An Eagles team that has seen nothing come easy this season heads to The Big Easy for a chance to turn the season back in a positive direction. After three straight losses, the 3-4 Eagles prepare for a Monday Night showdown against the equally disappointing 2-5 New Orleans Saints. Four of the Eagles’ first five games were decided on the final possession, but after being thoroughly outplayed by the Atlanta Falcons last week, the Eagles are facing a crossroads of sorts.
The bye week change at defensive coordinator did not produce immediate results, as the Eagles allowed scores on the Falcons’ first six possessions. That performance will have to improve on Monday night against a still explosive Saints offense that ranks fifth in the league in total yardage and features an array of weapons for Drew Brees.
On the other side, something will have to give for an Eagles offense that is tied for 29th in the league in points per game. Luckily, they’ll be facing off with a Saints defense that ranks dead last in total defense. Will
But it’s clear that this Eagles team faces a bit of a crisis point. After coming out flat in many ways against the Falcons, perhaps the prospect of playing in primetime in front of a national audience will spark some needed energy for the Eagles on Monday night. Whatever it takes, the Eagles must find a way to come back home with a victory if they want to remain playoff relevant.
It’s must-win time.
Last Time They Met:
Sept. 9, 2009 in Philadelphia - New Orleans, 48-22
Making his first-career start for an injured Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb threw for 391 yards and two touchdowns, including a 71-yard strike to
|Tale Of The Tape (2012 Stats)|
|Points Scored Per Game||17.1 (T-29th in NFL)||27.1 (6)|
|Total Yards Per Game||363.4 (14)||388.6 (5)|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||117.7 (10)||72.6 (32)|
|Passing Yards Per Game||245.7 (15)||316.0 (1)|
|Points Allowed Per Game||22.1 (16)||30.9 (30)|
|Total Yards Allowed Per Game||339.6 (12)||474.7 (32)|
|Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game||110.4 (17)||170.1 (31)|
|Passing Yards Allowed Per Game||229.1 (14)||304.6 (30)|
|Turnover Ratio||-9 (29)||0 (T-15)|
Players To Watch
QB Drew Brees
Any conversation about the Saints has to begin with its quarterback. Perhaps more than any other QB in the league, Drew Brees is absolutely vital to what the Saints do, not only as an offense, but as a team. Since joining the Saints in 2006, Brees has thrown for an eye-popping 30,714 yards and 221 touchdowns. Last season, Brees added to his Hall of Fame resume by throwing for 5,476 yards, an NFL record. In 2012 Brees has been as consistent as ever. Through seven games, Brees is second in the league in yardage and touchdowns, throwing for 2,310 yards and 20 touchdowns. Limiting Brees is the best way to shut down the Saints and leave the Superdome with a win.
The Saints defense is not traditionally the team’s strongest unit. But this year the defense has been a detriment to the team’s success, ranking close to the bottom of the league in both pass and rush defense. The Saints are ranked 31st in rush defense, allowing five yards per attempt. This vulnerability should create an opportunity for running back LeSean McCoy. The Eagles’ star running back has rushed for 504 yards on 127 carries this season, and an emphasis on the running game could help take pressure off an Eagles offense that has struggled to score points.