A season of transition brought a new coach with a breath of fresh air and a new identity as a team. There were adjustments along the way as Chip Kelly adjusted to life as an NFL coach after serving an entire career at the college level, but his players bought in to the mentality Kelly introduced to them and fought their way to an NFC East division title few saw coming before the season started.
A last-second field goal by Shayne Graham brought an end to the first season of the Chip Kelly era as the Saints left Philadelphia with a 26-24 victory in the NFC Wild Card playoff. The time for season-long evaluations will come over the coming week, but for now let’s take a quick look at how the Eagles performed in this game.
The Philadelphia Eagles will need their defensive secondary to be on their toes this weekend with Drew Brees leading the New Orleans Saints in to town with a monster of a passing offense. Fortunately for the Eagles, the defensive backfield is getting healthier in time for the playoffs.
Drew Brees will be much more successful against the Eagles defense than back-up Kyle Orton was in the final game of the regular season. But, if the Eagles can knock Brees off his game, then the Saints could quickly run out of options to try and keep up wit the Eagles offense.
Nick Foles and Philadelphia’s high-scoring offense needed a little help from the defense to make sure it was the same old sad ending for Dallas.
The New York Giants limped past the lifeless Washington Redskins 20-6 in the rainy Meadowlands. New York lost quarterback Eli Manning to an ankle injury late in the first half, but rode two Jerrel Jernigan touchdowns to the victory. The loss likely ends the Mike Shanahan-era in Washington.
The New York Football Giants conclude their 2013 campaign, much like they started it, with a long list of injuries. Their opponents this week, the Washington Redskins, list only linebacker Brian Orakpo on their injury report.
As bad as the 2013 NFL campaign has gone for the New York Giants, give them credit, the team has not turned on each other or their coach. The Washington Redskins, on the other hand, are a textbook example of dysfunctional. Backup quarterback Kirk Cousins will get the start for Washington as the Redskins and Giants conclude their seasons at the Meadowlands.
“To be honest with you, I don’t care,” the captain told WFAN radio. “Whoever wins, wins. Whoever wins, they deserve to win. To me, to be honest with you, I don’t care who is the better of the two.”
Don’t even bother mentioning whether losing hope is an option for the Giants in the wake of their gut-wrenching 24-21 last-second loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.
Giants tied the Cowboys late in the fourth quarter, but then allowed Romo to drive down the field, which allowed Dan Bailey to kick the game winning FG.
The Giants’ chances of winning the NFC East would be slim if they lose, and seven losses might not be good enough to make the playoffs as a wild card.
Because the Giants never lost faith and always believed, here they are, on Sunday, with a chance they could have only hoped for a month ago.
“With Dallas, we all understand that it’s a division opponent, it’s a division rival. But at the same time, like I said, every game from this moment on is a must-win game.”
While beating Green Bay was huge, the Giants’ winning streak does have its critics. New York has basically beaten teams playing with either backup quarterbacks or ones that are hurt.