Thanks to a blocked kick in the final seconds of the final Wild Card game on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles title defense carries on to New Orleans for a date with the NFL-leading Saints.
New Orleans opened as high as 9-point favorites over the defending champs.
Kickoff is set for 4:40pm EST on Sunday, January 13th at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Nick Foles is back at it again.
It wasn’t the prettiest performance, and he got some help from a well-timed Doug Pederson timeout and the hand of Treyvon Hester, but Foles managed to do something only Tom Brady has accomplished this season: go into Chicago and beat the Bears.
— NFL (@NFL) January 7, 2019
The reigning Super Bowl MVP went 25-of-40 for 266 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. It could have been a lot uglier had his offensive line not played such a great game, only allowing him to be sacked once.
Foles largely had to shoulder the offense again, as the Eagles struggles on the ground continued. They managed just 42 yards on 23 carries on Sunday. But that was kind of expected against a stout Bears front.
FOLES. TATE. SIX points for the @Eagles.
— NFL (@NFL) January 7, 2019
Unfortunately, it won’t get much easier in the Divisional Round against a Saints defense that allows just 3.6 yards per carry, the second-fewest in the NFL.
Philly’s defense also put forth a big performance during Wild Card Weekend, showing they can still dominate the trenches and shut down a running game when motivated.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) January 6, 2019
Chicago only totaled 65 rushing yards on Sunday, and the Eagles are now surrendering just 57.5 yards on the ground per game over their last four.
They were also able to get to Mitchell Trubisky twice, adding to their impressive sack total of 44 for the season, tied for eighth-most in the league.
The defense will need another stellar effort when they see Drew Brees and the Saints on Sunday.
Eagles vs Saints Statistical Comparison
|22.9 (18th)||PPG||31.5 (3rd)|
|365.3 (14th)||YPG||379.2 (8th)|
|98.1 (28th)||Rushing YPG||126.6 (6th)|
|267.2 (7th)||Passing YPG||252.6 (12th)|
|21.8 (12th)||PPG Allowed||22.1 (14th)|
|366.2 (23rd)||YPG Allowed||349.1 (14th)|
|96.9 (7th)||Rushing YPG Allowed||80.2 (2nd)|
|269.3 (30th)||Passing YPG Allowed||268.9 (29th)|
|-6 (25th)||Turnover Differential||+8 (7th)|
*Stats are from the 2018 NFL regular season
New Orleans Saints
The Saints starters should be feeling very refreshed. Not only did they have the bye through Wild Card Weekend, but most were even given the day off in Week 17.
This will certainly be a question of well-rested vs rusty if New Orleans starts off slowly.
The Saints are also a team who is drawing questions as to whether they may have peaked too early this season.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) November 30, 2018
After rattling off ten straight victories starting in Week 2, looking simply unstoppable, the Saints were much less impressive down the stretch. Excluding Week 17, they managed to win three of their last four, but the Saints offense did not look like the explosive and supremely efficient unit we saw earlier in the season.
New Orleans only managed 10 points in a loss to Dallas in Week 13, 28 points against the second-worst defense in the NFL in Tampa Bay in Week 14, 12 points in Carolina in Week 15, and 31 points against the Steelers in Week 16.
— ESPN (@espn) December 18, 2018
It’s no coincidence those 31 points in Week 16 came at home, where they’ll be playing up until Super Bowl 53, should they make it there.
The Saints offense had been so good all year due to their balanced attack, ranking 12th in passing and 6th in rushing.
The Saints are 5-0 with Drew Brees as their QB in playoff games at the Superdome. In those five games, Brees has thrown 12 TDs against 1 INT and has a 116.8 passer rating.
— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) January 7, 2019
But facing a stout Eagles front on Sunday may result in the likely 2018 NFL MVP runner up, Drew Brees, having to shoulder more of the offense than he’s been used to this season – New Orleans ranks just 23rd in pass attempts in 2018.
That’s not terrible news when you consider the success Brees has had at home in the playoffs, and how poor the Eagles have defended the pass.
Defensively, the Saints have been dominant against the run. They rank second in both yards per carry and yards per game allowed. But you can’t say the same against the pass.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 30, 2018
Marshon Lattimore has not been the same player he was in his rookie season – 87.9 coverage grade in 2017, compared to 72.6 in 2018, per PFF. But he’s still been the best New Orleans has in its secondary.
The unit will have to step up to prevent this St Nick thing from going any further.
The Saints absolutely crushed the Eagles 48-7 back in Week 11 at the Superdome as 7-point favorites. But that was Carson Wentz’s Philadelphia Eagles, not Nick Foles’.
Eagles & Saints Recent Trends
|Eagles Trends||Saints Trends|
|PHI is 4-4 SU on the road||NO is 6-2 SU at home|
|PHI is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4||NO is 1-4 ATS in their last 5|
|PHI is 2-2 ATS as underdog||NO is 7-6 ATS as favorite|
|UNDER is 5-3 in last 8 PHI games||UNDER is 5-2 in last 7 NO games|