Week 17 Quick Picks: Eagles vs. Saints

Happy New Year!

The Eagles remain a win away from locking up the top seed in the NFC and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Instead of a difficult trip to Dallas, what awaits in Week 17 is a home game against the somehow-still-in-it New Orleans Saints.

Will the Eagles get the job done on New Year’s Day? Will Jalen Hurts play? Will it matter? Joe got the win last week and the two points that went with it thanks to John’s “confidence,” so he’ll go first.

Joe (5-8-3): Nice job, editor, putting “confidence” in quotes. I’d have used a different word myself.

I’ve been accused by some of being a hater since it’s been a while since I’ve picked the Eagles. I’m just trying to win here, that’s all, and when you’re down late, you have to sacrifice defense to try and create some offense. But this week, the Eagles are going to win and earn Jalen Hurts some more rest.

(This is also my way of saying Jalen Hurts isn’t going to play.)

Gardner Minshew was more than good enough to win in Dallas; in fact, everyone on the team was good enough to win except for the suddenly soft Quez Watkins and the stubborn-to-a-fault-and-that’s-saying-something-coming-from-me Jonathan Gannon. If Watkins can hold onto a pass without it getting just outright taken out of his hands, or if Gannon can bring himself to move off of a defensive scheme that allowed Dak Prescott to go 24-for-24 for 300 yards against it, then we’re not even having this conversation.

The reality is that it’s actually beneficial in some way for the Eagles to lose this game and try to help New Orleans into the playoffs at the expense of Tampa Bay while pushing the clincher off until Week 18, but I won’t push any such theory here. Kenneth Gainwell will see his success carry over from last week, Brandon Graham will get that critical 10th sack of the season, and the Birds will give Hurts, Lane Johnson, and whoever else gets banged up three weeks to get healthy for Dallas or Tampa Bay. Or Carolina? Eagles 27, Saints 6.

Offensive Standout: Kenneth Gainwell

Defensive Standout: Brandon Graham

John (8-5-3): Am I worried? No. Do I have false bravado? Maybe… wait, are we talking about the Eagles or Quick Picks?

If we’re talking Birds, I’m not worried at all. They’ll be fine as long as they can secure the top spot and get healthy.

If it’s Quick Picks… maybe. Just maybe, in a year that has been so improbable, that the impossible can happen. This week, I’m going with the Eagles to roll up the Saints and head into next week with the top spot clinched. Look for a healthy dose of Miles Sanders and some pressure from Javon Hargrave. Eagles 33, Saints 20.

Offensive Standout: Miles Sanders

Defensive Standout: Javon Hargrave

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