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21.01.2020 02:42
Saints linebacker A.J. Klein gushed over the poise Antworten

METAIRIE , La. (AP) — Saints linebacker A.J. Klein gushed over the poise and postseason accomplishments of Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles.Philadelphia had better hope Klein is right, because the Superdome was home to Eagles starter Carson Wentz’s worst game this season before he went out with a back injury.Bringing heavy pressure amid the deafening din of the Superdome, the Saints stifled Wentz in a 48-7 rout back in mid-November, holding him to season worsts of 57.6 percent passing for just 156 yards.Now comes a rematch in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs, and the Saints must prepare to play one of the NFL’s best known backups. Foles carried Philadelphia to its only Super Bowl triumph after Wentz was injured last season, and helped the recently resurgent Eagles survive this postseason’s opening weekend with a razor-thin victory in Chicago.“He’s far from just a plug-in player,” Klein said. “Don’t forget he won a Super Bowl for them last year and he was the MVP of that game. So we’re not taking him lightly. He’s not just a person that is just a backup, reserve type of guy. He goes out and when he plays, he wins.”In some ways, the Eagles are a familiar foe, and not just because the two teams met on the same field just more than seven weeks ago. Two of the Eagles more prominent veterans — safety Malcolm Jenkins and running back Darren Sproles — both were part of multiple Saints playoff teams.But Saints coach Sean Payton cautioned against any presumption that the vast gulf separating the Saints and Eagles back on Nov. 18 still exists.“They’re a different team than we faced Womens Jake Elliott Jersey , obviously, earlier in the year. A different quarterback’s playing right now. There is a confidence you see,” Payton said. “Our league is game to game.”Particularly in the do-or-die postseason, when the pressure is turned up. Klein stressed that the Eagles’ 4-0 record in their past four playoff games cannot be overlooked.“They’ve been in this situation before and they know how to win, so obviously we’re not expecting them to be the same team because they’re not,” Klein said. “They’re playing really good football right now and we’ll just be prepared to obviously get their best shot and obviously we’re going to give them ours.”Two of the biggest differences the Saints will have to contend with in the rematch are Foles and Sproles, neither of whom played in the previous meeting.Saints players and coaches left little doubt about their respect and admiration for Foles. His composure is a big reason why.“There’s a confidence level he has in operating in rhythm, spreading the ball around,” Payton said. “He does a great job of beating pressure with the throw.”In the Eagles’ 16-15 victory on Sunday in Chicago, Payton noted, “you saw him a handful of times with a free rusher coming in his face make some throws outside the numbers that were real impressive. … There’s a calmness obviously when you watch him play that we all see.”Added Klein Derek Barnett Jersey , “You could see that he’s poised and he has great control of the offense and great control of that team. … He handles pressure well.”New Orleans also is wary of Sproles’ ability to produce as a runner, a receiver out of the backfield and a punt returner. The Saints know from experience. Sproles’ 2,696 all-purpose yards with New Orleans in 2011 remains a single-season NFL record.Now Sproles is 35 and plans to retire after this season, but Payton hardly sounded inclined to underestimate him.“He’s a very, very smart player. It’s one of his great traits along with his ability,” Payton said.“He’s got very good elusiveness and quickness. He’s done a good job with their draws and one-back run schemes. And obviously he’s a dangerous punt returner, but someone who’s a special player.”Meanwhile, the Saints haven’t exactly looked like the juggernaut they resembled in midseason, when the Eagles were among a string of teams that lost to New Orleans by multiple touchdowns.During the last five weeks of the season, the Saints went 3-2, and the average margin of victory in their past three wins was 6.7 points.Klein said the Saints hope the opportunity to self-scout — and rest — during their first-round playoff bye will help New Orleans look its best in the postseason.The Saints used last week to “look at certain situations throughout the season where we’ve been not so good and figure out why and get those things shored up ,” Klein said.