2009 Schedule Preview: Week 2 @ the Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles enter the 2009 season after falling to the Cardinals in the NFC Championship game. Over the last few years Philadelphia has slowly become an NFC rival of sort to the New Orleans Saints, having played once in 2007 and twice - including the playoffs - in 2006; All of which were here in New Orleans. Last seasons Saints schedule was Eagle-free but the birds are back for more in 2009 and to keep the new found tradition alive and well. This time, it's on their turf and it could prove to be the first real challenge for the black and gold. So what have the Eagles been doing in the meantime and what can Saints fans expect from the next meeting of these two teams? That's exactly what we'll take a look at. 

 

Eagles Offense

Donovan McNabb demanded more weapons on offense and threatened the Eagles front office to be more aggressive this off-season and it seems they've listened. At least a little. Not only did the team use their first three draft picks on the offensive side of the ball - WR Jeremy Maclin, RB LeSean McCoy and TE Cornelius Ingram - but they also acquired offensive tackle Jason Peters from Buffalo to help protect McNabb in what was one of the more talked about trades of the off-season. Already the sixth best passing offense in the league last year, thanks to the performance of rookie receiver DeSean Jackson (that's how it's done, Meachem!), the Eagles look to maintain their high-powered aerial attack, despite the loss of tight end L.J. Smith.

Though the Eagles lost backup running back Correll Buckhalter in free agency this year, McCoy was a great pickup and a good value in the second round of the draft. The acquisition of fullback Leonard Weaver also has fans in Philadelphia excited about the depth at running back this season behind Brian Westbrook.  

An upgraded Eagles offense could definitely get the better of the Saints defense, particularly the secondary. This might be worrisome.

 

Eagles Defense

The Eagles pass defense took a bit of a hit this off-season when it lost veteran free safety Brian Dawkins along with strong safety Sean Considine. Alas, the team addressed those needs in the off-season by signing two free agent safeties: Sean Jones and Rashad Baker. Then, of course, there was the inevitable departure of Lito Sheppard (not to the Saints) whom the Eagles replaced by bringing in cornerback Ellis Hobbs.  Philadelphia's linebacking corp and defensive line remain strong and pretty much in tact. 

The Saints offense was number one in the league last year so I'm allowed to believe they can achieve success against any other teams defense but the Eagles are certainly nothing to laugh at in that department, having been ranked third in the league themselves. Exploiting the new secondary may be the key. 

Eagles 2009 Season

9-6-1

 

Last Meeting

December 23, 2007

Week 16 1 2 3 4 OT Final
Eagles 21 3 7 7 -- 38
Saints 14 3 0 6 -- 23

 





Why the Saints Can Win

It won't be freezing yet in Philly. 

 

Why the Saints Can Lose

The defense might not be improved enough to stop McNabb and company. 

 

Prediction

Saints 21 - Eagles 20

 

Newly Acquired

CB Ellis Hobbs

OT Jason Peters

FB Leonard Weaver

S Sean Jones

OT Stacy Andrews

S Rashad Baker

 

2009 Draft Picks

WR Jeremy Maclin

RB LeSean McCoy

TE Cornelius Ingram

CB/S Victor Harris

OT Fenuki Tupou

WR Brandon Gibson

G Paul Fanaika

OLB Moise Fokou

 

Key Losses

OL Tra Thomas

FS Brian Dawkins

RB Correll Buckhalter

TE L.J. Smith

SS Sean Considine

 

Linkage

Bleeding Green Nation

SB Nation Eagles Coverage

Saints @ Eagles Coverage

Philadelphia Eagles Roster

Philadelphia Eagles Depth Chart

Philadelphia Eagles Transactions

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