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2013 Eagles: Loss to the Saints and Season in Review

It was more than most expected.  It was probably more than I realistically expected.  At the beginning of the season I had said the Birds would go 9-7 and maybe sneak into the playoffs, but I knew that their full potential would probably be needed for my very optimistic opinion to come true.

The Eagles (10-6) exceeded all expectations with a rookie head coach and a midseason QB change (photo: ESPN)

Many though it would be a transition year, with a rookie head coach and an entirely different system, it would probably take some getting used to.  Well, the transition was incredibly quick and the Eagles found themselves at 10-6 and champs of the NFC East.

Then came the Wild Card Round against the New Orleans Saints, in a game that brought up many stats regarding the Saints on the road and in the cold, the defied the odds and numerous predictions to end the Eagles season in Philadelphia by a score of 26-24.

It was a roller coaster game the entire way, with defense on both sides domination in the first quarter, the games first points wouldn’t come until about midway through the 2nd, when the Saints were able to get a field goal off of the foot of Shayne Graham.

It wouldn’t take long for the Eagles to respond and just a few drives later, Nick Foles found Riley Cooper to give the Eagles their first lead with under 2 minutes left in the half.  But once again, the Saints were able to pull away a field goal and cut the Eagles lead down to 1 going into the halftime locker room.

Despite the Eagles starting with the ball in the second half, it appeared as the 3rd quarter would be all Saints as they took a 20-7 lead well into the period.  But because the Eagles are from Philadelphia, they continued to fight and they would score a touchdown before the end of the bleak looking quarter.

The Eagles didn’t get D-Jax involved until it was almost too late (photo: Getty Images)

The Eagles would also start the scoring in the fourth quarter cutting the lead to 3, and with just under 5 minutes left in the 4th, the Eagles even took a lead.  But due to Saints clock management and the inability to stop the run, the Eagles and their fans could only watch the ball fly through the uprights as the final 3 seconds of their season expired.

You could say a combination of things were to blame for this disappointing loss, what if Alex Henery didn’t miss that field goal?  Why couldn’t the Eagles get LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson more involved until later in the game?  What was the answer to stopping the Saints running attack?  And well never know how far Riley Cooper would’ve gotten if he had just made that wide open catch.  Unfortunately, it’s sometimes the little things like those that turn out to be the difference in huge games like this.

However, lets not ignore the things the Eagles did really well.  If you would’ve told me that we wouldn’t turn the ball over at all, force two turnovers of our own, hold Drew Brees to 250 yards and Jimmy Graham to just 3 catches, I would’ve predicted that there is no way we could lose this game.  But I guess that’s what makes football so great, the unpredictability.

This will sure be a tough loss to get over, but the Eagles certainly have a bright future with Chip Kelly and Nick Foles.  Let’s hope the Eagles have a strong offseason and draft some needed pieces to the defense, and then assuming we can resign some big players, we could have a receiving core like this years with the addition of Jeremy Maclin, well be getting Early Wolff back, and of course lets all hope for another huge season out of Shady!  The way the 2013 season ended will always be disappointing, but signs sure do point in the right direction for this Philadelphia Eagles football team.

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Categories: Eagles, Editorial

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