The New Orleans Saints like the Superdome. They also like to blitz. And blitz. And blitz. On Monday Night in Louisiana, the Saints pressured and sacked the Philadelphia Eagles in route to a 28-13 victory.
On center stage, in front of a national television audience, the Saints kept their playoff hopes alive, while the Philadelphia Eagles sunk a little lower with their fourth straight loss.
The Hero of the Game goes to New Orleans Saints defensive back Patrick Robinson who set the tone for the game with his big play 99 yard interception return of a Michael Vick pass that provided an early dagger to the heart of the Eagles.
Had the Philadelphia Eagles been able to punch it in the end zone on that drive, the game may have been dramatically different. But Robinson made the play of the game, provided the Saints an early lead; and gave them the first boost of momentum that they really never relinquished.
Patrick Robinson may have enabled the Saints to keep hope alive in the NFC South, and the NFC playoff picture. Big plays make big impacts. Hats off to Patrick Robinson.
The Zero of the Game is awarded to Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. The Eagles have struggled in the red zone, and Monday Night was no different. The biggest gaffe was Vick's unacceptable interception at the one yard line. With the Eagles primed to take an early lead against a good opponent on their home field, there can be no margin for error in the red zone.
Michael Vick needs to make sure the throw can be made. Leave no doubt. It can't be thrown too high, in to double or triple coverage. Yes the ball was in and out of the hands of Vick's target Brent Celek; but ultimately that throw has to be perfect in that situation. It wasn't.
Vick was also sacked seven times, and though the makeshift offensive line the Eagles made do with had an impact; all in all the quarterback needs to be aware of the blitz packages, coverages, and player personnel to manage the game effectively.
On several sacks, Vick should have recognized the blitz coming and called an audible to allow for max protection or a quick throw to a receiver instead of dropping back in the pocket.
It boils down to this for Michael Vick, as he goes, usually is how the Eagles offense goes. On Monday Night in the Superdome in New Orleans, Vick did not manage the game well enough for the Eagles to win.