The New Orleans Saints (6-9) come into this game hoping to remain in the conversation for the NFC South division title. The Philadelphia Eagles (13-2), meanwhile, will look to secure the NFC East division title and the conference's No. 1 seed with a win this week. Both teams have a lot to play for, and it will make for a good battle at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday to ring in the new year.
Series Record: Overall, the Philadelphia Eagles are 19-15 against the New Orleans Saints. The Eagles are 11-4 against the Saints in Philadelphia. The last meeting was a 40-29 win during the 2021 season.
Opponent Scouting Report
QB: Jameis Winston, who was brought in as the replacement for Drew Brees, came into this season after suffering an ACL injury. His health concerns led the team to bring in veteran Andy Dalton as the backup. After starting slow with 858 yards with four TD and five INT, Winston was benched in favor of Dalton.
Dalton, the longtime Cincinnati Bengals QB who spent last season with Dallas, has provided a bit of a spark for the Saints. In 12 starts, Dalton has a record of 5-7 while completing 66.2% of his passes for 2,495 yards, 17 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.
While not the starter, Taysom Hill has also been used as a Swiss Army knife. He has been a QB, an RB, and at times a TE. While being effective in all areas, he is not limited to one thing or the other. He must always be accounted for when on the field.
RB: The 2022 season started off with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram II returning to provide a dual threat in the backfield. After injuries shortened the season of Ingram, the backfield is down to a one-man show of Alvin Kamara, who is battling injuries of his own.
With his rushing touchdown on Sunday in the Saints' 17-10 victory over the Browns, Kamara tied Marques Colston for the New Orleans Saints' all-time lead with 62. Since being drafted out of Tennessee, Kamara has been a steady performer for the Saints. With all the changes occurring around him on the offense, his consistency will remain important for the Saints to be successful moving forward.
WR: With Michael Thomas returning this season after missing much of last season with an ankle injury, he was set to regain his spot and provide a veteran presence for rookie Chris Olave whom the Saints drafted out of Ohio State, however, he's out once again with a toe injury.
After a career at Ohio State in which Olave finished top-five all time in school history in receptions and touchdowns, he has continued his stellar play as a rookie with 63 receptions for 940 yards and three touchdowns. Olave, though, has been limited by a hamstring injury.
TE: In another reversal of fortune, the New Orleans Saints started the season with the thought that Adam Troutman would be the leading player catching passes as a tight end. Again, due to injury, the team has been forced to turn instead to Juwan Johnson, who has seven touchdown catches on 36 receptions for 425 yards. Although dealing with a bit of injury himself, Johnson has still been the leader for the Saints in touchdown receptions and Dalton has found him to be a comfort blanket when a pass is needed to be thrown.
Defensive Line: Cameron Jordan is the anchor to the defensive line for the Saints. Along with Carl Granderson, these two ends provide most of the pass rush for the Saints, while tackles Shy Tuttle and David Onyemata provide the inside pressure and stop the run game.
Linebackers: The linebackers are a young but talented group. 2021 second-round pick Pete Werner and 2019 seventh-round selection Kaden Elliss are mentored by Demario Davis in the group, which helps to back up the pass rush for the Saints and help in coverages under Head Coach Dennis Allen, who previously served as the defensive coordinator under Sean Payton.
Secondary: Marshon Lattimore has been the leader of this group since being drafted out of Ohio State in 2017. After winning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, Lattimore has continued his elite play with four trips to the Pro Bowl as a Saint. His injuries this season have been a major issue for the secondary of the Saints. Lattimore has only managed to play in five games for the Saints.
With Lattimore out, the job has fallen to the likes of Tyrann Mathieu and Paulson Adebo to shut down opposing wide receivers. With Marcus Maye and P.J. Williams backing up, the secondary has some solid depth but with rookie Alontae Taylor filling in for Lattimore, the group is not at full strength.
11 – After sacking Dak Prescott on Saturday, Josh Sweat now has 11 sacks on the season.
61 – The Eagles continue to lead the NFL in sacks with 61.
1 – The Eagles rank 1st in the NFL with a team-record 57 touchdowns.
1,000 – A.J. Brown (career-high 1,304) and DeVonta Smith (career-high 1,014) are the first 1,000+ yard receiving duo in franchise history.
Marquee Matchup | Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick vs. James Hurst
The Saints traded with the Philadelphia Eagles before the 2022 draft to get Trevor Penning to put at left tackle. After he suffered an injury in the preseason, the team has had to turn to James Hurst at the position. With Andy Dalton not being known as a scrambler, it will be paramount for Hurst to be able to block Sweat, who had 1.5 sacks against Dallas, and Haason Reddick, who leads the Eagles with 14 sacks of his own on the season. If the Eagles can get past Hurst and into the backfield, they can impact the offense.