It’s rare for an NFL team to lose a close game in the playoffs and not hear members of the roster say afterward that they were actually the better team even if their opponents are the ones advancing to play another day.
Eagles cornerback Cary Williams did the honors in Philly after Saturday night’s 26-24 loss to the Saints, saying that the Saints were not better than the Eagles but that they were better on the field over the course of the game. Williams’ teammate Jason Peters didn’t even reach that level of credit for the Saints.
“They got lucky and beat us. We beat ourselves in the first half and they came out with the win,” Peters said, via Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com.
There were some missed opportunities, but the Eagles were winning the game 7-6 at the end of the first half. They lost because they couldn’t stop the Saints from running the ball all night and because they couldn’t find any consistent offensive push against the Saints defense until cornerback Keenan Lewis left the game with an injury.
That Lewis injury and the loss of linebacker Parys Haralson earlier in the game could actually be used to suggest luck was against the Saints, who made up for it by nearly doubling the Eagles in total yards and running the ball into field goal range at the end of the game against an Eagles defense that couldn’t stop them.