There’s a reason why the Eagles have been so good in the postseason the past two years and they showed it in the first quarter. And, the Saints looked like a team that was coming off a bye. They didn’t seem to have that playoff intensity that you need and it took them about a quarter to get adjusted to, okay, this isn’t the regular season anymore.
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They settled in and it was Marshon Lattimore’s first interception at the start of the second quarter that got everything rolling. Drew Brees got on track, Michael Thomas had a humongous game and the defense got on track after giving up 14 points and that’s why the Saints are moving on to the NFC Championship.
After that 18-play, 11-plus minute drive, the longest drive in the postseason since 2000. It seemed like the Saints went on a drive for a week. That was the Saints offense that we’ve seen all season where they made critical third down plays, Brees was hitting Michael Thomas, Kamara was making big runs, that drive, the 18-play, 92-yard drive where they took the lead was the turning point where they could say, we’ve got the lead now, let’s hold off the Eagles.
Sheldon Rankins, reports are that he has a torn Achilles, that could keep him out all offseason and into next season and he was having a Pro-Bowl caliber year. That is going to be a significant injury, but I think defensively, on the line, they’re deep enough to recover from that.