NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The big boys showed up this weekend and showed those usurpers from the wild-card round how it’s done.
The top two seeds from the AFC and NFC returned to action in their comfortable home settings — ice and snow and chills be darned in the AFC — and swatted aside the survivors of the opening set of games. Only the Saints struggled against the resilient defending Super Bowl champion Eagles, and even as that game wore on, New Orleans wore out Philadelphia.
Sure, the Eagles had a chance to move on even after blowing an early 14-0 lead and then being dominated for nearly three quarters. But the Saints (14-3) got through it, and they’ll likely be the better for it when they host the Rams (13-4) next Sunday.
It’s certainly easier on the nerves when you pretty much blow away the opposition, as the Chiefs (13-4) and Patriots (12-5) did. The Rams never seemed threatened by the Cowboys down the stretch Saturday night. But Drew Brees and company have some evaluating and adjusting to do after the banged-up Eagles nearly pulled off another stunner.
Brees is certain a lesson has been…