Heading into the Philadelphia Eagles-New Orleans Saints wild-card playoff showdown Saturday, much has been about Nick Foles and Drew Brees both being alums of Westlake high school in Texas. While Brees lead the high school to the only state-title in school history, Foles shattered a majority of Brees’ passing records ten years later at Westlake.
Listening to Brees speak glowingly about Foles, it doesn’t sound like he holds any ill-will towards Foles for outdoing him individually at the varsity level.
“I’m very happy for his success, obviously not just [for] the fact we’re from the same high school and I kind of know the road he’s traveled, but he seems like a tremendous young man. I don’t know him that well. I’ve only met him on one or two occasions, but everything I’ve heard about him is that he’s a tremendous young man and you can see just by the way he plays he’s mature beyond his years. It’s been fun to watch his success.
While Brees admits that he and Foles will be just two of many players that will determine the outcome of Saturday’s game, he didn’t shy away from talking about him playing against Foles.
“Obviously, here we are. I know we’re not facing each other. He’s playing against our defense, I’m playing against their defense. It’s kind of interesting how this all comes together.”
It’s an interesting quote from Brees. As impressive as Foles has been this year, he isn’t on Brees’ level just yet. So if Chip Kelly treats the game like a battle of two quarterbacks, the Eagles defense will likely get shredded (which might happen regardless), and Nick Foles will come off as extremely inferior to Drew Brees. That isn’t meant as a shot at Foles, because I have been one of his biggest supporters. The point of me saying that, is to remind us all, that as good as Foles is, if both quarterbacks throw the ball 40 times, Brees is likely going to outperform Foles, and lead the Saints to a win. That isn’t to say that Chip Kelly couldn’t design a gameplan to lead the Eagles past the Saints.
Kelly needs to stick with his bread-and-butter (stupid cliche, I know), which is the running game. Certainly Nick Foles will need to make some big throws and likely throw for over 300 yards for the Eagles to win, but Kelly shouldn’t get caught up in trying to win a shootout.
Two Westlake alums might be squaring off this Saturday, but if Chip Kelly gameplans properly, Nick Foles won’t have a bigger workload than the Eagles top-ranked rushing attack.
If we are from Philadelphia and we fight, as Kelly said a few weeks back, then let’s beat the Saints by fighting. It’s going to be a cold night, which calls for one thing–smashmouth football. Again, Nick Foles is going to have the perform at a high level, but the Eagles are only going to win if LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, and Chris Polk open things up by running productively.