New Orleans Saints

Hey Reggie Bush, YOU'VE GOT THE WRONG EAGLES CORNERBACK!

Hey Reggie Bush, YOU'VE GOT THE WRONG EAGLES CORNERBACK!

Reggie Bush vividly remembers every detail of the hardest hit he ever took.

Except who hit him.
 
Bush, a co-host of FOX Sports’ College Game Day, was asked on Monday’s show by a Twitter viewer what was the hardest he was ever hit during his 11-year NFL career.
 
Every Eagles fan knows the answer to that question. 
 
My hardest hit is well-documented,” Bush said. “You can probably go look it up on YouTube right now. It happened in 2006 in the NFC Championship Game, and we’re taking about quarterbacks leading their receivers into bad throws, and the great Drew Brees almost got my head tooken off. Well, he did get my head tooken off. Thankfully I’m here to live and tell about it. It was a very interesting experience. I would not recommend it for the average person and I’m lucky to be alive. It was Lito Sheppard.”
 
OK, first of all, it wasn’t the NFC Championship Game, it was the conference semifinal round a week earlier.
 
But … LITO SHEPPARD?????
 
Reggie, does the name SHELDON BROWN RING A BELL?
 
With all due respect to Lito, who was a Pro Bowler that year and spent seven years playing cornerback alongside Brown, let’s just say he wasn’t exactly the type to unleash thunderous hits on anybody.
 
Lito was the speedy corner who loved to jump routes, Brown was the physical guy who could cover but loved to support the run and deliver big hits.
 
And actually, Sheppard didn’t even play in that Saints game. He suffered a dislocated elbow a week earlier in the playoff win over the Giants and didn’t dress.

Even though the Eagles lost that game 27-24, Brown’s hit on Bush made the cover of Sports Illustrated.
  
“That was a beastly, beastly hit,” Brian Dawkins said in the book, The 50 Greatest Plays in Eagles History, co-written by yours truly with long-time Eagles writer Mark Eckel. “He just demolished him. It may have been the hardest hit I ever saw.”
 
Brown's hit came on the second play of the game, and Bush, after getting laid out, missed just one snap before returning to the game.

"I couldn't believe he came back in," Eagles radio analyst Mike Quick said in The 50 Greatest Plays in Eagles History. "I would have taken my ball and gone home. And nobody would have complained if I did."

Bush wound up rushing for 52 yards and a TD and catching three passes, all after the Brown hit.
 
Today, he wouldn’t have been allowed back in the game.
 
What did it feel like?
 
“Cancel Christmas, cancel all the holidays, it was bad,” Bush said Monday. “I remember laying on the field, and it wasn’t the hit that initially put me down, it was when my back hit the ground. It knocked the wind out of my stomach. For anybody who’s ever had the wind knocked out of them, it’s probably the closest experience to dying without dying. And it was very painful. I remember looking up into the stands, started going blurry, I was gasping for air. People were trying to talk to me, I couldn’t hear anything. I was just trying to breathe.”
 
Brown said years later in The 50 Greatest Plays in Eagles History that thanks to film study, he knew what play was coming, so he was able to time his hit on Bush perfectly.
 
“I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is exactly how it looked in practice,” he said. “You don’t see that happen too often.”

More on the Eagles

NFL playoff picture: If Eagles beat Seahawks, they'll head to Green Bay for divisional round

NFL playoff picture: If Eagles beat Seahawks, they'll head to Green Bay for divisional round

If the Eagles beat the Seahawks on Sunday, we now know who their next opponent will be.

If the Eagles advance to the divisional round next weekend, they will travel to play the second-seeded Packers on Jan. 12 at at 6:40 p.m. EST on FOX.

That was decided on Sunday afternoon when the Vikings upset the Saints 26-20 in New Orleans. Since the Vikings are a lower seed than the Eagles, they will travel to face the top-seeded 49ers in the divisional round. The fourth-seeded Eagles will play in Green Bay.

Had the Saints won, the Eagles (with a win) would have traveled to face the 49ers.

The Eagles went to Green Bay and took down the Packers 34-27 way back in Week 4 this season. It was one of the best wins of the season for the Eagles but a bunch has changed for them since that.

After that loss, the Packers went 10-2 in their final 12 games to earn a first-round bye.

