Date & Time: November 21st – 1:00 PM
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Lincoln Financial Field
- Eagles Injury Report:
- G Jack Anderson (hamstring)
- DE Derek Barnett (neck)
- LB Davion Taylor (knee)
- Saints Injury Report:
- OT Terron Armstead (knee/shoulder)
- RB Alvin Kamara (knee)
- WR Ty Montgomery (hand)
- OT Ryan Ramczyk (knee)
- DT Malcolm Roach (knee)
- DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (ankle)
- QB Taysom Hill (foot)
Coming off of a beautiful, through and through, team win against the Denver Broncos, the Philadelphia Eagles will face the New Orleans Saints in a matchup with huge playoff implications.
In truly poetic fashion, Jalen Hurts will face the team he had his first career start against and try to bring Philadelphia its first home-field victory since the Saints game in 2020.
The Saints are coming off of a close loss to the Tennessee Titans. They fought admirably throughout the game, but ultimately the lack of star-running back Alvin Kamara, and left tackle Terron Armstead caught up with the Saints.
Although the Saints lost starting QB Jameis Winston for the season to a knee injury, Trevor Siemian has shown that he can execute the offense at a high level.
While Siemian cannot make plays out of structure very well, if the given play call is protected well, you can be sure he will make the correct read and throw (if need be). With all-time great play-caller Sean Payton on their sideline, the HC-QB duo can be sufficient when they get into a groove, even with the lack of talent on the offense.
Throughout the game last week, the Saints’ defense held strong against the Titans rushing attack.
Linebacker Demario Davis has played at an All-Pro level throughout the year and has been the heart of their number one ranked rushing defense in terms of yards allowed per game (72.9 and 57 in their last three).
Corner Marshon Lattimore continues to play at a high level on the outside. While he has struggled at points, he has consistently gotten his hands on the ball and been disruptive against opposing number one receivers.
The Saints’ safeties have also shined this season. Whether it be Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Marcus Williams, or Malcolm Jenkins, they can all play at a high-level interchangeably. Williams and Jenkins are one of the better tandems in the league. The former Eagle, Jenkins is the stalwart of the group and provides experience and a savviness that is needed on a defense. Their versatility as a unit has made them incredible chess pieces for Dennis Allen to utilize.
Dennis Allen, the defensive coordinator for the strong Saints defense, likely will try to take the rushing attack from the Eagles, who are leading the league in yards per game over the last three games and are top three for the entire year (144.5 on the season and 209.3 in their last three).
The Saints have run tons of dime looks throughout the year and do not seem to be planning to stop anytime soon. I estimate they will continue that this week on third downs.
New Orleans has also been very good about disguising coverages pre-snap and switching to something different post-snap to confuse opposing quarterbacks.
If the Eagles are to win this game, Jalen Hurts must stay confident in his ability to read the defense pre and post-snap, stay in the pocket to make tough throws, and play within the offense to allow the offensive personnel to play as one unit.
The Eagles must also keep their renewed dedication to the rushing attack. Having that balance within the offense has opened up the playbook for more than was available in the early weeks of the season. Maintaining this balance, even if it is not necessarily successful at first, will be crucial.
With Eagles legend and fan-favorite Malcolm Jenkins making his first homecoming in front of the fans, it will surely be an emotional game for both sides.
My X-Factor for this game is going to be Dallas Goedert.
Days after being rewarded with a 4-year $59 million extension, I think Dallas will have his best game of the season and finally break 100 yards this year.
Although the Saints have been very solid defensively, they have shown a tendency to allow tight ends to get the best of them. Falcons rookie tight end Kyle Pitts made a couple of big plays to keep them in the game against the Saints to the tune of 3 catches for 62 yards.
If a rookie at the position could make that much of an impact against this defense, I would imagine a veteran top-10 tight end like Dallas could have his best game of the season.
If the Eagles are to win this game against the Saints, Dallas Goedert must get open and catch the ball, early and often.
Goedert opening up the passing game will allow the rushing attack to thrive and vice versa.
This game, although doesn’t look as we may have originally expected at the beginning of the year, is nonetheless a great test for the Eagles.
Although my X-Factor for the game was the Eagles tight end, I truly believe this game will be won in the trenches.
An epic battle between the league’s best rushing defense and rushing offense in recent weeks is sure to lead to an exciting game.
It feels like the Eagles are beginning to get rolling and the victory in Denver last week was only the beginning.
I predict the Eagles to lean on the rushing attack throughout, even if it may not necessarily work out early on as the Saints have been exceptional against the run. After establishing the run, they will continue to work in the play-action passing game and look to target DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert to take advantage of New Orleans’ tendency to try and stop the run.
Should Marshon Lattimore shadow Smith throughout the game, look for Quez Watkins to get involved and redeem himself for the heartbreaking drop last week.
Given the momentum the Eagles are riding into this game and the Saints coming off of a close loss, I give the edge to the Eagles to win their first home game of the season, and the Sirriani era, and carry on the immaculate vibes into next week’s divisional game against the New York Giants.
Pick: Eagles 28, Saints 17
Cover Image Credit: AP Photo/Derik Hamilton