Y’all Hear That Nolia Clap?

Intriguing Game- Week 11

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints

Eagles: Okay, let’s look back now. During this time last season in 2017, the Philadelphia Eagles were the talk of the league and Super Bowl goals were being affiliated with their name and through nine games, they had an 8-1 record and had the longest winning streak in the NFL at the time. Do you want to know how good this team was last year? They didn’t lose their second game of the season until the first Sunday of December! That’s how great they were. This year, it’s really been a different story and right now, the Super Bowl champs have a 4-5 record and they’ve already lost more games this season then they have all year in 2017 so what exactly has been the issue? First, I don’t think the team has embraced everything that comes with being a defending champs and you have to realize when you hold that title, you are going to get the best efforts from each team that you play every week and sometimes I feel that the Eagles feel like they can show up and because of who they “are” it’s supposed to scare teams and it hasn’t. When you watch the Eagles running game, it’s nothing compared to what it was last season and they have a running back by committee thing going on right now with Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, and Josh Adams. LeGarrette Blount is a member of the Lions (who they should’ve resigned) and Jay Ajayi tore his ACL and is done for the year. The Eagles offense doesn’t have the explosiveness they had and it shows. Carson Wentz is getting more confident and he’s beginning to trust his knee more as the weeks go along. The defense is still solid even after losing a piece or two from last year’s unit and they did everything they could to keep the team in the game on Sunday night against Dallas. They aren’t completely irrelevant just yet and they’ll make a trip down to the Big Easy in New Orleans.

Saints: Eight. That’s where the winning streak is at right now and I just continue to be impressed with this football team by the week and in all the years that Sean Payton has been the head coach of the Saints, this may be one of his better teams that he’s had during his tenure in New Orleans, of course, the 2009 team being on top considering that they won the Super Bowl. When I watched the tape of their dominating win against the Bengals, I was reminded so much of their game last season against the Buffalo Bills when they went on the road and absolutely dominated the Bills and their performance then was what I saw on Sunday in Cincinnati. People need to realize that the Saints offense is more dynamic and they don’t have to depend on Drew Brees to just tear apart any defense because he has that running game to lean on and how lucky is he to have the best tandem of running backs in Ingram and Kamara? Since drafting Kamara, I’ve seen defenses load up the box to shut down number 41 but fail to realize that Drew is still under center and if you forget about him, he can pull a Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and politely reintroduce himself. This is my league MVP right now at the moment and with all he’s accomplished in his legendary career (the passing records, just surpassing Brett Favre on the all-time passing touchdowns list and the Super Bowl title), an MVP would be the icing on the cake and just another accolade to a Hall of Fame resume. Sunday was their best win of the season by far because of how complete of a performance we got from them. The offense clicked and the defense got takeaways and when this happens, they’re unbeatable when they can put it all together. This is the best team in the NFL right now and they seem to get better each week. With a win on Sunday, this will be their best ten-game start since 2009 when they went 10-0.

Eagles Player To WatchJosh Adams: As I said up top, it’s been a running back by committee situation for the Eagles but every time Josh Adams got some time on the field, he was the only running back that did something with the football each time he got a carry and if I’m Doug Pedersen, I’m continuing to start the rookie from Notre Dame. I’m not saying he needs to do what Blount and Ajayi did last year, he just needs to provide them a spark and some balance for the offense and a jolt to their running game.

Saints Player To WatchBenjamin Watson: He’s still getting the job done in his 15th season in the league and the middle of the field is open most of the time with Thomas getting the attention he does. Brees loves to target him 20 yards and in on scoring situations.

Final Analysis: This is a big game for both teams. It’s the defending Super Bowl champions against the best team in the NFC and in the league. Last season, I said the Saints were the biggest threat to the Eagles in the NFC and had they met in the playoffs, I think the Saints would’ve beat them. A win for the Eagles would be absolutely huge and being at .500 with six games to play would put them in a good position moving forward. Being two games under .500 would put a damper on their playoff chances. The Eagles defensive line needs to be ready to play. Bennett, Fletcher and Haloti, this is the best quarterback you’ll see all year long. Don’t allow him to pick apart your defense. Pressure him early and often. The Eagles offense needs to finish drives, something they’ve struggled to do and that’s been a big factor in their losses. The Saints secondary will need to really limit Alshon Jeffrey in the red zone, prevent Golden Tate from getting those additional yards in space and double Ertz in the red area.

Prediction: Saints 41 Eagles 27