By Matthew Kaplan
In a game that featured the best team in the NFC this season and the defending Super Bowl Champions, the NFC divisional match-up had a lot of build-up involved. The Saints and Eagles met in New Orleans for the second time this year. Earlier this year, the Saints blew the Eagles away as they would win the first match, 48-7. This would not be the case in this game.
The Eagles started off with all the momentum, scoring early thanks to an early interception by LeBlanc and Foles finding Matthews on a 37-yard completion. They would follow that up with a stop and another score as Foles plunged in to the end zone. The Saints would swing the momentum, however, behind a fake punt. This change in momentum would lead to a quick touchdown and field goal to send this game in to half time, 14-10. Heading in to the second half, the key to the game was going to be the Eagles secondary. According to our own Tucker Bagley, half of the battle was slowing down Drew Brees.
Philadelphia Eagles vs New Orleans Saints – January 13, 2019
With that said, it was not the Eagles defense that stepped up in the second half, it was the Saints'. Their defense would shut down the Eagles offense in the third quarter that would lead their offense to yet another touchdown score. The Saints would continue this momentum in to the fourth quarter as they kicked an early field goal to make it a 20 to 14 game. Despite a late opportunity to win the game, the Saints would prove too much for the Eagles, as a late interception and first down run by Kamara would put the game on ice.
The NFC Championship game is set.— ESPN (@espn) January 14, 2019
It's gonna be a good one. pic.twitter.com/p1cdkPmUYW
The Eagles would suffer multiple injuries in this game, losing Brandon Brooks for the game early on as well as lose Fletcher Cox and Rasul Douglas for extended time. Michael Bennett, Brandon Graham, Chris Long, Jason Peters and Avonte Maddox also missed snaps with injuries in this contest. Still, the Eagles had the opportunities to win this game.
In this game, the Saints were led by Michael Thomas as he caught 12 balls for 171 yards (Saints playoff record) and a touchdown. They would also be led by their coach, Sean Payton, who made the call of the game to get a struggling team going in the second quarter. As for the Eagles, they have a long off season ahead of them and a lot of important decisions to make as they will get healthy and will suddenly be loaded at multiple positions.