Keys to Victory for Saints vs. Eagles Week 14
The New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles have played a couple of times over the last few seasons with the Saints getting the better end of the contest each and every time regular season and in the playoffs. However, the Eagles still lead the all-time series 17-15 over New Orleans.
As you know, the Saints are on a roll, they're 10-2 and have won nine straight games where Philly is trending in the opposite direction at 3-8-1 and have lost four in a row. The Eagles are also transitioning to a new quarterback, benching starter Carson Wentz and will be starting Jalen Hurts, the rookie in his place.
So, what can we expect from this game, how can the Saints avoid a letdown on the road, and not fall, victim, to a lesser team in what some might think could be a trap game before they face the Kansas City Chiefs next week.
1. GET ALVIN KAMARA INVOLVED
Alvin Kamara is the deadliest offensive weapon the New Orleans Saints possess and since Taysom Hill has taken over he's got three catches for seven yards, that's simply not good enough. The Saints have been able to get away with it facing the competition that they have but if they want to really turn things on offensively they'll get AK more involved in the passing game. To me, this is less on Taysom Hill and more on Sean Payton, he needs to find a way to be more creative in order to get Alvin more touches in the passing game, hopefully, this will be the game that happens.
2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EAGLES SECONDARY
Darius Slay is the Eagles No. 1 cornerback and he's been roasted and toasted the last few weeks facing D.K. Metcalf and Davante Adams next up is Michael Thomas, attack that match-up. Slay sustained a knee injury last week against the Packers, he's been limited at practice all week and that is a match-up Thomas should be able to win consistently. The rest of the Philly secondary isn't anything to write home about and I expect, with the weather scheduled to be pretty nice in the high 50's/low 60's, that Taysom Hill should be able to take advantage of it but defensive coordinator Jim Swartz won't make things easy, he's good.
3. DOMINATE THE EAGLES IN THE TRENCHES
The offensive line for the Eagles has been severely banged up, they're without one of the best offensive linemen in the league in Lane Johnson, and tackle Jason Peters is out Sunday with a toe injury. The Philly offensive line has allowed the most sacks in the league this season as Carson Wentz has been sacked 50 times through 12 games this season, ouch. The Saints rank fourth in the NFL with 36 sacks on the season, if they can get constant pressure on the rookie Hurts, they'll be in a good position to win this game and force multiple turnovers.
4. CONTAIN JALEN HURTS
We just talked about how poor the Eagles offensive line is, Jalen Hurts is more mobile than Wentz and will likely be on the move early and often in this one. Dennis Allen needs to make sure he contains Hurts and keeps him in the pocket whether he uses a spy or deploys some sort of defensive scheme that won't allow him to run wild. Hurts could be the X-Factor in this game, he's a bit of an unknown commodity and with little NFL tape on him, the Saints need to proceed with caution and not take him or the Eagles for granted.
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