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Preview: New Orleans at Philadelphia
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 11, 2015
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Two of the league’s most disappointing teams will square off Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles host the New Orleans Saints in a matchup that could doom the postseason hopes of the loser. a1serviceplays.com The Eagles suffered a last-second loss at Washington 23-20 last week to fall to 1-3 while New Orleans earned its first victory by outlasting Dallas in overtime 26-20.
Philadelphia’s offense, and the running game in particular, has been unable to get untracked, leading coach Chip Kelly to point the finger at himself this week. “I’ve got to do a better job play calling,” Kelly said. “We’re not successful on first and second down. We haven’t been successful in the first half of games.” Drew Brees returned from a shoulder injury to become the fifth quarterback to throw 400 career touchdown passes and it was a memorable one. Brees connected on an 80-yard scoring strike to C.J. Spiller on the first play of overtime as the Saints avoided an 0-4 start.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Eagles -5. O/U: 49
ABOUT THE SAINTS (1-3): After sitting out in Week 3 due to a bruised rotator cuff, Brees finished 33-of-41 for 359 yards and a pair of touchdowns to win NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Running back Mark Ingram amassed 138 total yards while wide receiver Willie Snead appears to be emerging as one of Brees’ favorite targets with 15 receptions over the past three weeks. The Saints are among the league’s worst teams against the run (123.3 yards per game), but their defense received a boost last week as Keenan Lewis, Jairus Byrd and Dannell Ellerbe made their season debuts.
ABOUT THE EAGLES (1-3): DeMarco Murray returned from a one-week injury hiatus to rush for 36 yards on eight carries, giving him 49 yards on the season, and later complained that he is not receiving enough touches. The reigning league rushing champion with 1,845 yards last season, Murray and the ground game could get on track against New Orleans’ defense, especially with starting tackles Jason Peters and Lane Johnson returning to practice Thursday. Sam Bradford had his best game with Philadelphia, throwing for 270 yards and three second-half TDs to erase a 13-0 halftime deficit.
1. Murray rushed for 149 yards and a pair of TDs against the Saints last season while with Dallas.
2. Ingram has 22 receptions, tops in the league among running backs.
3. Eagles RB Darren Sproles, who had 232 catches in three seasons with the Saints (2011-13), faces New Orleans for the first time since he was traded.
PREDICTION: Eagles 24, Saints 20