Drew Brees and Nick Foles have a lot in common. Both men were overlooked coming out of college, as Brees fell to the second round of the draft and Foles to the third. Both Texas natives graduated from Westlake High School and led their teams to a state final while they were there.
And now, while sporting number 9 on the back of their jerseys, both Foles and Brees are leading offenses that rank in the top 10 in all of football. These two top-notch quarterbacks, who have endured eerily similar paths to get to where they are now, will be squaring off against each other tomorrow night for rights to advance to the next round of the playoffs and get that much closer to hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy, something in which Drew Brees is all too familiar with.
For only the second time ever, two quarterbacks who graduated from the same high school will be playing against each other. While Foles attributes a lot of his success to what he has learned from watching Brees play while growing up, the young, third year man out of Arizona has everything riding his way in this matchup.
The Eagles are in a groove, winning 7 out of their last 8 games to win the NFC East. They are at home, where temperatures will be below zero, which favors Foles and the Eagles. Additionally, the Saints may still be hampered by the fact that Carolina stole the division from them.
Nonetheless, icy temperatures or not, a shootout between two of the leagues best offenses is in store at Lincoln Financial Field as Sean Payton is eager to reach his second Superbowl in four years and the beginning of the Chip Kelly era in Philadelphia is upon us.
Kelly, along with a star studded offense made up of the league’s leading rusher, LeSean McCoy, speedy wide receiver Desean Jackson, and Nick Foles have propelled Philly’s offense into one of the league’s best.
The Eagles finished the season ranked second in the NFL in yards per game and the Saints finished ranked 5th.
The real change for the Saints has come on the defensive side of the ball. Led by defensive coordinator and mastermind, Rob Ryan, the Saints are 2nd in the league in passing yards allowed, 4th in total yards allowed, and 4th in points allowed.
This Saints defense, which has been rejuvenated due to the return of head coach Sean Payton, who was suspended for the entire 2012-2013 season, will present the Eagles with a challenge.
Offensively for the Saints, Jimmy Graham, who has dealt with a foot injury over the past couple of weeks, is going to be a key factor in determining whether or not the Saints are able to keep pace with the Eagles offense. The Eagles have proven that they can put points on the board in a hurry. Therefore, Brees is going to have to depend heavily on his all-pro tight end.
The winner of this game will go on to play Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers on January 11th. The Saints would love nothing more than to seize the opportunity to reach the NFC Conference championship by defeating their division rival, Panthers. However, they are going to have to get passed the Eagles, who at the moment, look as if they could give the old man over in Denver a run for his money.