It’s a good thing the Panthers won yesterday because so did the other two teams that played, leaving only the Saints to round up the NFC South’s games this week.
Both Philadelphia and New Orleans have underachieved this season. The Saints’ offense is potent as usual, although they’ll miss explosive returner and scatback Darren Sproles. Brees is simply one of those QBs that makes everyone around him better. What hurts is that TE Jimmy Graham is out but WR Courtney Roby is the only other guy out while two others are listed as “probable.”
Eagles’ players hobbled include G Danny Watkins and S Nate Allen who didn’t participate in practice. WR Marty Gilyard is the only player listed as “out.”
So, both teams are otherwise healthier than most and New Orleans is playing at home. The offense can put the points up but the defense can’t stop anyone.
The difference tonight could well be that the Eagles will beat themselves.
Michael Vick seems to find new ways to fumble each week for the highlight reel, and led the league coming into the week in turnovers…along with Tony Romo. Yeah, that’s not so good.
You simply cannot afford to give a Drew Brees-led team the football with good field position. They’ve got a number of running backs that can catch the ball out of the backfield, rotate in and out as runners, and even occasionally stay in to pass protect or release late on a flare. They still have so many ways to beat you.
The defense has been bad all season, but it isn’t as though the Eagles are excelling there themselves. It’s only the second game for the defensive coordinator with them, but it’s difficult at best for anyone to slow down the Saints’ offense very much. They score nearly 30 points on their bad days, it seems.
I expect a real shootout tonight and for New Orleans to have a lot of energy right out of the chute. With the Saints playing at home and the instability of the Eagles’ defense, the Saints can and will score. Vick can lead the Eagles to a win if he doesn’t turn the ball over. You just can’t give the Saints’ offense “extra” chances with it.
Final score should be around…
Saints 38, Eagles 34
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