NEW ORLEANS (6-9) at PHILADELPHIA (13-2)
Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Eagles by 7
AGAINST THE SPREAD: New Orleans 6-9; Philadelphia 8-7
SERIES RECORD: Eagles lead 18-12.
LAST MEETING: Eagles defeated Saints 40-29 on Nov. 21, 2021, in Philadelphia.
LAST WEEK: Saints won at Cleveland, 17-10. Eagles lost at Dallas, 40-34.
EAGLES OFFENSE: OVERALL (3), RUSH (4), PASS (9), SCORING (1).
EAGLES DEFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (18), PASS (1), SCORING (10).
SAINTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (18), RUSH (19), PASS (15), SCORING (T-22).
SAINTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (23), PASS (2), SCORING (14).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Saints minus-12; Eagles plus-9.
EAGLES PLAYER TO WATCH: Philadelphia’s starting QB. Starter Jalen Hurts didn’t play in Philadelphia’s 40-34 loss at Dallas last week. Backup Gardner Minshew threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns, but also committed three of the Eagles’ four costly turnovers with a pair of picks and a fumble. Hurts’ status to return from a sprained right shoulder remained in question, with coach Nick Sirianni saying only that his starter would play if healthy. Hurts has been prolific in his second season as starter, throwing for 22 touchdowns and rushing for 13 and combining for 4,219 yards through the air and on the ground while giving defenses fits with his dual-threat ability.
SAINTS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Alvin Kamara rushed for 76 yards and a TD on 20 carries in last week’s 17-10 comeback victory over the Browns. It was the second straight week in which Kamara received at least 20 carries after hitting that mark just once prior. Kamara has 72 touchdowns and needs one more to move past Marques Colston to become the Saints’ career leader. For the season, he has rushed for 717 yards and two TDs on 184 carries. Kamara was not selected to the Pro Bowl this season after being picked in each of his first five years.
KEY MATCHUP: New Orleans’s offensive line against the Eagles defensive front. Philadelphia’s front four has wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Haason Reddick (14 sacks), Josh Sweat (11) and Javon Hargrave (10) each have recorded double-digit sacks, marking just the third time since 1982 that has happened. The 1985 Raiders and 1989 Vikings also accomplished the feat. Philadelphia would be the first defense to have four players reach at least 10 sacks if Brandon Graham (nine) can get one against New Orleans. The Saints already have been banged up on the offensive line and lost left guard Andrus Peat to a leg injury against the Browns last week when he was carted off in the first quarter.
KEY INJURIES: Eagles S C.J. Gardner-Johnson is eligible to return after suffering a lacerated kidney against Green Bay on Nov. 27, but Sirianni did not indicate early in the week whether the former Saint would be able to play on Sunday. Gardner-Johnson leads the Eagles with six interceptions. ... Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson (abdomen) and CB Avonte Maddox (toe) are out after getting hurt against Dallas. ... Saints CB Marshon Lattimore (abdominal) has missed 10 straight games. The four-time Pro Bowl selection was thought to be a possibility to return against Cleveland but wasn’t quite ready. He could play against Philadelphia.
SERIES NOTES: Though they trail in the regular-season series, the Saints have won three of four playoff games against Philadelphia. Also, New Orleans defeated the Eagles 31-24 on Nov. 5, 1967, for its first victory in franchise history.
STATS AND STUFF: A win over the Saints this week or the Giants next week will give the Eagles the NFC East title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Meantime, New Orleans’ slim playoff hopes are still alive. The Saints need to defeat the Eagles and the Carolina Panthers next week and have Tampa Bay lose its final two contests to capture the NFC South. ... Philadelphia has extra motivation for a victory this week as the Eagles own the Saints’ 2023 first-round pick as part of a draft-day trade last spring. New Orleans currently is scheduled to pick 10th. ... The temperature in Philadelphia for Sunday’s kickoff is predicted to be unseasonably warm in the 50s. Last week’s kickoff temperature in Cleveland of 6 degrees marked the coldest game in Saints franchise history. That bettered the 24-degree temperature on Dec. 26, 1993, when the Saints lost to the Eagles 37-26 in Philadelphia. ... Philadelphia’s 29.7 points per game leads the NFL, and its plus-137 scoring margin is bettered by only the Bills (plus-157) and 49ers (plus-145). ... The Eagles are 6-1 at home, where they haven’t played since Dec. 4. ... Through nine weeks, Philadelphia led the NFL with a plus-15 turnover margin but has been an NFL-worst minus-6 since then. ... Eagles A.J. Brown (1,304 yards) and DeVonta Smith (1,014) are the first wide receiver duo in club history to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season. They have combined for 17 touchdowns. ... Philadelphia leads the NFL in sacks with 61 and is a sack away from tying the club record for sacks in a season. ... Saints QB Andy Dalton threw for just 92 yards last week in the freezing conditions in Cleveland where passing was challenging. In 12 games this season, Dalton has thrown 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions with a 95.7 QB rating. ... LB Demario Davis leads the Saints in both sacks (6½) and tackles (94).
FANTASY TIP: Eagles TE Dallas Goedert could be a big player for fantasy owners in their league’s championship this week. He is poised for a breakout game after catching just three passes for 67 yards last week against the Cowboys in his return from a five-game absence because of a shoulder injury. For the season, Goedert has 611 receiving yards on 46 catches with three TDs in 10 games.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL