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Five Eagles players to watch in Saturday's game against Saints

Posted Dec 30, 2013

LeSean McCoy makes Eagles offense fly

1. Running back LeSean McCoy. McCoy led the NFL with 1,607 rushing yards, averaging 5.1 yards per attempt. Yes, the Eagles are a fast-paced offense and, yes, they want to rattle off a lot of plays. But it all starts with McCoy, the Pro Bowler whose presence and production makes the passing game fly, and makes it easy for Coach Chip Kelly to stick with the run.

2. Receiver DeSean Jackson. Small (5 feet 10, 175 pounds) but electrifying, Jackson led the Eagles in receptions (82), receiving yards (1,332) and receiving touchdowns (nine). Plus, he is a fabulous punt returner, though he hasn’t spent much time doing that this season. He can be a nightmare one-on-one matchup, especially if he gets a free release off the line.

3. Quarterback Nick Foles. The second-year player finished the regular season with 27 touchdowns and two interceptions, completing 64 percent of his passes. He has been a natural for Kelly’s offense, taking over when Michael Vick got injured and never giving back the job. This will be his first playoff game.

4. Cornerback Brandon Boykin. Boykin, another second-year player, leads the Eagles with six interceptions – about one-third of the team’s total of 19 – with one returned for a touchdown. He also has 47 tackles and two forced fumbles.

5. Defensive end Trent Cole. Cole has a few miles on him (ninth season, 31 years old) but he still knows how to get to the quarterback (a team-leading eight sacks and three forced fumbles). He has been problematic for offensive tackles for years. Keeping him away from Drew Brees will be a high priority for the Saints.

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