NFL Philadelphia Eagles

5 Keys To Victory For Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints

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5 Keys To Victory For Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles clinched a playoff berth after a gut-wrenching, gritty win over their bitter division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. It was a great experience for this young football team. They needed to learn how to win tightly contested football games, especially in win or go home situations.

While many of these young players may not have true playoff experience yet, that final regular season game in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for all the marbles against their hated rivals was as close to the playoffs as you are going to get.

As we all know the Eagles got over the hump thanks to a fantastic individual defensive play by Brandon Boykin who looks like a rising star at the slot cornerback position. What was great about the victory was that all three phases -- offense, defense, and special teams -- chipped in for what was an ultimate team victory.

Chip Kelly and the Eagles face a more daunting task this week as the high-flying New Orleans Saints arrive as the No. 6 seed. Much is being made of the weather and the fact that the Saints are a totally different team on the road.

I find it comical. I guess the media needs to write and talk about something, but I don't believe weather will be a determining factor in this one in the least. We will see these two teams' best.

Nick Foles vs. Drew Brees is a battle of two players that went to the same high school in Westlake, Texas. Brees is a guy Foles idolized growing up, and there are many storylines in this one in what should be a high-flying, entertaining affair.

Let's take a look at 5 keys to victory for the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the New Orleans Saints.

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5. Pressure Drew Brees

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Drew Brees is simply too good to be allowed to sit back in the pocket clean. He will pick apart a secondary given time. It is crucial that guys like Trent Cole, Connor Barwin, and Vinny Curry put heat on the veteran quarterback.

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4. Contain Jimmy Graham

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Graham will not be shut out of a football game. He is simply too physically gifted a tight end. The Eagles need to do a better job of containing the tight end, though, as they let Jason Witten run wild on them last Sunday. If they let Graham break out it could be a long evening at Lincoln Financial Field.

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3. Shut Down Darren Sproles

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Sproles is a real weapon both in the running and passing game. The Eagles' linebackers and safeties really need to key in on Sproles and account for him at all times to avoid the Saints putting up a crooked number on the scoreboard.

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2. Beat The Saints On The Ground

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans is ranked 19th in rushing defense where they are a below average unit. This is good news for LeSean "Shady" McCoy as he and the Eagles' extremely athletic offensive line need to pound the Saints on the ground and beat them into submission if they want to win this football game.

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1. Take Advantadge Of Weak Saints Secondary

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints' secondary is banged up as they are missing star rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro and starting cornerback Jabari Greer among others. The Eagles need to capitalize on this. Their athletic tight ends in Brent Celek and Zach Ertz are a mismatch on their linebackers. Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson should also be licking their chops against the Saints' patchwork group of cornerbacks. Nick Foles needs to take advantage of his one-on-one match ups against a weak Saints back end if the Eagles want to come away with the home playoff victory.