Metairie, La. -- When the Saints and Eagles met 8 weeks ago, New Orleans won by 41 points. But since then, the defending Super Bowl Champions have won 6 of their last 7-- including their one-point upset win over the third-seeded Bears in the Wild Card round last week.
"We have a tough team coming in there this week," said Saints Defensive Tackle, Sheldon Rankins. "A team that's playing really well right now. Playing like they found their rhythm. They found their groove. Looking like the team they were last year. We're not taking them lightly."
"I assume they'll come in as motivated as ever, just like we're going to come in as motivated as ever," said Saints quarterback Drew Brees. "I don't think anything that happened previously has any bearing on this game."
On their end, the Saints have had an extra week of preparation to heal-up and game plan for the win or go home divisional round match-up.
"Everybody's kind of tuned-in," said Saints Running back Mark Ingram. "You've got to have superior focus, superior intensity, superior preparation. You just have to be on top everything. Everything matters. All the small things matter. All the small things are that much more important when you're in a sudden death tournament."
"In life, many opportunities don't come and you've just got to seize them," said Saints Offensive Tackle Terron Armstead. "You've got to take advantage of this to the best of our ability. I feel like we're ready and we will do that. Philly's going to come too. They just won a Super Bowl. They're going to come and try to seize their opportunity. They feel like they snuck into the playoffs and now they're trying to make some noise. It's about who executes Sunday."
Along with all the week's practice and preparation, Head Coach Sean Payton decided add a little something special to his team's routine. He is known for coming-up with new ways to motivate his team and this week he brought-in the hardware-- and money-- that comes along with winning it all.
"Yeah, it's pretty motivating to see that Lombardi Trophy with a bundle of cash like that," Ingram said. "That's definitely motivating and just a little bit of extra incentive. What are we playing for? Of course everyone's playing to be champions but that trophy, that bread-- all that's on the line. Just another little way to get us going."