Late in the year, many Philadelphia Eagles fans didn’t expect their team to make the playoffs. After winning their first Super Bowl last season, the team slipped a bit this year. Injuries and poor play took their toll at times during the season. After escaping Soldier Field with a one-point win last week, the team now takes on their toughest test: quarterback Drew Brees and his potent New Orleans Saints in a decisive playoff matchup.
The Saints have the best record in the league this year, thanks in large part to their high-powered offense. New Orleans has won six consecutive home playoff games, and this year’s squad humiliated the Eagles in a 48-7 win at home on November 17th, it was the biggest loss any defending Super Bowl champion has ever.. While the score for this rematch probably won’t be that lopsided, it will be a game with huge championship implications. Let’s know another biggest loss or Foles magic?
Who: Eagles vs Saints
What: 2019 NFC Divisional Playoffs
When: Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Time: 4:40 p.m. Eastern
TV channel: Fox
Live stream: Fox Sports Go, fuboTV (free trial)
Why the Eagles will win:
1. Nick Foles keeps the team’s momentum going. Backup quarterback Foles was pressed into service again this season after starter Carson Wentz’s back injury and once again has his team in the playoffs. His smart play and leadership on the field are primary reasons why the Eagles are where they are. Despite having a tough time in Chicago getting the running game going last week, he stayed focused on striving for a balanced offensive attack. Foles has kept his team’s hopes alive, but time will only tell how long their good fortune will last. Nick Foles has been really good his 105.1 career playoff passer rating is the best in NFL history, minimum 150 attempts simply been carried by his teammates.
2. The Saints’ defense ain’t that great. New Orleans gets a lot of headlines for their offense. Their defense isn’t as notable, however. Their defense ranked in the middle of the league this year, giving up over 260 yards and 22 points per game on average. If the Eagles can take advantage of mistakes or mismatches, they can light up the Saints for a few easy scores. That could make all the difference in this game.
How Saints can stop Eagles for back to back Super Bowl wins?
1. Balanced offense. The Saints’ offense was one of the best in the NFL, as you’ve probably heard. They averaged over 31 points and 375 offensive yards per game in the regular season. Brees has a full complement of offensive weapons at his disposal. Wide receiver Michael Thomas tallied over 1400 yards in the air and running back Alvin Kamara tallied over 1500 yards combined rushing and receiving. These are just some of the many options the Saints have to keep the Eagles’ defense guessing.
2. The Eagles are weak defending against the pass. The Eagles’ defense was third worst in the league in 2018 against the pass. They allowed over 300 yards to Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky, and could yield even more to Brees and company. Brees has been one of the most accurate passers throughout his career, and he could quickly carve the Eagles’ pass rushers into Swiss cheese in a hurry if they’re not careful.
Eagles at Saints Replay: NFLGamePass (Subscription required)
The Saints are heavily favored at home this weekend. They have looked vulnerable at times, most recently in a late season comeback win against the Steelers in December. However, coach Sean Payton and his staff will have his team prepared for the Eagles. He knows better than to over look an underdog. It should be one of the more memorable games of the playoff season.