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TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 9: Philadelphia Eagles Vs. New Orleans Saints

Eagles
Saints
Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles
New Orleans Saints v Denver Broncos
Quarterback
Michael Vick’s days as the Eagles’ quarterback appear to be numbered. After the Eagles lost to the undefeated Falcons in Week Eight, Vick said that Andy Reid told him a change at the quarterback position was being considered. While Vick has had turnover problems throughout the season, he did not turn the ball over once against the Falcons.
Winner Drew Brees had one of his most frustrating games at Denver in Week Eight, and he should be primed for a much better effort against the Eagles. Brees loves lighting up the scoreboard at home and he certainly has the skills to do that. He reads defenses as well as any quarterback in the game and throws an extremely accurate pass.
Offense
The Eagles should be much more consistent on the offensive end. They certainly have the weapons to cause problems for any defense. Running back LeSean McCoy can get it done as a runner and a receiver and wide receiver Desean Jackson can stretch the field. Tight end Brent Celek has good hands and can pluck the ball in tight quarters.
Winner The Saints have a ton of weapons who can devastate any defense, including Marques Colston and Lance Moore. Jimmy Graham has superior talent at tight end as he can go up the seam and stretch the defense. Darren Sproles is very difficult to cover when he comes out of the backfield on a pass pattern. Pierre Thomas runs with balance and power.
Defense
Winner The Eagles fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo during their bye week and then came out and played one of their worst defensive games against the Falcons. They did not bother Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ running game also caused problems. It could get even worse this week against the explosive Saints. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans had nine tackles against Atlanta.
The Saints have been vulnerable on the defensive side of the ball all season and they were devastated by the Broncos. Peyton Manning threw for 305 yards and the Broncos also ran for 225 yards. Beleaguered linebacker Jonathan Vilma returned against the Broncos, but he is not yet in top form. Strong safety Roman Harper seems like he is a step behind on many plays.
Special Teams
Winner The Eagles can’t complain about the performance of placekicker Alex Henery, who has made 12-of-13 field goal attempts this season. Matt McBriar averaged 48.0 yards per punt against Atlanta and dropped two of his three kicks inside the 20.
The Saints are not getting a lot from placekicker Garrett Hartley, as he has made 7-of-9 field goal attempts this season. Thomas Morstead averaged 51.6 yards on eight punts against the Broncos and dropped 4-of-8 kicks inside the 20.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles New Orleans Saints v Denver Broncos

The Saints probably are not going to make a miracle run to get back in the playoffs, but it’s unlikely they will start to mail it in. There’s no pressure since head coach Sean Payton isn’t around. However, that’s not the case with Andy Reid, who is unlikely to come back unless the Eagles make the postseason.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 22:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first quarter in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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  2. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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  3. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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