It’s about that time! The Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints are set to kick-off in just a few hours but first it’s time to take a trip behind enemy lines. Thanks to the wonderful network of sites here at FanSided, there’s basically a site for nearly anything you could imagine. So it only made sense to have a little Q & A session with Deuce Windham, a Staff Writer for Big Easy Believer, your source for anything sports related going on in New Orleans!
Today’s game is obviously a crucial match-up for both the Eagles and the Saints. The loser falls to 1-4 and likely watches the window on their playoff hopes shut while the other has new life at 2-3. Enough with the suspense, let’s get right into this Q & A session with Deuce!
Anthony: What was wrong with the Saints at the beginning of the season? Why did such an experienced, well-coached team fall in a 0-3 hole?
Deuce: To be frank, the team is young and simply not very talented yet. There is a lot of potential talent, but the team’s identity has shifted. Our best offense players are now in the backfield (Ingram, Spiller) instead of outside like we’re used to in the past. On defense, our talent is our front seven while our secondary has struggled due to injuries (Jairus Byrd and Keenan Lewis, both are back). If you take away the two big plays we let Dallas get in early on, our defense was very strong. That’s good. We’ve improved every game.
Anthony: Last week, the Saints beat the Cowboys in overtime (which the Eagles appreciated, by the way). What changes were made to help them turn it around and get their first win of the season?
Deuce: The biggest impact was several defenders coming back from injury. On offense, the team has finally stopped trying to play like we still have Jimmy Graham. They’ve adjusted their playcalling and are focusing more on the talent they do have in Mark Ingram, C.J. Spiller and Brandin Cooks.
Anthony: There are quite a few new starters in New Orleans that many may not have heard of just yet. Which player(s) on offense and defense should Eagles fans watch for and be worried about?
Deuce: Offense: Willie Snead. He runs some of the best routes I’ve ever seen from a UDFA. I just completed a film study article on his play against Dallas and I encourage Eagle fans to take a look. His snap totals have gone up 40% from week 1 to week 4. On defense they need to watch out for Hau’oli Kikaha. The young rookie LB is putting up DROY type numbers and is all over the field.
Anthony: It’s clear that the questions regarding Drew Brees‘ ability were blown way out of proportion. How good has he looked and what do you expect him to do this Sunday against the Eagles and their underrated defense?
Deuce: I don’t think he’s 100%, but he is still a HOF level QB. Say what you want about him, but one thing still remains and that is he arguably the most accurate QB in the NFL. If the Eagles are going to stop him, they’re going to need try multiple looks and get Drew off his game. If they don’t he’ll pick them apart, slowly, with dink and dunk passes.
Anthony: On the defensive side of the ball, Rob Ryan obviously loves to send the blitz. Will that be the key for the Saints this Sunday to stop sporadic quarterback Sam Bradford the Eagles’ offense?
Deuce: Not necessarily. Yes, there will be some blitzing, but what I expect the Saints to do is rely more on coverage sacks. With our starters all healthy, and young rookies really standing out, this could be a game where Ryan doesn’t have to bring 6-7 guys. He might be able to sit back and let the Eagles make mistakes.
Anthony: What’s your final score prediction for Sunday’s game between the Saints and Eagles? Who will be the winning team’s MVP?
Deuce: It’s very close. I think the Eagles look better than their record indicates, and while I don’t think the Saints are as talented a team as a whole, I think they have more “hunger”. I have this game going either way 27-23. I’m simply not sure who takes it in the end. I do like the Saints going in though.
Now that you’ve seen the opponent’s side of things, take a look at my responses to Deuce’s questions right here. Thanks once again to Deuce for participating in this awesome Q & A session. Be sure to follow Deuce on Twitter at @RevDeuceWindham and check out everything they have going on over at Big Easy Believer!
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