By Jennifer McGraw, Sports Talk Philly Contributor
The Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) welcome the New Orleans Saints (5-4) back to Philadelphia where they met last year and then rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts had his first start in the NFL. The Eagles are coming off of an energizing 30-13 win against the Denver Broncos (5-5). New Orleans is coming off a 23-21 loss to Tennessee.
Date: November 21, 2021
Where: Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA
When: 1:00 PM/Eastern
Radio: 94.1 WIP and the Philadelphia Eagles Radio Network
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the all-time series 18-15.
2020: The Eagles defeated the Saints 24-21 at the Lincoln Financial Field. Jalen Hurts had his first start as Eagles quarterback and was 17-for-30 for 167 yards and one touchdown. Miles Sanders had 14 carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
This is going to be a test for the Eagles to see if they’re actually correcting mistakes and penalties on defense as well as keeping that aggressive, balanced offense they’ve had. The Eagles are coming off of their most convincing win of the season, so they’re going to want to keep that winning momentum going. The Saints are coming off of two straight losses, so they’re equally as hungry for a win.
Key players are missing from both teams, so there’s going to be major adjustments to make sure each team is still in the playoff discussion. The Saints will be without running back Alvin Kamara and Pro Bowl offensive tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk. The Eagles have only ruled out one player, center/guard Jack Anderson, but right defensive end Derek Barnett is questionable for Sunday’s game as well. Tight end Dallas Goedert, who signed a four-year contract extension on Friday, practiced though he’s still in concussion protocol. He will have to be cleared by a neurologist before Sunday in order to play.
The Eagles defense will need to step up for this game. Cleaning up the penalties and costly mistakes will keep the Saints offense at bay. The Eagles defense are in a great position to succeed with the Saints offensive line banged up. The Eagles defense has struggled to read plays and make stops this season, so they need to take advantage of having it easy on Sunday.
The Eagles offense has been on fire the past few games. The Saints defense is going to have to be aggressive and make stops and keep Hurts, Smith, and Sanders off the field. The Saints defense is ranked No. 1 in the league in stopping the run, with allowing only 72.9 yards rushing allowed per game. With the Eagles newfound love of running the ball, it’s going to be a challenge to do just that.
Prediction: Eagles 31-24
I’m expecting two rushing touchdowns, either one each from Sanders and Howard, or Scott and Howard should Sanders not be ready to go. I also see Smith getting in at least a touchdown, as well as another passing touchdown. If the Eagles O-line gets tired by the end of the first half, kicker Jake Elliott will be sure to seal the deal to keep the Eagles on top. For these reasons, and if the Eagles defense can hold the Saints, the Eagles should be able to come out on top.