Here are two of the key matchups to keep an eye on this Sunday when the Eagles host the New Orleans Saints ...
RB Brian Westbrook vs. MLB Jonathan Vilma
With the Eagles' quarterback situation up in the air, the onus might be on Brian Westbrook to lead the Philadelphia offense. Coming off two off-season surgeries, Westbrook ran for 64 yards on 13 carries against the Panthers and added a 4-yard touchdown reception in Week 1. Westbrook looked healthy and should be licking his chops to take on the Saints defense. One of the speediest middle linebackers in the game, Vilma is the heart and soul of the Saints' defense and has been for the past two years since coming over from the New York Jets. Vilma has the physical tools to hang with Westbrook in both the running and passing game, but Westbrook has made some of the game's best players look silly in his wake, so it should be a fun battle to watch.
LT Jermon Bushrod vs. RDE Trent ColeThe Saints' starting left tackle Jammal Brown is likely out after undergoing hip surgery, so Bushrod gets the call in his place. Unfortunately for Bushrod, he has the unenviable task of lining up against Cole, who might just be the single best player on the Eagles' defense. Cole was dominant against the Panthers even though he spent a lot of the game facing double and triple-teams. Expect Bushrod to get some help blocking Cole, either from a tight end, a fullback or a running back. If Cole can break through and disrupt Brees' blindside, it will be a major plus for the Eagles. Plus, the attention that's likely to be paid to Cole will open up one-on-one opportunities for other defensive linemen, and will likely be a key to a consistent pass-rush on Brees.
Click here for the complete Eagles-Saints preview which includes a look at how Drew Brees ranks in the NFL in various stat categories since he joined the Saints in 2006.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 11:07 a.m., September 15