- As always, be sure to click over to Bleed Green Nation for the Eagles' perspective. [Insert joke about pelting Santa Claus with snowballs here].
Vegas has the Saints favored by three. There's the Dome-field advantage right there. Make this one count, guys.
The Saints ran for over 200 yards the last time these teams met -- something I don't expect them to repeat. However, they must maintain some semblance of a running game to keep the Eagles' defense honest. I wouldn't mind seeing some short passes to running backs because they are essentially long handoffs and strech the defense laterally.
Reggie is questionable, Marques is probably and E.J. is doubtful.. If this weren't an elimination playoff game, this means that Reggie would probably be doubtful (25/75), Marques would probably be questionable (50/50) and E.J. would just be out. I didn't know Marques' back was that bad. That's something that definitely bears watching.
Anyway, the stakes have all been laid out. We all know what the Saints need to do to win this game. They need to play like they did against Jacksonville, not like they did against Indianapolis. Minnesota hosts Washington in the night game -- the Saints need to win to keep the pressure on them.
As sports fans (and especially Saints fans), all we can really ask of our teams is that they play meaningful games at the end of the season; these certainly qualify. After the terrible start the Saints had this season, to be sitting at 7-7 with a legitimate chance to make the playoffs is a bit of an early Christmas present. I am often a pessimist, but I am especially impressed with the heart, the dedication and the will this team showed to be right here, right now, with a chance to advance further. This season hasn't necessarily been a success, but it shows me this is a different team than the Folding Hasletts of 2001-05.
Heart, dedication and will: If these are what the Saints bring to the field the next two weeks, there could be something special beyond.