The Eagles (4-6) are at home this week to host the Saints (5-4) at Lincoln Financial Field.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (8-2)
The Eagles have discovered this formula that’s made them competitive their last three games, winners of two of them. Running the ball 40 times a game worked great against the Lions, Chargers and Broncos, and the Eagles’ offense has been one of the best in the NFL over the past few weeks. Here’s the problem: The Saints are No. 1 in the NFL both in yards allowed per game (73) and yards allowed per carry (3.1). This is strength vs. strength because the Eagles are now No. 3 in rushing yards (144) and No. 4 in yards per carry (5.0). But can the Eagles beat a team that’s able to neutralize their power running attack? Can they win a game when they have to throw the ball way more than they run it? They’re probably going to have to, but I’m just not sure they’re ready to win that way, not without anyone other than DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert making plays in the passing game. I don’t see the Saints putting up a ton of points either, not with Trevor Siemian at QB. But ultimately I think the Saints' defense will be too much for the Eagles.
Saints 19, Eagles 17
Dave Zangaro (9-1)
This is a big game for the Eagles, but it’s a huge game for the Saints, who are about to face two really good teams over the next two weeks. They really need to win this. The problem for New Orleans is they’re pretty banged up in a few key areas — they’ll be without Alvin Kamara and their starting offensive tackles — and their quarterback is Trevor Siemian. What the Saints do have going for them is a tremendous defense that will most likely make life difficult for the Eagles. Ultimately, I’m going to give a slight edge to the Saints in this game but I see a low scoring-game that comes down to the wire.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they’ll fail to win their first game at home this season. They won’t get another shot until Week 15.
Saints 20, Eagles 17
Ray Didinger (8-2)
This is a huge game for both teams. It might be even bigger for the 5-4 Saints who are coming off crushing losses to Atlanta and Tennessee and have Buffalo and the Cowboys on deck the next two weeks. They cannot afford a loss to the 4-6 Eagles.
The Eagles have salvaged their season with two wins in the last three weeks and they have done it by running the football. They are averaging more than 200 yards per game on the ground over that span, most in the NFL but now they face the No. 1 rush defense in the Saints.
Right now the Eagles O-line is the best run blocking line in the NFL. Coach Nick Sirianni should keep riding those horses up front. Even if the running game gets stuffed early, stay with it. The Eagles haven't won at the Linc since last December when the Saints came to town. They are overdue.
Eagles 21, Saints 17
Barrett Brooks (6-4)
This is where the rubber meets the road. The Saints are coming off two losses and the Eagles are turning a corner but still have yet to win a home game this year. I love the new identity of this Eagles team. Run the ball, ask questions later. The Saints are the No. 1 defense vs. the run in the league. This is where we see if Nick Sirianni sticks to his guns and runs the ball. It's time to impose their will on the opponent, no matter what the stats say.
Jonathan Gannon has to continue to press the issue on the outside. Play tighter, no matter the receivers. Take a chance. When Gannon calls an aggressive game plan, the defense, as a whole, responds and plays more aggressively. Dec. 2 is the last time Eagles fans have celebrated a win at home. The Birds win their first home game of the year on Sunday.
Eagles 24, Saints 13
Mike Mulhern (7-3)
As Rodney McLeod addressed his teammates in the locker room following Sunday’s win in Denver, he harped on consistency being the key to success in the NFL. Can you show up next week and do it again? That’s the biggest question. So far this season the answer has been a resounding no. The Eagles have yet to string together back-to-back wins, and this week I’m not sure that changes.
Yes, they’re facing an opponent that appears ripe for the picking. The Saints are down to Trevor Siemian at quarterback and will likely be without other major pieces, including Alvin Kamara, on Sunday. The Eagles defense has typically reflected the opposing quarterback, but none of the signal callers they’ve beaten up on had Sean Payton calling the plays. And to be honest, Siemian has been a pretty solid career backup. He can’t exactly win you games, but he won’t accelerate your demise (5 TD, 0 INT this season). Just look at what he did last week in nearly knocking off the Titans on the road. Siemian will be able to limit the mistakes and string together some scoring drives in a game where points figure to be at a premium.
That’s in part because the Saints defense has been dominant against the run and I expect them to sell out to stop it on Sunday. They’ll also have Marshon Lattimore locking up DeVonta Smith, leaving the Eagles without many options on offense, other than Jalen Hurts’ legs. The Saints haven’t faced a mobile threat under center, but they have the right chess pieces, including Malcolm Jenkins, to stop it. The only consistency we’ll see from the Eagles is remaining winless at home.
Saints 20, Eagles 13
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