Eagles brace for chilly wild card clash with Saints

Thu Jan 2, 2014 3:40pm EST
 
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - The wintry motif for an NFL postseason that climaxes next month in the first cold weather Super Bowl will have a fittingly frigid launch in this weekend's opening NFC playoff games.

A snowstorm sweeping through the U.S. Northeast on Friday is expected to set the scene in Philadelphia, where the NFC East champion Eagles (10-6) host the wild card New Orleans Saints (11-5) in sub-freezing conditions on Saturday.7

Sunday follows with NFC North winners Green Bay Packers (8-7-1) entertaining the wild card San Francisco 49ers (12-4) in temperatures that could hit zero Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius).

The Eagles-Saints showdown holds the potential for a high-scoring clash with potent offenses directed by tried and true New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and Philadelphia's second-year sensation Nick Foles.

Brees, who marched the Saints to the Super Bowl title in 2010, finished the regular season with 39 touchdown passes, 12 interceptions, and 5,162 yards, second only to Peyton Manning's record 5,477. New Orleans ranked fourth in total offense.

Foles threw for 27 touchdowns and two interceptions, and a league-leading passer rating of 119.2 after taking over as starter and directing the Eagles' No. 2 ranked offense.

Besides passes, Brees and Foles could swap high school stories as the dueling quarterbacks share even more on their resumes having both attended Westlake High in Austin, Texas.

Brees, who at 34 is 10 years older than Foles, marveled at the job his younger counterpart has done.   Continued...