I should be beaten severely for that title, but I couldn't come ..."/>

I should be beaten severely for that title, but I couldn't come ..."/>

A Cool Brees Will Blow Into Philly on Sunday


I should be beaten severely for that title, but I couldn’t come up with anything better. Forgive me. Nevertheless, it’s time to talk Saints. What can we expect from the second NFC South opponent in as many weeks? How about a high-octane offense, seemingly improved defense and always dangerous special teams?

On the surface, they look like the real deal, as much as any team can look like the real deal after one week, and after destroying the woeful Lions at home. Now, they travel away from the very friendly confines of the Superdome to the not-so friendly confines of the Linc. I’m sure Eagles Nation will greet them cordially. Wink.

First, some fast facts:

– Saints have won two of the last three versus Eagles (including playoffs).

– All three of those games were played in New Orleans.

– Saints are 6-10 on the road the last two seasons.

– Drew Brees – counting last week – has thrown multiple touchdowns in seven consecutive games.

– The Saints record in those seven contests is 4-3 with two losses on the road. The only road win came against those woeful Lions.

– In his last 33 regular season starts, Brees has thrown for at least one touchdown in all but five games. One of those games was against the Eagles in ’07. The Saints lost that day 28-23, at home.

– The only time Brees started at the Linc was as a Charger in 2005. On that day, he threw for 299 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

– The Eagles won the game 20-17.

– Since 2007, Brees has been sacked 29 times and thrown 36 picks.

Besides Brees, the Saints have a plethora of skilled players who are causing Sean McDermott nothing but sleepless nights this week. Their names are Colston, Moore, Henderson, Meachem, Shockey, Thomas, Bush and Bell. Yikes. All eight guys are capable of making even the best defenses look silly.

I’m not concerned about the Saints running attack. Thomas and Bush are gimpy and Bell is a journeyman. That’s not to say the Birds shouldn’t pay attention, but I’m confident the front seven will get the job done. This isn’t 2006.

Brees, not surprisingly, is a problem. He has the kind of pocket awareness and quick release that has given the Eagles’ aggressive, blitzing scheme fits over the years. Brady, Peyton and Kurt Warner all fall into the same category as Brees. They want you to blitz, because that’s how they kill defenses. When McDermott dials up a blitz, it must be perfectly timed and exotic. Allowing Brees to settle into an early comfort zone will make for a long day for gang green.

The Saints will be without their Pro Bowl left tackle, which should have Trent Cole licking his chops. The Birds will stay true to who they are and attack the pocket, but the ability to disguise and be creative will be vital. It worked last week versus a beleaguered Jake Delhomme, but it goes without saying that Brees is in another stratosphere than Delhomme.

The Birds defense must be patient. The Saints will hit big plays — they are too explosive not too. Look for them to challenge Macho Harris early and often. There won’t be time for head hanging by him, or anyone else.

Tomorrow, I’ll take a stab at what the Eagles offense might do with Kevin Kolb under center. Hopefully, it’s not commit five turnovers.

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