The Eagles and Saints are prepping for an important Week 17 matchup that has postseason and NFL draft implications for both teams.
If Philadelphia (13-2) can get the win, they’ll win the division and clinch home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.
Handing New Orleans another loss would drop them to 6-10 on the season, improving their draft positioning as well for a pick that belongs to Philadelphia. As it stands, the Eagles (by way of the Saints) have the 10th pick in the NFL Draft, courtesy of a blockbuster pre-draft trade in April.
Philadelphia sent the Saints two first-round picks in 2022 as well as a sixth-round selection in exchange for 2022 first- and third-round picks that became wide receiver A.J. Brown), a 2022 seventh-round pick, the 2023 first-round pick, and a 2024 second-round pick.
With kickoff less than 2 hours away, here are five matchups to watch when the Eagles are on defense.
Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon vs. Saints QB Andy Dalton
In 12 starts for New Orleans, Dalton has a record of 5-7 while completing 66.2% of his passes for 2,495 yards, 17 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.
When pressured, Dalton can be prone to mistakes and the Saints have one elite pass catcher available in rookie, Chris Olave.
It’ll be on Gannon to get organic pressure on Dalton while overcoming the loss of Avonte Maddox and C.J. Gardner-Johnson in the Philadelphia secondary.
Taysom Hill vs. Everybody
He’s not the starter, but Taysom Hill is a swiss army knife, assuming a jack-of-all-trades role in New Orleans.
Hill has seen time at quarterback, running back and tight end for the Saints, and Philadelphia can ill-afford to allow the versatile football player to make game-changing plays that could alter the outcome of Sunday’s matchup.
Eagles T.J. Edwards vs. Saints RB Alvin Kamara
Kamara is coming off back-to-back games with 100-plus yards from scrimmage and he’ll be the player to watch on Sunday.
A true dual-threat running back, Kamara has the ability to beat a team on his own and it’ll be on Edwards and Kyzir White to prevent big plays in space.
Eagles CB Darius Slay vs. Saints WR Chris Olave
A talented rookie out of Ohio State, Olave has 63 receptions for 940 yards and three touchdowns while being limited with a hamstring injury.
He’s the big play threat for the Saints in the passing game and it’ll be on Darius Slay to corral the former Buckeyes star.
Eagles Reed Blankenship vs. Saints TE Juwan Johnson
Blankenship is the better cover guy at the safety position and he could be tasked with containing the ever-improving Johnson.
Juwan Johnson has seven touchdown catches on 36 receptions for 425 yards and he’s among the Saints’ top pass catchers this year.