New Orleans Saints (1-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-3); Game Preview

October 11th, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Filed under Eagles, Football, General, NFL.

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Four weeks into the season, and here we sit…1-3. 2 out of these three losses came by a combined six points. Two field goals, and an extra point go our way, we’re sitting here 3-1. But, there’s no time for us to sit around saying “what if”, because the New Orleans Saints are rolling into town. Fresh off of a victory against the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Brees leads the 1-3 Saints into Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday afternoon, in what is a must-win game for both teams.

Dating back to 2009, the Birds have dropped three straight against New Orleans, including the 2013-14 Wild Card game. Be that as it may, things are different now. The Saints are down a number of playmakers, ranging from Jimmy Graham to Darren Sproles, the latter of which will play opposite his former team on Sunday. While there will be storylines galore for this game, there are no bigger storylines that those on the injury report. Who’s in, who’s out? That could be the difference of the game…..

Injury Report:

Philadelphia Eagles-

Kiko Alonso (Knee)- OUT
Brandon Bair (Groin)- OUT
Mychal Kendricks (Hamstring)- OUT
Jason Peters (Quad)- Questionable
Byron Maxwell (Quad)- Probable
Chris Marargos (Quad)- Probable
Cedric Thornton (Hand)- Probable
Allen Barbre (Groin)- Probable
Taylor Hart (Shoulder)- Probable
Lane Johnson (Knee)- Probable

New Orleans Saints-

Terron Armstead (Knee)- OUT
Thomas Morestead (Right Quad)- OUT
Jahri Evans (Knee)- Questionable
Bobby Richardson (Hip)- Questionable
Jairus Byrd (Knee)- Probable
Marques Colston (Non-Injury)- Probable
Brandin Cooks (Ankle)- Probable
Tim Leileto (Back)- Probable
Keenan Lewis (Hip)- Probable
Kevin Williams (Non-Injury)- Probable


Game Preview:

This game, is once again a must-win for the Birds.  The team currently sits (amazingly!) one game out of first place in the NFC East.   It’s almost like the football gods keep cutting the Eagles a break, in the hopes that they finally get their heads out of their asses.  Well, this needs to be the game that happens.  With a three game prime-time stretch following this contest, the Birds can not afford a 1-4 start.  While it is a tough test, anytime you face Drew Brees….it’s no secret that this is not the same New Orleans team that beat us in the Wildcard game, only two short years ago.   Jimmy Graham is gone, as is Darren Sproles.  The defense is far weaker than the squad that took the field in January of 2014.  This will play into the Eagles hands.   Through their first four games, they haven’t faced a single “pushover” defense, but on Sunday they will.  To date, the Saints have allowed an average of 258.3 passing yards per game, according to ESPN.  

Also according to ESPN, the team has allowed a juicy 123.3 rushing yards per game.  That specific stat bodes well for a stagnant Eagles rushing attack, that has averaged a measly 70 yards per game. Jason Peters and Lane Johnson enter this game as the “Walking Wounded”, and will obviously dictate the ability of the Eagles offense.  If they take the field, we could finally see an offensive explosion against this Saints team that has allowed the most plays of 40+ yards.  However, if they do not make the start, then it could be yet another long day ahead for the Philadelphia faithful.   


Staff Predictions:

Ryan Waterman-  After weeks of sitting here, waiting….the Eagles will FINALLY put out a statement game.  With three very pivotal games (possibly season-deciding) right around the corner, the Birds will finally get their heads out of their asses, pull up their big boy pants, and steamroll their way to a convincing win.  DeMarco Murray breaks out for over 100 yards, and two touchdowns, while Nelson Agholor notches the first 100 yard game of his career.   On defense, the former Saint Malcolm Jenkins will come up huge, with a sack of and interception off of Drew Brees.

Eagles 41, Saints 20

Robert Waterman-  With the season on the line(Again), Sam Bradford will lead the Eagles offense with almost 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Demarco Murray will also have his 1st 100 yard rushing game if the season, and the defense will force 2 critical turnovers in what should be a pretty close game.

Eagles 24 Saints 20

Sam Shipley-  It feels like we keep waiting and waiting for this Eagles team to flip the switch and turn this season around. I was a huge believer in this team this year, and my season prediction of 12-4 may have been premature going off of preseason and the potential upside of the moves that were made. However, injuries have decimated this team on both sides of the ball, the offensive line is in shambles, and $14 million spent on running backs looks like a disaster. With that said, this is the week that it all turns around. Sam Bradford will have his best game yet, DeMarco Murray will have a big game, and I expect the offense to play all 4 quarters. Cedric Thornton is back this week and that will help the defense against a good rushing attack of the Saints. A key matchup to watch is the Saints running backs against the Eagles linebackers DeMeco Ryans and Jordan Hicks. This game is a must-win for the Eagles in my opinion, starting 1-4 is suicide, even in this division. The Eagles have to begin to take matters into their own hands and play football the way we all know they can. This is not only a win by the Eagles, but this is a statement win.  Eagles – 34, Saints – 23

Chris Leomporra- Eagles pull it out in a squeker.  Eagles 28 – Saints 27

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