If we look back at the Eagles-Packers game on Sept. 26, Carson Wentz threw for 160 yards and three touchdowns and Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders combined for 159 yards on the ground. Howard had three touchdowns.

On the other side, Aaron Rodgers threw for 422 yards with two touchdowns but also had an interception and lost a fumble.

Statistically speaking, the Packers would be a much easier draw than the 49ers, who rank at or near the top of the league in many categories. The Packers were 15th in points for and ninth in points allowed.

But while the 49ers will have a quarterback making his first career playoff start, the Packers still have Rodgers, who even in a down year is still one of the best and most clutch quarterbacks in the NFL.

The Eagles have played the Packers three times in the postseason. The last time came in the 2010 wild card game, when they lost 21-16. The last time the Eagles faced the Packers in the divisional round was a 20-17 overtime win back in 2003. They also beat the Packers in the 1960 championship game.

The Packers are a tough test this year but the good news for the Eagles is that if they are able to beat the Seahawks, that means they will have won five straight games heading into the matchup in Green Bay.

And they’ll be well aware of the fact that they already won once there.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

NFL Week 17 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

NFL Week 17 schedule: Derrick Gunn's 5 games to watch

Here are Derrick Gunn’s games to watch for Week 17 of the NFL season:

Saints at Panthers (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX)
Head coach Sean Payton says his starters will play. The Saints currently the No. 3 seed in the NFC and still have a shot at the 1 or 2 seed but need help along the way. But first thing's first — taking care of the Panthers. Drew Brees has a minor knee ailment, and his big play wideout Michael Thomas is dealing with a hand issue, but both will be on the field. Carolina's season is done, but there are so many questions about this team. Who will be the new head coach? Will Cam Newton be back? The only highlight left for what has been a dismal year for the Panthers is Christian McCaffrey. He needs 67 receiving yards to become only the third player in NFL history to have 1,000 rushing and receiving yards in the same season. McCaffrey will get his yards, but the Saints will get the win, and then sit and wait.

Redskins at Cowboys (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX)
The Cowboys have no one to blame but themsevles for being in the situation they’re in. Dallas should have wrapped up the division a few weeks ago, but losing four its last five, including a crucial showdown in Philadelphia, leaves its playoff hopes hanging by a thread. The Cowboys need to beat Washington, then hope the Giants do them a favor and knock off the Eagles. Dak Prescott is still dealing with a shoulder injury that appears to be affecting the velocity on his passes. Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins will miss the season finale, and its not known if WR Terry McLaurin will be available (concussion protocol). Dallas wins this divisional confrontation with one eye on the Redskins, and the other eye on the scoreboard.

Steelers at Ravens (Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS)
When the 2019 schedule came out, many felt this AFC North finale would  be for the divisional crown.  The Ravens lived up to expectations all season long and have clinched home field advantage. As for the Steelers, injuries piled up. They’ve gone through three quarterbacks. Pittsbugh is right outside the playoff door and needs some help to walk through it. The Ravens are sitting most of their regulars, including Lamar Jackson, which bodes well for Pittsburgh. The Steelers take the gift from Baltimore, but will they get generosity from outside help? The drama builds.

Titans at Texans (Sunday, 4:25 p.m.., CBS)
The help Pittsburgh needs has to come from Houston. If the Texans knock off the Titans and the Steelers win, Pittsburgh is in. But if the Titans win, they knock the Steelers out and Tennessee heads to the postseason dance. Houston is champs of the AFC South for the four time in the last five years. They have a slim chance of getting the No. 3 seed. The Texans won at Tennessee two weeks ago. They’ll win Sunday to make it a season sweep and sweep the Titans' playoff hopes under a rug.

49ers at Seahawks (Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC)
The 49ers have been waiting for this rematch. It was Seattle who dealt San Francisco its first loss of the season. From that point on the Niners, who began the season 8-0, have gone on a 4-3 journey. Seattle's backfield has been decimated by injuries. Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise's seasons are over. So, Seattle has re-signed two former 'Hawks, 33-year-old Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. Neither has played in a year. Russell Wilson will have to put his team on his back, but the load may be too much to bear. The Niners' big incentive is if they win, they are the top seed in the NFC. This should be a great matchup to close out the 2019 regular season. The Niners take the win, the division and the top seed. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles