When the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles meet up on Monday night the game will feature plenty of drama from both teams. The Saints (2-5) are hanging on by a thread and still hoping to get a playoff berth. The Eagles (3-4) on the other hand are not doing much better than the Saints and many believe quarterback Michael Vick will be playing for his job on Monday night.
Despite their record the Saints still have one of the best passing games in the NFL, in fact they are ranked first in passing yards a game with 316. However, the Saints also have the worst defense in the NFL and give up 474.7 total yards a game. The Eagles will look to take advantage of the Saints’ terrible defense and Vick will need to have a big game to keep his starting job.
The Eagles’ defense is much better than the Saints’ defense so that should give them a slight edge heading into this match-up. However, the Eagles’ offense is not nearly as potent as the Saints’ offense and they only put up 17.1 points a game which is 28th in the NFL. This game will feature two teams that are desperate for a win and looking to stay in the hunt for the playoffs.
Saints X Factor: The Saints’ x factor for this week is tight end Jimmy Graham. It is evident that the Saints cannot rely on their defense so it will be up to the offense to win games. Graham is coming off a five reception, 63 yard, one touchdown game in a week eight loss to the Denver Broncos. However, I think Graham’s ankle will be completely healed up this week and could have a monster game against the Eagles. The Eagles passing defense is ranked respectively at 14 in the NFL and they only give up 229.1 passing yards a game. I think the quarterback Drew Brees will be able to surpass that number and it should not be a repeat of last week. Graham will be the beneficiary of most of Brees’ passes and Graham will be too big and too strong for the Eagles’ secondary to contain.
Eagles X Factor: How could the x factor for the Eagles not be Vick? Vick is on the hot seat and his starting job is officially in jeopardy. Vick has been less than spectacular this season as he has thrown nine touchdowns but has almost thrown as many interceptions with eight. Vick will need to limit his turnovers and institute some good drives for the Eagles’ offense. Vick does not necessarily need to have a big game but he must have an efficient game. The Saints have the worst defense in the league and Vick should take advantage of that because he still is a capable quarterback and able to make a positive impact.
How the Saints can win this game: The Saints will win this game by outscoring their opponents plain and simple. The offense will have to take over again and Graham will need to have a big game. However, Vick is one of the most turnover-prone quarterbacks in the NFL so this might be a chance for the Saints’ defense to shine. It would be great if the defense could give the Saints something, anything really to help Brees and the offense. Nonetheless, the Saints’ offense will put points on the board and hopefully it will be enough to help the Saints secure their third victory of the season.
How the Eagles can win this game: The Eagles will win this game by having a balanced rushing and passing attack. It all starts with Vick though as he will need to orchestrate the Eagles’ offense with limited turnovers. There is a ton of pressure on Vick and head coach Andy Reid as Vick will be playing for his starting job and Reid will be coaching for his job. The Eagles can win this game if their offense has a great day and tears into the Saints’ defense.
Final Prediction: This Monday night game will be a hard fought game by both teams but I have to give the edge to the Saints. Both teams are a mess right now but Brees is more poised than Vick and will find a way to get his team another victory. The Eagles are reeling and this is definitely a must-win game for Reid and Vick, but unfortunately I do not think they will get it done. Saints win 30-24.