Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saints Nation: Why I Think This Eagles Game is a Must Win

When the schedule gets released and you start crafting ways in your head the Saints will meet the 10-6 or better record, the week 2 @ Philadelphia game is one of those where you think: "ok, they're probably going to lose this one. Hopefully we'll be competitive, and maybe we can steal one away, but realistically that's going to be a tough one to win on the road against a good team". My personal opinion when looking at this game going into the season was - the Saints HAVE to take care of business in week 1 against Detroit and then hope to split a tough road swing @ Philly and @ Buffalo to start the year 2-1. Given the recent injury to Donovan McNabb, though, my opinion has changed. I now believe this is a must win.

For starters, the Eagles carry 4 quarterbacks on their roster and
in all likelihood the Saints will be facing the worst one. Jeff Garcia was signed this week and the turnaround is too short for him to be ready. McNabb has cracked ribs and may be too injured to go. Michael Vick is still serving his suspension from the league, and won't play. So that leaves Kevin Kolb, who's struggled mightily in limited NFL action and preseason play. If Jeff Charleston thought Matt Stafford was "fresh meat", then this guy is no different. The Eagles have made a habit of making the NFC Championship game in recent history and there is an extremely high likelihood they will be in the thick of things come playoff time. That means this game could easily come down to a tiebreaking scenario later in the season, and a Saints win could also springboard a playoff run getting off to a 2-0 start.

In my opinion this game is a MUST WIN for the Saints. The Eagles are in a very vulnerable state given their current quarterback situation, and the Saints HAVE to take advantage of this fact and capitalize on what is a huge opportunity to beat a very good team on the road. This is one of those games where when the dust settles and a disappointing season is over, you reflect: "that was one we should have come away with". This is also one of those games where when the dust settles after a successful season, you reflect "that win was huge for us". Let's face it, if the Saints aren't good enough to beat the Eagles with Kevin Kolb at QB, then I question if they're good enough to make the playoffs or succeed should they get there. I'm not saying the Saints can't have a bad game and rebound to have a great season, but I really do think this test will be a tell tell sign of just how good the Saints are. This will tell us where we stand based on the offseason moves. The Saints losing at Philadelphia when the Eagles are at their best is forgivable, but losing when they are at a severe disadvantage without McNabb would be a lost opportunity. Based on the aspirations I have for the club this year - this game in my opinion is a must win. Geaux Saints.