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Brees: Saints "knew we were going to give ourselves a chance to win"

Monday Morning Quarterback: Saints vs. Eagles

Zach Strief
January 14, 2019 - 8:12 am

The New Orleans Saints beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 to advance to the NFC Championship Game.  The Saints had routed the Eagles 48-7 in Week 11, but it was nowhere near the same the second time around.

“We knew that this was going to be a different game than it was back when we played them the first time,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said.  “They really solidified their lineup over the last seven weeks and hence the success.”

One of the biggest changes was that Philadelphia replaced the banged up Carson Wentz with Nick Foles at quarterback.  Foles had also taken over for Wentz after an injury last season and primed the Eagles for their Super Bowl run.

While Philadelphia played last week in the NFC Wildcard Round, New Orleans, the No. 1 seed in the NFC, had a bye week.  Brees explained they wanted to use that extra time to come out hot.

“For us, it was about taking that time we had off and making sure that we were ready to go and that we come out and we win this game.  Unfortunately we didn’t play as well as we wanted to in the first quarter on either side of the ball.” 

The first quarter was a quarter to forget for the Saints.  The Eagles flew to a quick 14-0 lead as both the Saints offense and defense struggled mightily.  That changed, however.

“You saw a team that knew we were going to give ourselves a chance to win,” Brees said.  “It was just a matter of execution, doing all the little things correctly, kind of getting back on track.  And we were able to do that as a team and get the win.”

After three unsuccessful possessions, the Saints punted the ball back to the Eagles; and the New Orleans defense provided a spark.  Marshon Lattimore came up with an interception, and Drew Brees and company began a 12 play drive that ended in a touchdown. 

That was a big drive for the Saints, and they had arguably an even bigger one early in the third quarter.  Trailing 14-10, New Orleans took over the ball at their 8 yard line and executed an 18 play drive that lasted 11:29 of game time.  Incurring several penalties along the way, the Saints offense gained 112 yards and finished the drive with a go-ahead touchdown.

“That was a turning point in the game,” Brees declared.  “Not only were we able to possess the ball for 11 and a half minutes, but we took the lead and never looked back.  That was a defining moment, and the tide had turned.  Momentum was now on our side.”

The Saints extended their lead to 20-14 on their following possession, and that’s how the score would remain. 

The Los Angeles Rams, whom the Saints defeated 45-35 in Week 9, are next up.  The Saints will host them Sunday at 2:05pm CT in the Superdome.

Listen to Zach Strief’s entire interview with Drew Brees below.

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