After squeaking out a 10-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys in a great defensive game, the Philadelphia Eagles travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints. Currently, the Saints are on the outside looking in at the NFC playoff picture. Although they still have a realistic chance to make the post-season, they will most likely need to win their two remaining games to take over a Wild Card spot.
This week the Saints will probably once again place the load on quarterback Drew Brees. Last week against the Cardinals, Brees threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns with a 132.6 quarterback rating. Running back Aaron Stecker will also play an important role. Stecker has done an amazing job filling in for injured backs Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister. Since Bush got injured in the Tampa Bay game, Stecker has averaged more than 100 all purpose yards for the Saints making him a solid compliment to the Saints passing game.
The Eagles will rely on their two X-factors: Brian Westbrook and their defense. Pro-bowler Brian Westbrook is averaging nearly five yards per rush and 8.5 yards per reception. Look for the Eagles to use him quickly and often, especially in the screen game where Westbrook can break one at any given time. The Philadelphia defense looked amazing during the previous game against the Cowboys. Philly’s defensive coordinator used a variety of blitz packages to offset Romo, expect him to do the same in an attempt to rattle Brees.
Expect this to be a fairly close game. With a weak New Orleans secondary Donovan McNabb may be able to get a few big plays to match the New Orleans offense. In the end though, I expect New Orleans to pull this one out to stay in the NFC playoff hunt.