lost, according to the Philadelphia newspapers.
1. The guy that was supposed to stop the run on the series, the first round draft pick the Eagles rewarded with a six-year, $17.5 million contract including $10 million guaranteed, Broderick Bunkley, was garbage all game.
2. Deep down inside, the Eagles knew the defense wouldn't be able to hold the Saints. New Orleans had just one three-and-out the entire second half and had 13 points at halftime but 27 by the end of the third.
3. The punt on fourth and 15. Andy Reid admitted twice afterward that he should have gone for it. But he did the right thing. He knew the Saints would try to keep running the ball because that kept the clock moving. And Reid would rather them run it than run AND pass, because they'd be unpredictable. In a way, he was trying to limit the Saints offense into one dimensional.
5. Saints runner Reggie Bush lost the football TWICE, once after being stripped of the ball after a 10-yard run. The ball was pursued by 3 Eagles defenders and one Terrance Copper. Copper won, but barely. Then, Bush lost a pitch out from Drew Brees that the Eagles recovered and led to their 4th and 15 debacle. And all this was before a bone-rattling hit on Bush on the second play of the game. Bush was dazed and walked on all fours for about 10 seconds (like Mike Tyson after Buster Douglas rocked him), but he got up.
6. The Eagles were lucky to be in the game. The Saints should have been up by more points; Marques Colstoncame down with the ball for a split second after a hail mary pass at the end of the half. The play was not reviewed.
7. Several key calls killed Eagles drives. Jeff Garcia bolted through the Saints defense once for about 30 yards only to see a yellow flag for holding. Another big one was an Illegal contact call with 2:15 left in the third quarter, Eagles Trent Cole made an inside move on tackle Jammal Brown and dropped quarterback Drew Brees for a 7-yard loss that would have put the Saints in a second-and-27 situation from the Eagles' 46-yard line. Instead, the Saints had a first-and-10 situation from the 34. Two plays later, McAllister scored.
8. Eagles had third and 1 from the Saints 4-yard-line early in the fourth quarter. The play the Eagles ran on third and 1 was the same third-and-1 play the Eagles used to get a huge first down when they held the ball for the final 4:52 to run out the clock against Washington in Week 14. The play resulted in a 4-yard reception by Thomas Tapeh and a first down against the Redskins. Saints linebacker Scott Fujita was all over it though (maybe from watiching game film?), and he splayed Tapeh for a 2-yard loss.
9. An obvious holding call. Saints center Jeff Faine got away with numerous holding calls against Eagles defensive lineman Jeremiah Trotter. The most obvious was on the Saints' final series when McAllister ran for 5 yards on a second-and-6 play. As Trotter stepped up and started to fill the hole where McAllister chose to run, Faine grabbed the middle linebacker around the neck. it gave McAllister enough room to squeeze past defensive end Juqua Thomas.
10. Fox Sports aired a profanity during the game; right in the second quarter. Is that why they lost?

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