“And obviously the time off and be able to rest and get some guys healed up who’ve been banged up the past few games has been very important.”Eagles’ opener plagued by offensive inefficiency The Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles sputtered out of the gate in their first defense of their title. Before dissecting the film of their sloppy 18-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons, there are stories to be told in the numbers that point to problem areas to be examined further.PERSONNEL QUIRKS...I charted each offensive play, extracted non-plays, accepted penalties and kneels, and came out of the other side with baseline numbers with which to track trends. While this is a small sample size and some tendencies won’t hold up, there are some interesting similarities and deviations from the 2017 season.First, the expected bonanza of 12 personnel with Alshon Jeffery and Mack Hollins out with injury did not come to fruition. Instead, wide receiver DeAndre Carter out-snapped rookie Dallas Goedert 53 to 17. Overall, their 11 personnel frequency (77%) comes in comfortably above their 65% from last year.This suited the Falcons just fine, who prefer to use their nickel package that boasts two excellent coverage linebackers in Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell. The duo provided tight coverage in the middle of the field all night and made the lack Jeffery on the outside even more pronounced. When the Eagles tried attacking nickel with the run, they managed a mere 3.86 yards per carry and a 39% success rate. Falcons safeties are no strangers to sniffing around the box and being active in the run game.Doubling down on their philosophy to pass from two tight end sets Womens Chris Long Jersey , the Eagles jumped from a league 2nd 57% pass from 12 personnel to a hyper 91% last night. Did it work? Heavens no. Those passes went for an average of 3.30 yards per play as the duo of Zach Ertz and Goedert struggled to either catch or get open.Obviously not all the blame is on them for the passing game woes; separation was severely lacking across the board and Nick Foles had one his classic scattershot games. The biggest play from 12 personnel came on a Philly Special 2.0 troll job which went for 15 yards.The lone run from 12 personnel came on a 2nd & Goal carry from the 1-yard line that resulted in a touchdown for Jay Ajayi. On that play tight end Josh Perkins came in jet motion before the snap and was used to block up the backside end man on the line of scrimmage to create a numbers advantage.BIG BOY RUNS...What did work consistently for the Eagles from a personnel perspective is their use of six offensive linemen in the run game. They used this heavy set on 4 of their 8 under center plays with a mixture of one and two tight ends. Those plays averaged 6.75 yards on the ground and resulted in the game-winning touchdown scamper from Ajayi.You would expect the Eagles to continue to use these sets, as they have in the past, and show more play-action looks with them to not tip their hand in the future.SITUATIONAL EFFICIENCY...Early down inefficiency was a major reason for the offensive struggles as the offense found themselves behind schedule at an alarming rate.The problem isn’t with the play selection on first down; their 57% pass frequency is nearly identical to last years’ number. They just couldn’t get anything going through the air to take bites out of the chains. That problem got exacerbated when they turned in a truly awful 9% success rate on 2nd & long.Going run heavy there didn’t help, as it’s historically much less efficient than passing in that situation, but again, Foles wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire either. Still, I’d like to see them get back to what was successful for them in the playoffs in that regard.That fact that the Eagles converted on 50% of their third downs is no small miracle considering this early down performance. For the night, the offense didn’t convert a single first down on first down, highlighting the stark difference between bad Foles and good Foles.On the plus side, the Eagles found their new short yardage money down back in.. :squints:.. Ajayi, Nelson Agholor Wendell Smallwood Jersey , Corey Clement and Darren Sproles, who converted 4 for 4 collectively. Glad that’s solved.It’s just one game and there were extenuating circumstances that impacted how effective the offense could be. The Falcons also boast a young, fast defense that is on the verge of coming into their own.It’s not time to be concerned yet, but the longer Carson Wentz is inactive, the more Foles will have to improve on his atrocious 3.44 yards per attempt and the more the run game and defense will have to carry the load. It would also be good for the brand if the #GodErtz package stepped up.


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