A season of transition brought a new coach with a breath of fresh air and a new identity as a team. There were adjustments along the way as Chip Kelly adjusted to life as an NFL coach after serving an entire career at the college level, but his players bought in to the mentality Kelly introduced to them and fought their way to an NFC East division title few saw coming before the season started.
The New Orleans Saints had never won a road playoff game and were often marred by their road woes and the “cold curse.” Temperatures in Philadelphia were down in the twenties and Drew Brees was faltering, but the Saints left it in the hands, or on the foot, of their newest player in Shayne Graham.
A last-second field goal by Shayne Graham brought an end to the first season of the Chip Kelly era as the Saints left Philadelphia with a 26-24 victory in the NFC Wild Card playoff. The time for season-long evaluations will come over the coming week, but for now let’s take a quick look at how the Eagles performed in this game.
So what if Cam Newton was the leading rusher – again? Who cares if special teams was a disaster – again? The Panthers did what they were supposed to and that was hand the Eagles their seventh straight loss and keep some hope alive to at least reach last year’s win total.
If the Panthers are to get their third win of the season this may be the weekend to do it even though they will be playing on the road. The Eagles are arguably the worst team in the league and things don’t get any better for them with two of their offensive stars sitting this one out.
In any other season it might have been a good game but when the Panthers and Eagles square off Monday night the only people that might be interested in turning on their televisions are those in the Philadelphia and Charlotte markets. That’s provided they haven’t already lost interest in their home teams.