ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eagles-Saints Playoff Postgame: Getting Run Out of the Playoffs

Updated on January 5, 2014

There were so many reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the New Orleans Saints on Saturday night in the first round of the NFL Playoffs.

The weather at Lincoln Financial Field was cold, but there was no wind to disrupt New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints offense. Alex Henery missed another field goal. LeSean McCoy only averaged 3.6 yards per carry. The Eagles special teams weren't so special. Specifically, they gave up a long kickoff return late in the fourth quarter and Cary Williams added insult to injury by getting flagged for a 15-yard horse-collar tackle penalty to give the Saints the ball at the Eagles' 48-yard line, trailing by only a point. The Eagles defense couldn't stop the Saints' rushing attack that was among the league's worst coming into the game. Riley Cooper dropped an easy catch on a third down when there was nobody near him and he would have run for at least another 30 yards. And DeSean Jackson came up extremely small, catching only 3 passes for 53 yards.

But I think the main reason that the Eagles lost to the Saints 26-24, on a last second Shayne Graham 32 yard field goal, was that Chip Kelly had another brain fart.

Eagles Coach Chip Kelly looked like a rookie in his first playoff game
Eagles Coach Chip Kelly looked like a rookie in his first playoff game

The Eagles finished the regular season as the No.1 rushing offense in the entire NFL. They had the most rushing attempts and the most yardage, while McCoy led the NFL with 1,607 yards rushing. Yet, Kelly only saw fit to give McCoy the football 21 times against a bad Saints run defense that was ranked 19th in the NFL. And neither Chris Polk nor Bryce Brown had a single carry in the game. Foles had one, so the Eagles ran the ball a whopping 22 times in the entire game. Why? I thought Kelly learned his lesson when he blew the Minnesota game by not running the football. I guess I was wrong.

I understand that the Saints were selling out to stop the run and it was working for them most of the game. They held McCoy to just 32 yards on 10 first half carries. But it wasn't as if the Eagles passing game was lighting it up. Nick Foles completed 23 of his 33 passes for only 195 yards and 2 touchdowns. That's not a bad night of work for the young signal-caller, but you got the feeling it should have been better. After all, he had all day in the pocket to find his receivers. One of the two sacks Foles took was after he stood in the pocket for at least 7 or 8 seconds. That's an eternity in the NFL. But his receivers just weren't getting open.

Kelly must have seen that and he should have leaned on his best player, McCoy. He did it most of the year and McCoy and the offensive line made it pay off as they had their best yards per carry average in the fourth quarters of games this season. They were able to wear down opposing defenses throughout the game and make them pay at the end. So why didn't Kelly follow his own proven formula? Frankly, I have no idea and the Eagles and their fans will have a long offseason to think about it.


Foles 23-33-195-2-0

McCoy 21-77-1

Cooper 6-68-1


Brees 20-30-250-1-2

Ingram 18-97-1

Sproles 4-31-0

I can't even fault the defense for this loss, since they actually held Brees to 20-for 30 passing for 250 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. I know Brees isn't a great quarterback on the road, but that's a nice night's work from the defense, especially the two turnovers. They even held the dangerous Jimmy Graham to 3 catches for 44 yards.

The problem with that is that defensive coordinator Billy Davis admitted that he was so focused on stopping Brees and the New Orleans passing attack, that he didn't pay enough attention to the Saints running game. The Saints ran the ball more than they passed it and did so effectively. 14 of their 26 first downs were on the ground and even when the Eagles knew the Saints were going to run, they couldn't stop them. It's even worse when you consider that the Saints didn't even have their leading rusher from the regular season, Pierre Thomas, who did not play due to injury. The Saints ran the ball 36 times for 195 yards, which is a healthy 5.1 yards per carry. That's exactly how you win games in cold weather when your quarterback maybe isn't haven't his best game. Saints coach Sean Payton obviously figured that one out. Maybe Kelly will learn that valuable lesson.

Chip Kelly and LeSean McCoy
Chip Kelly and LeSean McCoy

Why Did the Eagles Lose to the Saints?

See results

I know it's not all Kelly's fault. All those examples that I gave of the things that went wrong for the Eagles in this game played a part in this season-ending loss. It's just that it didn't have to be this way.

The crowd did their part to disrupt Brees and the Saints offense. The crowd noise created two crucial false start penalties. I was there and can confirm that it was loud. It's just a shame Chipper couldn't hear me yelling for him to run the damn ball more often.

Chip Reid or Andy Kelly?
Chip Reid or Andy Kelly?

Now stories will be written about what a great season Kelly and the Eagles had and how the fans should consider themselves lucky to have even had a home playoff game after last season's abysmal 4-12 finish. That's all well and good, but I don't want to hear that crap now. Right now I want to be ticked off about the Eagles losing a playoff game that they should have won. I'll reflect on the season later.

The Eagles defense wasn't that good this season, but it was opportunistic. They gave up some yardage and some points on Saturday night, but they also came up with two more timely turnovers. Unfortunately, the offense didn't do enough to deliver a win. Ultimately, the players deserve a good deal of the blame for not performing, but Kelly wasn't calling the right plays to put his players in the best position to get the win. Since he did that most of the season, I found it truly shocking.

THIS is what it feels like to be an Eagles fan

Of all the fans in the NFL, Eagles fans are the Charlie Browniest
Of all the fans in the NFL, Eagles fans are the Charlie Browniest

Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long run of successful regular seasons and the playoff successes are right around the corner. But the Eagles were almost completely healthy all season and this was a golden opportunity to make a long playoff run. It didn't work out.

Ultimately, I think the Eagles should have won this game against a team that had never won a road playoff game before. But once again, an Eagles team broke a historical trend. Something tells me that wherever Rhonde Barber is, he's smiling. Dammit.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      5 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      Harbaugh is nutty. I think you only like him if you're an SF fan. I don't think the media guys enjoy him, but at least they have something to talk about.

    • Bob Whalon profile imageAUTHOR

      Bob Whalon 

      5 years ago from Souderton, PA

      Hey if a SF newspaper or website is willing to pay me, I'd be happy to cover the 49ers for their fans, Paul. Put in a good word for me, will you. Something tells me it would be fun to cover a loose cannon like Harbaugh.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      5 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      That was a tough loss. I just wish there was someone like you covering the 49ers playoff run! Enjoy the offseason.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)