Philadelphia Eagles: Five Ways The Eagles Can Beat the Saints
The New Orleans Saints who went 13-3, placed first in the NFC South, and went to the divisional round of the playoffs last season is a 2-5 shell of itself this year. They started the season with a four-week losing streak to the Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Green Bay Packers.
Since then, they have won two of their last three games, but they are heading into Monday Night Football with a 34-14 loss to the Denver Broncos. In their loss against Denver, their defense, which ranks in the bottom of the league this season, caved in and gave up the game, illustrating one of the many records proving that the Saints are not the team they were last season, and the Eagles can come out with a win in the game, if they institute the appropriate gameplan.
1. Attack the weaknesses on the defense:
“Bountygate” has noticeably weakened their defense, which is giving up an average of 474.7 yards per game, ranking last in the league in that category. They also rank 31st in total yards allowed to opponents, and, in their last outing, they lost 34-14 after blowing a lead to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, who scored 27 unanswered points to steal the game from the Saints.
Their 30th ranked passing defense, along with their 31st ranked rushing defense, has given up at least 400 yards in seven consecutive games and are coming off a two-game stretch in which they have given up more than 500 yards — 513 yards (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and 530 yards (Denver Broncos) — in the past two weeks. The disparity lies in the average points per game, however, where the Saints are a sixth ranked 27.1 against the Eagles 17.1. If they Eagles can effectively attack the weaknesses in the defense, though, they can level the field.
2. Stop Drew Brees:
If the Eagles can effectively attack the Saints’ defense, their main issue then lies in stopping Drew Brees, who continues to set NFL records. His 50 consecutive games with a touchdown, along with 301 passing touchdowns surpassing John Elway for sixth most of all time last week, is re-defining the quarterback position. The Saints’ running game, on the other hand, ranks last in the league (72.6 yards per game) and is falling woefully short. The last time the Saints put up more than 100 yards rushing was during their Week 2 matchup against the Carolina Panthers, so shutting down Brees is important.
Last week, the Devner Broncos held Brees to a season-low 201 passing yards, and the Eagles will need to do something similar to defeat the Saints. The situation in the Eagles’ secondary, however, has been made more problematic after safety Nate Allen was ruled out of Sunday’s game, and David Sims will make the start. The Eagles have allowed five receivers to have 100-yard performances this season in seven games, so they will have to hope for a quick turnaround.