Preview: The Eagles host the New Orleans Saints in South Philly, looking to clinch the NFC East title
The Philadelphia Eagles (13-2) are hosting the New Orleans Saints (6-9) this afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field.
After a rough loss on Christmas Eve against the Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles have a golden opportunity to lock up the NFC No. 1 seed and a first round bye in the playoffs against the Saints at home today.
Trust me, I know it would have been amazing to do it on the road against the Cowboys last week, but if you would have told me at any point during the season that all the Eagles needed to do to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC was beat the Saints or the New York Giants at home, I would have signed up for that instantly.
Minshew Mania to Start 2023
Gardner Minshew will be under center for the Eagles today. Last week against Dallas, Minshew proved that he could probably start on 10+ NFL teams right now, so I actually like him handling business today against New Orleans. Of course, things get much easier for any quarterback starting on the Eagles when you have weapons like AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith at wide receiver.
Last week against the Cowboys, Smitty torched the Dallas secondary and hauled in eight receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Brown also had a fantastic game, catching six balls for 103 yards.
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The two Eagles wide receivers made history by both reaching 1,000 yards on the season and there’s more records to be had today. Before this season, the Eagles never even had a single wide receiver under the age of 25 to have 80 catches and 1,100 yards in a season. If DeVonta Smith has 86 more receiving yards over the next two games, the Eagles will have two in one year.
The Eagles defense continues to perform at a high-level and have been dominant over the last few weeks in the trenches. They have a total of 25 sacks over their last four games. On the year, the Eagles have three players with double-digit sacks.
- Haason Reddick: 14
- Josh Sweat: 11
- Javon Hargrove: 10
If Brandon Graham can get one more sack, the Eagles’ defense will be the first in NFL history with four 10-sack players. Also worth noting, the Eagles had only two players total with 10 sacks over the last 10 years in Connor Darwin (14.5 in 2014) and Fletcher Cox (10.5 in 2018).
Andy Dalton and the Saints
With the New Orleans Saints taking the field with Andy Dalton under center, today is a very winnable game. Dalton has just 17 touchdown passes in 12 starts to go along with eight interceptions. He’s completed 66.2% of his passes, averaging 7.5 yards/attempt and his only real wide receiver threat would be rookie Chris Olave, who is flirting with the 1,000 yard receiving mark on the year.
All things considered, today should be a somewhat easy game for the Eagles. It’s the Saints for crying out loud.
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles – 1:05PM – Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA
|New Orleans Saints||+5.5 (-105)||+198||O 41.5 (-115)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||-5.5 (-115)||-240||U 41.5 (-105)|
The Eagles should easily cover -5.5 and I think the over is in play here since it’s so low at 41.5.
Handle business. Lock up the No. 1 seed and a first round bye in the playoffs.
I’ll be back at the Linc mid-January ready for a Super Bowl run.
Cheers everyone. Happy New Year!