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Eagles hope to catch Saints fans asleep at the wheel

Zach Strief
November 17, 2018 - 6:00 pm

Welcome to your last few moments of silence.  That’s the sign that awaits visiting teams as they pull up to the Superdome each week as they prepare to play the New Orleans Saints. I can assure you, it is a true statement.  That sign also mentions the 70,000+ proud fans waiting inside for them. The same fans who are responsible for the most hostile environment in all of football.  The same fans who the Philadelphia Eagles hope to find asleep at the wheel.  
It’s normal for opposing teams to get questions each week about the difficulties playing in the Superdome and how it effects a game plan.  The Saints, appropriately, take those comments and remind the opponents’ sideline of the answers that were given.  It’s a practice, it appears, that the Eagles don’t want to participate in. There has been no response given during the week, as it pertains to the environment in the Superdome.  Just another road game for the defending Super Bowl Champs.  While that message has been consistent publicly, behind the closed doors of the Philadelphia indoor field, a different message has been sent.
Every team has a noise machine they use to prepare their players to play, think and execute inside the noisy confines of opposing stadiums. Apparently, the same team that is sending the message that Saints fans won’t be a factor in this game, fears it may do just that.  Rather than the typical noise machine the Eagles use weekly, they went out and rented a much larger sound system to surround the field to try and simulate what the Superdome will actually be like.  A football field surrounded with 1000’s of watts of crowd noise to give the Eagles a taste of New Orleans fans at full blast. The reality is, the Eagles know very well that the crowd in the Superdome will play a factor in this game.  What they are most afraid of is that YOU know that as well.
Last week, there was a narrative about the Bengals being a trap game for the Saints.  A trap game is one that you look past, resulting in you not being mentally sharp enough to put your best foot forward and thus, lose a game you should win.  The Philadelphia Eagles hope to make this game, the FANS’ trap game.  Rather than give the fans of New Orleans the respect they deserve, they have proactively attempted to lull Saints fans asleep.  The last home game featured the 8-0 (no longer) L.A. Rams.  The next home game, a Thanksgiving Day matchup against the most hated rival, Atlanta Falcons.  Between them, a 4-5 NFC East foe.  A perfect setup for a trap game.  
The Philadelphia Eagles have actively tried to avoid the discussion of how big an impact Saints fans will have on the outcome of Sunday’s game.  They did it because they don’t want you all to show up with your A-game, or A-voices.  It’s something I’ve never seen, but it is very real this week.  Just as you feared a letdown against an over-matched Bengals team, the Eagles hope to catch you all, the Who Dat Nation, asleep at the wheel.  Are you going to let that happen? Or, are we going to show the Philadelphia Eagles just how hostile we can be?  

If the Cincinnati game was any indication of how New Orleanians respond to fears of a let-down, I suspect the Eagles will be disappointed somewhere around the second “Who Dat.”  Let’s see what you’ve got Saints fans.

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