2. SHADOW SHADY: Eagles running back LeSean “Shady” McCoy led the NFL with 1,607 rushing yards. He’s the key to Philadelphia’s fast-paced offense because he keeps defenses honest with the run, he can catch (52 receptions for 539 yards) and he has balletic feet, giving him the ability to make defenders miss, and to look silly while missing. Boxing in McCoy, and limiting his options in terms of running lanes, will be key. The player most responsible for that will be defensive signal caller
3. RATTLE NICK: Philly second-year quarterback Nick Foles has been a sensation this season – 203 of 317 (64 percent) for 2,891 yards and 27 touchdowns, with two interceptions, and a league-leading quarterback rating of 119.2. That said, the likely preference for the Saints' defense is to put the game on the shoulders of a young quarterback, playing in his first playoff game, than to allow McCoy to run wild. Foles has shown a maturity beyond his years while leading the Eagles to seven wins in their last eight games. The Saints have had a mixed bag of results against rookies and second-year quarterbacks this season – a 3-2 record, with both losses on the road. Still, they’ll probably want to see if Foles can stand up to the pressure that they’re sure to bring.
4. TAKE IT TO THE ROAD: The Saints believe they rediscovered their offensive groove in the regular-season finale, a 42-17 victory over Tampa Bay at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in which the offense had three touchdown drives of 80 yards, and one of 92. If they have, it’ll go a long way toward winning the first road playoff game in franchise history. The Saints had scored a total of 36 points in their previous three road losses but – on paper, at least – there should be opportunities to move the ball and to score against a Philly defense that allows 394 yards and 24 points per game. If the Saints get into a rhythm, they’ll be fun to watch.
5. SEIZE THE MOMENT: Not only have the Saints been bombarded this season with questions about their inability to win on the road during the regular season (3-5), they’ve had to spend this week talking about the fact that the franchise never has won a road playoff game (0-5 overall, 0-3 under Payton). At some point, the Saints are going to break through and win a playoff game away from the Superdome. This roster of players and coaching staff believes that time is now, and the Saints will enter the game with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. Here’s a chance for them to make history.