Our event of the day is the NFL playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints finished the regular as the top seed in the NFC with a record of 13-3 and are considered to be a Super Bowl favourite. Meanwhile, the Eagles fought back from the edge of playoff elimination and outlasted a strong Chicago Bears team to keep their chance of defending their Super Bowl title alive. It’s going to be a memorable game in New Orleans tonight. The Saints have spent this season as one of the Super Bowl favourites along with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams. Drew Brees, who set a new all-time passing yards record in week five, led his team back to the playoffs with 3992 yards and 32 touchdowns. His primary receiver for those touchdowns was Michael Thomas, a wide receiver with 1405 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was aided by Alvin Kamara, the 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Kamara ran for 883 yards, put up 709 receiving yards and recorded 18 touchdowns. The Saints are playing in their second consecutive divisional round playoff game. The last time they won in the divisional round was in 2009, on their way to winning the Super Bowl.
Meanwhile, the Eagles looked as if they were going to suffer the Super Bowl hangover as they found themselves at 5-6 in week 12 with their starting quarterback side-lined with a fractured back. Enter Nick Foles. Foles had been the Super Bowl hero last season for the Eagles before returning to his position as the backup quarterback when Carson Wentz came back from injury. Foles led the Eagles back to the playoffs, going 4-1 in the last five games of the season with 1413 yards and 7 touchdowns. Tight end Zach Ertz has been the key component of the Philadelphia offense this season, recording 1163 yards and 8 touchdowns. They face the Saints today after a close wild card round win over the Chicago Bears. Treyvon Hester, a defensive tackle who began the season on the practice squad, got his fingertips on a Chicago field goal attempt with 10 seconds left in the 4th quarter. The attempt hit the uprights and the miss secured a 16-15 win for the Eagles. The two teams have history - the Saints dealt the Eagles the worst loss by a defending Super Bowl champion in week 11, when New Orleans routed Philly 48-7. Whatever happens today, it is surely going to be a game to remember. In the other game today, the New England Patriots host the San Diego Chargers in a game that is certainly well worth watching.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Premier League, where Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester United at Wembley Stadium. This will be the first proper test for interim United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who is enjoying a 5-game winning streak in his first five games in charge. However, Solskjær is yet to face a top-10 team as United manager. Spurs are a high-flying side sitting in third place in the table. Manchester United have lost their last three trips to Spurs and will be eager to stop this away game slide against the London side so expect an exciting game today. Elsewhere, in the NBA, the Orlando Magic host the Houston Rockets at the Amway Center. The Sony Open golf in Hawaii continues with day 4 of the competition. In the NHL, the New York Islanders host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Barclays Center. In snooker, the Dafabet Masters begins at Alexandra Palace.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by NFL
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