By: Kylan Watson
After falling in the Christmas Eve shootout with the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles faced the streaking New Orleans Saints who needed to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive. New Orleans dominated the Eagles in all phases of the game and used the Taysom Hill package to beat them 20-10.
The Saints went right down the field on their first possession and Hill ended up scoring on a Quarterback power run that the Eagles did not have an answer which was the story of the game. Despite getting six sacks and largely keeping the team in the game. The defensive unit once again got shredded like cheese in this game, at one point Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill completed every pass they made against the zone defensive scheme of the Eagles. This was the second game in a row where a quarterback was unstoppable against this scheme. They have to find a way to put more pressure on the quarterback with their next matchup being against Daniel Jones next week; Philly will need to figure out a way to keep him contained and not give up the big play to an offense that depends on it.
On what happened in today’s game, “It didn’t fall our way. We made critical stops, but it took us too long to get into rhythm. We didn’t get it done. We’re going to strap up next week and try to win a division title,” said Eagles Defensive Tackle Fletcher Cox.
On the offensive side besides a 78-yard connection with AJ Brown there were not really many positives in a forgettable game for the Eagles. Minshew did not have it tonight as he just did not have much time to dissect the Saints defensive scheme and when he did, he was able to find an open man. However, today he was just too inconsistent to help them this afternoon, and he also continues to show the value of Jalen Hurts’ elusiveness which helps take the offensive scheme to another level. Without it the Eagles are a pedestrian looking offense that looks very beatable and they will need to find a way to get more balanced offensive play. When they used the run game they marched right down the field and were only stopped by a phantom holding call. Without Hurts the Eagles have to be better with manufacturing offense and they haven’t been so far, with rumors that he may return next week the Eagles may get back to being a dynamic offense next week and they will need it for their last chance to lock up the one seed against the Giants.
A game that looked meaningless a few weeks ago now has a lot of meaning for both teams now. The Giants need a win to make it into the playoffs and the Eagles need it to clinch the division and the one seed. If the Eagles want to beat the Giants, they need to contain Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. They will need to maintain their gap control and use sure handed tackles to stifle them. Additionally, they will need to mix in the run game more to get enough separation to take full advantage of their talented wide-receiving core against an outmatched New York secondary, if they want to get their 14th win of the season and get their momentum back.