The bad news: the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Dallas Cowboys on Christmas Eve and suffered some key injuries in the process.
The good news: the Philadelphia Eagles are still only one win away from clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture.
The Birds can officially seal the deal by beating the New Orleans Saints in Week 17. Nick Sirianni’s side enters this matchup as 6.5-point home favorites, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
After playing three straight road games, the Eagles are back at Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since December 4. And home field advantage may not be an irrelevant factor in this battle.
The Saints are just 2-5 in away games this season. One of those two wins came in a game that wasn’t played in a dome. And that was the Saints’ Week 16 victory over the Cleveland Browns, where they actually got outgained and their starting quarterback turned in a 44.3 passer rating.
The rest of the Saints’ resume is hardly impressive. A quick overview of their other five wins:
- They staged a big comeback against the Atlanta Falcons, who are the chokiest chokers to ever choke.
- They beat the Seattle Seahawks at home by a touchdown in a shootout.
- They shut out the Las Vegas Raiders at home.
- They beat the Los Angeles Rams by one score with Bryce Perkins playing for a portion of the game.
- They beat the Falcons again by only three points in Desmond Ridder’s first NFL start.
So, yeah, the Saints just aren’t good. They rank 21st in DVOA and 19th in point differnetial. The Eagles should be able to beat them.
Of course, we don’t know who will be starting under center for the Eagles on New Year’s Day. There’s buzz that Jalen Hurts is pushing to play but the team might be wise to further rest him and entrust Gardner Minshew to be able to get the job done. Although he was not perfect in Dallas, Minshew did enough to make one think the Eagles can win with him.
Then again, Hurts was pretty instrumental in the Eagles beating the Saints each of the past two years. His mobility was a mismatch for them.
And it’s not like the Saints are going to merely lie down in this game. Though their playoff hopes are slim, they still have a chance to win the NFC South. The Eagles can’t mess around and shoot themselves in the foot over and over like they did against the Cowboys.
I can see the Saints putting up a fight and covering in this one but I think the Birds will ultimately get the win to secure home field advantage in the playoffs.
What say you?
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