Kickoff Sunday, Jan 1st 1:00pm Eastern

Saints (
18.5) at

Eagles (

Over/Under 42.0


Key Matchups
Saints Run D
25th DVOA/22nd Yards allowed per carry
Eagles Run O
6th DVOA/12th Yards per carry
Saints Pass D
11th DVOA/23rd Yards allowed per pass
Eagles Pass O
7th DVOA/11th Yards per pass
Eagles Run D
19th DVOA/21st Yards allowed per carry
Saints Run O
13th DVOA/31st Yards per carry
Eagles Pass D
28th DVOA/13th Yards allowed per pass
Saints Pass O
20th DVOA/22nd Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

  • The Eagles can simultaneously lock up the top seed in the NFC and improve their standings in the draft with a win over the Saints as Philadelphia currently holds New Orleans first-round selection this coming May – we should have zero concern regarding their level of commitment to winning this game.
  • Quarterback Jalen Hurts returned to practice (still waiting on whether it was a limited session or full practice) on Thursday after missing Week 16 with a shoulder injury.
  • Miles Sanders missed practice to begin the week with a knee injury.
  • The Saints have not been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention but they need to win out and receive a lot of help (they need to win out and have the Buccaneers lose out in order to make the playoffs).
  • Chris Olave returned to a limited practice for the Saints to start the week after missing Week 16 with a hamstring injury.
  • Eagles nickel corner Avonte Maddox and offensive tackle Lane Johnson will miss time with toe and abdomen injuries, respectively.
  • UPDATE: Alvin Kamara missed both Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice with a ‘Quadricep/NIR-personal’ designation. I originally wrote this off as likelier to be related to the personal matter, but consecutive missed practices raises alarm.

How new orleans Will Try To Win ::

The Saints have a combined 34 pass attempts over the previous two weeks in wins over Atlanta and Cleveland, games that land second and third in lowest pass rate over expectation (PROE) for New Orleans this season (behind only the Week 6 “Taysom game where Hill rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries against the Seahawks). The state of the Saints team has forced their hand somewhat, with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry done for the season and Chris Olave out of action last week against the Browns. Furthermore, quarterback // tight end // fullback Taysom Hill has played between 40% and 49% of the offensive snaps in each of the previous six games, mixing his time between numerous roles in the backfield, tight end, and in the slot. This offense is far from a standard NFL offense on paper. With Chris Olave looking likely to return after one missed game, I tentatively expect running back Alvin Kamara, wide receivers Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, and tight end Adam Trautman (the best blocking tight end on the roster) to be the only players above 60% snap rates, with Marquez Callaway, Tre’Quan Smith, Juwan Johnson, and Taysom Hill the remaining situational pieces. Either way you slice it, this team is a veritable fantasy disaster.

Alvin Kamara should continue as the unquestioned lead back, albeit in a role lesser than other lead backs around the league. Veteran David Johnson was elevated from the practice squad for the third time last week, leaving the organization with a decision on whether to sign him to the active roster or utilize another presence as the change of pace back this week. The Saints also have Dwayne Washington, who missed the first two practices of the week with an illness; and Eno Benjamin, who has been cut by two teams this season, on the roster. Kamara has struggled mightily with efficiency this year, managing only 3.9 yards per carry and 5.0 yards per touch (54th and 24th, respectively). He has also scored only four total touchdowns, three of which came in one game. The matchup yields a slightly above average 4.49 net-adjusted line yards metric against an Eagles opponent ranked first in the league in both DVOA against the pass and yards allowed per pass but just 19th in DVOA against the run.

The Saints pass game is tricky to figure out on a weekly basis due to the heavy rotation of situational players, with all of Marquez Callaway, Tre’Quan Smith, Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, Juwan Johnson, and Taysom Hill likely to be mixed and matched throughout the game. Expect Olave and Shaheed to have the best chances at snap rates conducive to GPP consideration, but the matchup could not be worse against a top three secondary (arguably the top secondary in the league, depending on who you ask). The clear funnel through the air is to the slot due to the presence of Darius Slay and James Bradberry, and the absence of nickel corner Avonte Maddox, but the problem is the Saints don’t have a true slot wide receiver nor a defined slot role in their offense. Consider any New Orleans pass catcher a wide range of outcomes play with upside necessitated by playoff desperation-induced volume potential.

How Philadelphia Will Try To Win ::

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