Eagles versus Saints: Subplots surrounding Week 17’s NFL showdown

Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)
Nick Sirianni, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images) /

Sunday, January 1st. 6-9. FOX. 54. Eagles -7. 1 PM EST. 15. 13-2

Time flies when you’re having fun. It feels like it was just yesterday when we were discussing HBO’s Hard Knocks series, the featured Detroit Lions, and whether or not the Philadelphia Eagles were wise to employ a less-than-physical approach to training camp. Some wondered if the Birds were mentally and physically ready for a Week 1 tussle with a scrappy young team, but Philly won. Then, they kept on winning.

Now, with 13 victories in their back pocket after 15 games, one more will assure them home-field advantage for as long as they’re in the postseason. The New Orleans Saints stand in their way.

FanDuel favors the Birds by seven points. This one is intriguing, especially because, much like every other Eagles game, there is much to talk about.

The Philadelphia Eagles/New Orleans Saints game is one loaded with subplots.

You have to wonder why Mickey Loomis still answers the phone when Howie Roseman calls. How on Earth did the Saints let C.J.Gardner-Johnson get away? He’s injured, but he’s been quite the find for this Philadelphia Eagles franchise.

If C.J. doesn’t suit up for Week 17’s game, he will have missed Philly’s last five, yet somehow, he is still tied for the NFL’s highest interception total.

Fingers are crossed all over Eagles Nation that he’ll be activated soon. Many thought he might be available for this game. You have to believe he had it circled on his calendar, but make no mistake about it, Howie started fleecing Loomis long before this trade.

Philly would love to tack another loss on the Saints’ ledger.

Every loss on the Saints’ tally is good news for Philadelphia. The Eagles own the rights to New Orleans’ first-round draft choice next April.

Winning this game would be doubly satisfying. It won’t just earn a first-round bye for the Eagles. It would also help increase the chances of that draft choice being of the top-ten variety.

After nearly a month, some home cooking would be nice.

Competing away from home in the NFL is tough, and last week’s loss in Arlington versus the Dallas Cowboys concluded Philadelphia’s first and only three-game road trip of the season.

They return to Lincoln Financial Field for the final two games, and you can best believe a raucous pro-Eagles crowd will be there to help fuel a victory. Hey, that’s music to our ears.

Would you believe Andy Dalton has never lost to the Eagles?

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. They haven’t faced him often, but Andy Dalton is the owner of a perfect 3-0 record versus our Birds.

His first two wins came as the leader of the Cincinnati Bengals offense. Cincy outscored Philly by 66-27 margin while Dalton threw for 459 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for another.

His most recent win came while filling in for Dak Prescott as a Cowboys signal-caller. He completed 73% of his passes and tossed three TDs versus one interception while stacking up 377 yards passing. It’s high time the Eagles put a blemish on his resume.

Wait! The Saints are still in the playoff hunt?

The NFC East ranks as one of the best divisions in the NFL. The NFC South might be the game’s worst.

Ten teams own a record that is just as bad as the Saints’ 6-9 mark, or they own one that is worse. Still, by virtue of playing in the NFC South, where no team is above .500, New Orleans has a shot at earning a postseason berth.

It may not seem like it, but this game has playoff implications written all over it. You simply can’t make this stuff up.

At all costs, keep the streak going!

Week 17’s game marks the 35th time these two teams have crossed paths on a football field and the third straight season that they’ve met at Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia owns a 19-15 edge. They’ve taken the past two meetings.

You see where this is headed, don’t you? We’d like to see the streak continue, and we believe that it will. We forecast an easy victory, 35-16 in favor of Philadelphia.

Hot. Contingency plans with Johnson and Maddox injured. light