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SPORTS
January 5, 2014 | BY JOHN MURROW, Daily News Staff Writer murrowj@phillynews.com
A LOT has been said about Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham and the Saints' receiving corps coming to town tonight, but not as much has been said about New Orleans' running backs, who have the ability to change the course of a game in an instance. Unlike the Eagles, who have a true starting running back in LeSean McCoy, the Saints' combination of running backs features Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles, though, as of late yesterday, not Pierre Thomas, who was ruled out with a back injury. Each comes with a different style, a challenge many on the Eagles defense are looking forward to tonight.
NEWS
January 5, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Sprint up the Art Museum steps on any other Saturday afternoon, and you'll receive a sideways glance at best, an eye roll or two at worst. Merely suggest doing so before an Eagles playoff game - while wearing the gear of the opposing team, no less - and you'll have the Internet after you. "Everyone fill up a pillowcase with doorknobs and let's go!" said one commenter on Philly.com after word spread that some New Orleans Saints were planning a "Rocky run" before their team faces the Eagles in a wild-card playoff game Saturday night.
SPORTS
January 5, 2014 | By Frank Fitzpatrick, Inquirer Staff Writer
Decades ago, when the Eagles rarely soared and the Saints were an unholy mess, the two franchises that will meet in Saturday night's NFC wild-card playoff made history. Until Philadelphia's generous first visit to New Orleans, on Nov. 5, 1967, the Saints, an expansion team midway through their inaugural season, had never experienced victory, never scored in the fourth quarter, never rushed for 100 yards. All that changed on a mild Sunday afternoon at Tulane Stadium, when the 0-7 Saints rode a Flea to their first-ever win. Walter "Flea" Roberts, an undersized running back they'd plucked off Cleveland's roster in the expansion draft, scored three diverse and entertaining touchdowns in New Orleans' landmark, 31-24 win. For Joe Kuharich's Eagles, the surprising loss to an expansion team was so dispiriting that they would win just twice in the season's second half and plummet into one of the deepest and longest lows in franchise history.
SPORTS
January 4, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
METAIRIE, La. - When Drew Brees eventually delivers his Hall of Fame speech, he may want to reserve a line for the Eagles. The New Orleans Saints quarterback was a solid performer who even earned one Pro Bowl berth in his first five seasons with the San Diego Chargers. Yet when he and head coach Sean Payton joined the Saints in 2006, his career truly ascended, making him one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. Brees hopes to add to his legacy when he leads the Saints into Lincoln Financial Field for Saturday's wild-card playoff game against the Eagles, a team that gives him good postseason memories.
SPORTS
January 3, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
DREW BREES doesn't really know Nick Foles very well, Brees told a conference call with Philadelphia-area reporters yesterday, but "I've followed him from afar, just because, you know, he was breaking all my records" at Westlake High in Austin, Texas. Brees, whose New Orleans Saints visit the Eagles on Saturday night in an NFC wild-card playoff game, first said he never saw Foles play at Westlake, then recalled, in the middle of his answer, that he'd gone back for a 10th reunion of his 1996 state championship team.
SPORTS
January 3, 2014 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jason Peters had a publicist in the Eagles locker room on Wednesday. It was defensive end Vinny Curry. "Comeback player of the year . . . Pro Bowler . . . all-pro," Curry said. Peters indeed has been named to the Pro Bowl, but Curry threw in a few more suggestions. He wanted to make the point that the Eagles' left tackle is having a standout campaign, and it has come in Peters' first season back from a twice-ruptured Achilles tendon. "Look at his ankle. Think that doesn't bother him?"
SPORTS
January 3, 2014 | By Rich Hofmann, Daily News Staff Writer
FOR THE EAGLES, it likely will take a village to stop Jimmy Graham. (Angry villagers with pitchforks might work better, but the pitchforks are against the rules - just another NFL conspiracy to promote offense.) The New Orleans tight end is the best on the planet. Eagles coach Chip Kelly talks about how Saints coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees "have a lot of toys," but Graham is the most fun, a combination of speed and size (6-7) and athleticism that is unmatched in the NFL. The numbers are plain: 86 catches, 1,215 yards, 16 touchdowns.
SPORTS
January 3, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
METAIRIE, La. - New Orleans Saints linebacker Junior Galette says his three seasons at Temple were highly beneficial, even if he wasn't able to finish what he started. Galette may not be a household name, but he could be soon. This season, his fourth with the Saints, he finished sixth in the NFL with 12 sacks. He will return to Lincoln Financial Field for Saturday's wild-card playoff game against the Eagles. "I have a lot of great memories" from Temple, Galette said after Wednesday's practice at the Saints facility.
SPORTS
January 3, 2014 | BY GARY ESTWICK, For the Daily News
METAIRIE, La. - Drew Brees enters Saturday night's NFC wild-card playoff at the Eagles with an invitation to the Hall of Fame awaiting his retirement. Already an eight-time Pro Bowler, Brees just completed his fourth 5,000-yard passing campaign, the only quarterback to do so in NFL history. He held the league record for most yards passing in a season - 5,476 yards - until last week, as Denver's Peyton Manning surpassed his 2011 total. "Every once in a while, I have to take a step back and really realize how great of a quarterback he is," Saints rookie receiver Kenny Stills said.
SPORTS
January 3, 2014 | BY GARY ESTWICK, For the Daily News
METAIRIE, La. - The Saints' defense earned unwanted recognition last season as the worst in NFL history, suffering through a campaign of mistakes, miscues and misery. Opponents enjoyed career moments against the 2012 defense, which allowed 440.1 yards per game. The only conundrum during the Bountygate-tarnished Saints season was their 7-9 record, which spoke to the offense's ability, as well as the defense's inability. Fast forward to this week. Most of the same guys excel in the Saints' fourth-ranked defense, which the Eagles will face tomorrow night in an NFC wild-card playoff at Lincoln Financial Field.
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