Alshon Jeffery

USA Today

The Saints Ripped The Game From Philly

Now we get Rams-Saints, in the dome. McVay-Payton.

January 14, 2019 - 11:41 am

This might not have been the best weekend of football ever, but it may have been the saltiest. From the Rams firing back at the Cowboys and the Patriots firing back at everyone, and you even had the Saints stealing a look from the Eagles. But I’ll get to that in a second.

New Orleans started the week by getting a good look at the Lombardi and a huge stack of cash, and they ended the week by turning their locker room into the hottest club in America. And in between, they battled their asses off against the Eagles.

This wasn’t the same Eagles team they humiliated 48-7 back in November. This is a Nick Foles Eagles team in the playoffs. And that means everything is different. And it was. Like Drew Brees throwing an INT first play.

And then Nick Foles went to work. 7-play, 76 yard drive. Touchdown. SIDE NOTE: I GOT DOWN BEFORE THE GAME, SAINTS -8. THEY FELL BEHIND 7-0: I WENT BACK IN TRIPLED THE BET WHEN I HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE THEM -2.5. SAVED MY WEEKEND. BUT I DIGRESS. 7-0… Saints go three and out. Then 10 plays, 75 yards, touchdown. And the Eagles are up 14-0.

Suddenly, the Saints offense, the Saints defense, and the Superdome crowd looked like they were no match for Nick Foles. And it looked like Nick Foles was going to keep doing Nick Foles things.

Early in the second quarter, the Saints lined up to punt again and it felt like the game might be slipping away from New Orleans. So Sean Payton did what Sean Payton does. And Taysom Hill did what Taysom Hill does. Roll it.

Brass as hell.

The best thing about that fake punt isn’t the confidence to call it on your own 30. And it isn’t the fact that punter Thomas Morstead was the one who was lobbying Payton to call it. It was the fact that the Eagles knew it was coming and Taysom Hill still got it.

Philadelphia had eight men in the box. They had multiple defensive starting players on the field. They were prepared for a fake and Taysom Hill still got it.

That’s what happens when Taysom Hill has the ball. The man squats a house. You could put 15 guys in the box and he’d still find a way to get you a yard.

That gamble paid off. The Saints marched down the field, but had fourth and goal from the two. You think they faked a punt to get this close and take a field goal? Wrong. 

Brass again. Double brass on the same drive. That drive kept the Saints in the game, but if you want the drive that won it, look no further than the epic 11 minute, 29-second drive that gave New Orleans its first lead of the game. A statement. A dagger. A tonesetter. You can call that drive a lot of things, just don’t call it an 18-play, 92-yard drive, because thanks to penalties, it was actually a 22-play, 117 yard drive.

It was tough, but it wasn’t pretty. The Saints had a touchdown called back on a penalty and Brees missed Hill for potential TD pass, but they eventually found the end zone when Brees hit Michael Thomas.

So did left tackle Terron Armstead celebrate that TD? “Hell no. I had to find the oxygen.” So did just about everyone else in the building.

And even then, even after a backbreaking drive that gave New Orleans a 17-14 lead and killed off nearly a quarter and should’ve killed off the Eagles, it didn’t. You knew it wouldn’t. Because it’s Nick Foles. And he had the Eagles driving again, this time he had the Eagles inside the New Orleans 30 late in the fourth quarter, down by 6.

If you’ve seen Nick Foles in the playoffs, you know how this ends – with him finding a receiver and finding the end zone, snatching victory away from defeat. Roll it.

Wait – what? That’s not supposed to happen. Right through the hands of Alshon Jeffrey and into the hands of Marcus Lattimore.

That’s how close Nick Foles was to making it happen again. You know what I’m talking about, Saints fans. As good as you’re feeling right now, you had to be sweating it yesterday. You know if Jeffrey catches that, that drive is probably ending with a Philadelphia touchdown and a Philadelphia lead. That’s just how insane Foles is during these moments and yesterday’s loss doesn’t change that. 

A brutal moment for Jeffrey, but one that he could not have handled any better: "That's on me. I'll take that loss. It's on me. I let my teammates down, the city of Philadelphia, that's on me. I'll take that."

You can’t have a worse moment and handle it any better than Jeffrey just did. So before you pile on him for making that mistake, you better check with his teammates, because they all have his back. This is a guy who played through a torn rotator cuff last year and according to Lane Johnson, was playing with broken ribs yesterday.

But the Saints capitalized. They ripped the game from Philly and they ripped the ski mask look from Phily afterwards. And then did what they always do and had a monster dance party in the locker room. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t seen those videos, you should. Because they are incredible.

Now we get Rams-Saints, in the dome. McVay-Payton. Goff-Brees. The matchups are incredible. And you know there’s gonna be a helluva jaw jacking. Let’s get it on!