5 things to watch Saints vs Eagles

Kristian Garic
November 16, 2018 - 3:12 pm

The matchup that almost happened last year in the NFC Championship game will happen Sunday in the Superdome.  The Saints felt like they were good enough last year to go to Philly and beat the Eagles. We’ll never know if that truly would have happened, but we’ll get an idea this week.  The Eagles are coming off a Super Bowl Championship sitting at 4 and 5 backed into a corner. The Saints are the team to beat in the NFC at 8 and 1. Here are five things to watch Sunday in this match up.

1.  Fast start: The Saints have to come out of the gate hot, scoring on the opening possession.  The best offense in the NFL can score in so many different ways.  Getting off to a fast start and scoring early will put plenty of pressure on an Eagles offense that has been somewhat erratic at times.

2.  Wounded animal: The Eagles defense is decimated with injuries, especially in the secondary.  CB Ronald Darby tore his ACL last week and is out for the year.  Cornerback Jalen Mills has missed some time with a hamstring injury.  The front four of the Eagles is still pretty salty, but the Saints offensive line can handle them.  If Drew Brees has time to throw, the Eagles secondary is in big trouble.

3.  Turnovers: I’m not talking about the kind that could be in your Thanksgiving Day spread.  The Saints are +2 for the season, and the Eagles are -6 in the takeaway/giveaway ratio.  That is a huge disparity!  If the Saints protect the football and come out of this game even or on the plus side, they win.

4.  Desperate team:  The Eagles have been searching for answers all year, and some players in that locker room are starting to voice a little frustration.  Sometimes that has a way of motivating a team for a week or two.  Desperate teams in November make me nervous.  The truth about the Saints situation is they have no margin for error in the NFC right now.  The Rams are still on their heels with just one loss on the season.

5.  Rushing attack:  The Eagles defense is about average in every statistical category.  The run defense is above average, allowing just 97 yards per game, good for seventh best in the league. The Saints are eighth in the NFL in rushing yards per game averaging 126 yards a game on the ground.  What gives Sunday? Saints rushing attack or Eagles rushing defense? The Saints are favored by 8.5 points over the Eagles.  That’s a lot of points, but then again, it’s the Saints.

Prediction:  This game makes me nervous in a lot of ways.  The Eagles have pride as the defending Super Bowl champions, and don’t want to essentially be bounced from the playoff picture in the middle of November.  I expect Philadelphia to come into the Superdome with plenty of energy and confidence.  The Saints are a confident group right now, and I can’t see the Eagles matching the intensity and points that the Saints offense will put up. 

Saints 28 Eagles 19! The Saints keep marching!

Listen to WWL Radio's full Saints coverage all week long on "Sports Talk" with Bobby Hebert & Kristian Garic (M-Th 4-8pm) and "The Last Lap" with Seth Dunlap (Tu-Fri 8-11pm)

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