Week 11 Quick Picks: Eagles vs. Saints

The Eagles are hot! Kind of.

Regardless of temperature, the Birds have won two of three and have kept their beaks in the playoff chase. This week, the New Orleans Saints, losers of their last two games, visit Lincoln Financial Field for what could be a surprisingly important game when all is said and done.

How will it go? Well, if anything should be clear by this point in the season, it’s that neither of these two have any idea. That’s never stopped them before, and won’t stop them now.

Last week was a tie, so Joe goes first again.

Joe (3-2-5): I really have no idea what to make of this team. They are objectively not a good football team, but they are also objectively not a bad football team, either. And after this week, the schedule gets softer than Ben Simmons under the basket in a playoff game. If the Eagles are going to go up strong and give the playoffs an honest go, then it would behoove them to have their best performance of the year on Sunday. If they instead are going to pass on the opportunity, then it probably starts with a loss on Sunday.

The Eagles’ newfound affinity for the ground game meets the league’s stingiest run defense in the Saints. Did you know the Eagles are third in the NFL for the entire season in rushing yards per game? I did not. The power of taking on the Lions, I guess.

The Saints are also going to be playing without Jameis Winston, meaning that either Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill will be taking the snaps for New Orleans. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d be a lot more comfortable taking the Saints if Jameis was under center. On top of the quarterback issue, Alvin Kamara’s status is in doubt as well.

All of this conspires to give the edge to the Eagles, which usually makes me think they blow it. But I’m gonna swerve here and say they get home win number one, setting up a run-in to the end of the season that will be as perplexing as it is intriguing. Eagles 26, Saints 17.

Offensive Standout: Jalen Hurts

Defensive Standout: Malcolm Jenkins

John (2-3-5): Sunday’s game is an important win for the legacy of Jalen Hurts. You are probably thinking “John, you’ve said on the podcast multiple times that this Eagles season isn’t about winning and losing.”

You are right. This season isn’t a must-win in the traditional sense. It’s a must-win that can answer the important question “is he The Guy?” It also represents a full-circle moment. Last year’s game against New Orleans was the first time Eagles fans thought “he might be The Guy.” So let’s cut to the chase: how will Jalen Hurts fare against longtime Eagles nemesis Sean Payton?

Okay… let’s extend the chase. Sean Payton has beguiled the Eagles for so long that I feel like The Birds are playing him and not the NFL team he coaches. He’s the rare Belichick-like coach that gets in your head. And that is why Jalen Hurts won’t win this game on Sunday. 

The Saints are currently the stingiest rushing defense in terms of yardage. That means that Nick Sirianni will be tempted to throw a tad too much. As anyone knows, high-frequency Hertz eventually damages over time. Eagles fans might just hear the footsteps of Alvin Kamara in their sleep like tinnitus. Malcolm Jenkins will come back to haunt them. Philly’s squad is trending upwards, but they aren’t quite there yet. Sunday is a building block game for the coach, defensive coordinator, and QB. Prove me wrong. Saints 27, Eagles 24.

Offensive Standout: Alvin Kamara

Defensive Standout: Malcolm Jenkins

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