Eagles Fan Reaction (EFR) Div Round: PHI 14, NO 20 - Foles' Gold
At least we're still Super Bowl Champions.
But the Philadelphia Eagles title defense came to a heartbreaking end on Sunday, falling 20-14 in the Superdome to the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round of the 2019 NFL Postseason.
It wasn't the fact that the Eagles lost this game that made it painful. A loss could have been excused, so long as it wasn't the same 48-7 drubbing the Eagles suffered in this building about 2 months ago. And while all of Philadelphia was talking about how the Eagles were "destined" to repeat as champs, this was still a 9-7 team that would've been happy just to make the playoffs back in Week 15.
But after the win against the Bears, Philly fans were feeling greedy. And it looked like they would be rewarded, as Cre'von LaBlanc picked off the legendary Drew Brees' first pass of the game, setting up a touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews. Just a few minutes later, Foles punched the ball in from the 1 on a QB sneak, giving the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
Little did we know that would be the final score of the Eagles season. The offense stalled the rest of the way, as Foles threw an interception early into the 2nd with the Birds in New Orleans territory. The Saints marched down the field with a fake punt conversion and a 4th down touchdown pass from Brees. A late field goal cut the lead to 14-10 at the half.
New Orleans took the lead for good when Brees found his main weapon Michael Thomas for a 2-yard score. But despite another field goal from Will Lutz, there was always that hope the Eagles could come back. They had always had that sense of magic with Nick Foles at the helm, maybe they could pull it off again.
And sure enough, Lutz missed a field goal with the chance to put the game away. The Eagles got the ball back and marched down the field. They were driving and were ready to wind the clock down to the 2-minute warn-why are we running another play?
Damn it, Alshon.
The usually reliable Alshon Jeffrey dropped a pass that deflected right into the hands of Marshon Lattimore for a game-sealing interception. The magic was dead, and with, the Eagles season was as well.
The bottom line was the Eagles just couldn't stay with the Saints as the game progressed. A bevy of injuries all season, then ones to key players like DT Fletcher Cox, G Brandon Brooks, and CB Rasul Douglas, whose replacement was burnt consistently, much like Donte Vaughn filling in for Julian Love in the Cotton Bowl. You can shift the blame towards one player or coach all you want, but this was a team loss in the fullest.
Regardless of what happened Sunday and what the team looks like in September after the draft and free agency, this has been an incredibly fun team to watch over the last 2 years. This year certainly had more frusturating moments, and obviously lacked the storybook ending. But I have no doubt they will come back bigger and better next year, ready to take the NFC East back from Dallas (who also lost this weekend) and make a push for their 2nd Super Bowl in 3 years.
Until then, Go Birds.