The Philadelphia Eagles will travel To New Orleans to take on the Saints in the last of four Divisional round playoff games this weekend. These teams took very different paths to get here as the Saints won the NFC South and were able to spend last week resting and preparing. The Eagles on the other hand have played meaningful games the last month including last week where they survived. The Eagles defeated the heavily favored Chicago Bears in the Wild Card round as the Bears missed a 43-yard field goal as time expired which would have won them the game. These teams met in week 11 with the Saints blowing out the Eagles 48-7. Since that loss, the Eagles have won 6 of their last 7 games and have momentum after upsetting the Bears.
Nick Foles finished with a quarterback rating of 76.8 against the Bears as he completed 25 of 40 passes for 266 yards 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. His favorite target was Alshon Jeffrey who had 6 receptions for 82 yards. They struggled running the ball gaining 42 yards on 23 carries, which is an average of just 1.8 yards per rush. Their offense this season was ranked 14th in the league with 365 yards per game and 18th with 22.5 points per game. Defensively, they did not force any turnovers but did sack Mitchell Trubisky twice and had 7 tackles for losses. They allowed the Bears to gain 65 rushing yards on 18 carries, which is an average of 3.6 yards per run. During the regular season, the Eagles finished 23rd in the league with 366 yards per game and have allowed their opponents to average 21.8 points.
At 39 years old, Drew Brees just had arguably the best season of his career. He threw for 3,992 yards, 32 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions, as the Saints have been one of the best teams all season. He will be coming off 3 weeks of rest, as he didn’t even have to play in the meaningless week 17 loss to the Panthers. They ranked third in points scored with 31.5 due to the many weapons Brees has at his disposal. Michael Thomas had a monster season at receiver as he had 1,405 yards and 9 touchdowns. Alvin Kamara had 1,592 total yards as he rushed for 883 yards and 14 touchdowns while also having 709 receiving yards and another 4 touchdowns. Defensively, they finished 14th in both points allowed per game with 22.1 and yards allowed with 349.1.
The Saints will have home field advantage and are favored by 8 points. They have gone 10-6 against the spread and enjoy the benefit of extra rest and preparation. The Eagles have gone 8-9 against the spread and are on a 4 game win streak where they have outscored their opponents 102-68. While the Superdome can be a loud and scary place to play, Foles has proven he can win the important games.