Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints: Predictions and Odds (NFL Week 11)

The 4-5 Philadelphia Eagles:

After losing by a touchdown at home to NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys in Week 10, the 4-5 Philadelphia Eagles take their show on the road to meet up with a New Orleans Saints team that hasn’t lost a game since Week 1.

Unlike last season, the unsteady Eagles seem to take turns between losing and winning games, so by that measure, Week 11 should be a win, but that looks impossible against a powerful Saints team that seems headed straight to the Super Bowl.

The Eagles are 2-3 on the road, but the only game Brees’ boys have lost this season was at home, so it is possible to defeat them in the Superdome, but it’s also highly unlikely this late in the season.

The 8-1 New Orleans Saints:

The 8-1 New Orleans Saints are fresh off their road-trouncing of the Cincinnati Bengals 51-14 and are playing with the determination and success of a Super Bowl worthy team.

Led by GOAT quarterback candidate Drew Brees, who so far has thrown for 21 touchdowns with just a single interception, the 2018 Saints have an effective, high-scoring offense that’s more than made up for its less than impressive defense.

The Saints have won eight in a row and look to make that nine against an Eagles team that seems to have lost their championship ways.

What’s at stake:

These two teams have met 30 times, including 3 postseason games, with New Orleans winning 13 games and Philadelphia winning 17 games. The Saints have won the last three-out-of-four, while the Eagles beat the Saints 39-17 the most recent time they played, which was in 2015.

If the Eagles win this matchup, they’ll move to 5-5 and attempt to catch the now 6-3 Washington Redskins at the top of the NFC East.

But if the Saints come out on top, they’ll be 9-1 and continue to dominate the NFC South by staying at least two games ahead of the now 6-3 Carolina Panthers.

Questions to answer…

Who’s favored to win this Week 11 Eagles-Saints matchup?

Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?

Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?

We’re going to compare the Eagles and the Saints and attempt to answer those questions and more.

The 2018 Eagles offense has Wentz

Take wins out of the equation and Wentz has had a productive 2018 season so far, averaging the sixth most passing yards per game with 306.9.

That’s better than even the man he’ll be facing in this Week 11 matchup, Drew Brees, who ‘only’ puts up 289.0 yards through the air every outing.

Right now, Wentz has a career-high completion rate of 71.0 after completing 191-for-269 for 2,148 yards, 15 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions but for some reason his success isn’t translating into victories like it did during last season.

Eagles top-ten passing game fun to watch

Exciting wideouts Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor are now joined by recently acquired (via Detroit) and wonderfully named receiver Golden Tate and make up the Eagles tenth ranked reception crew responsible for accumulating 270.2 passing yards per game.

Add Pro-Bowl tight end Zach Ertz to that pass-catching mix and you’ve got a 6-foot-five, 250-pound extra receiver who’s got 75 catches for 789 yards and five touchdowns, his sure hands and ability to fight for extra yards after the catch a solid compliment to all the others.

Philadelphia offensive Injuries

Darren Sproles (hamstring) is listed as out for Week 11, absent from the starting roster once again, giving backups Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams and Corey Clement a chance to shine and improve on the Eagles 22nd ranked rushing attack.

First-team All-Pro offensive tackle Lane Johnson (knee – MCL) is listed as questionable for Week 11, so next-man-up on the Eagles depth chart is second-year player Halapoulivaati Vaitai.

The 2018 Saints offense powered by Brees

Quarterback Drew Brees has spent the 2018 setting records and ensuring his acceptance into the Hall-of-Fame but most of all he’s been winning, seven times in a row after the Week 1 loss to the FitzMagic enhanced Buccaneers, a 40-48 shootout.

Between Brees’ six-point passes to Pro Bowl receiver Michael Thomas (7 touchdowns), rookie receiver Tre’Quan Smith (3 touchdowns), tight end Ben Watson (2 touchdowns) and Pro Bowl Second-team All-Pro running back Alvin Kamara (3 receiving touchdowns), the Saints’ quarterback has plenty of 2018 touchdowns to his name (21 – tied for 4th most).

Add to that passing attack the two-headed rushing monster of Kamara and 2x Pro-Bowler Mark Ingram and you get a top-five offense that gains 413.9 total yards and scores 36.7 points per game.

New Orleans offensive injuries

Recently signed wide receiver Dez Bryant (Achilles) is on injured reserve.

Offensive tackle Terron Armstead (shoulder) is listed as questionable.

Eagles Defense ranks 16th in the league

The Eagles allow opponents to score 20.3 points and gain 265.8 total yards per game, but they’re much better against the run (7th overall) than they are against the pass (23rd).

Philadelphia has only intercepted 4 total passes (ranked 28th overall) while sacking opponents’ quarterbacks 26 times (T-9th) and allowing them to convert on just 35.3 percent of their third downs (5th).

Eagles Defensive Players to watch:

Defensive end (and wearer of the league’s tiniest shoulder pads) Michael Bennett has 5.5 sacks and 20 quarterback hits on top of a forced fumble and a pass defended.

Second-team All Pro tackle Fletcher Cox, who has 4.0 sacks, 28 combined tackles (5 for loss), 18 quarterback hits and a pass defended.

Middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, who is tied for 7th most combined tackles in the NFL with 78, and who has 3.0 sacks, 4 passes defended, a fumble recovery and 6 quarterback hits.

Saints Defense is 23rd overall

The Saints are the second-worst team in the league against the pass, allowing opponents to throw for an average of 296.1 yards per game, intercepting just 6 total passes and sacking quarterbacks 21 times.

New Orleans is ‘slightly’ better against the run, ranked first overall in the NFL after opponents have gained just 80.1 yards on the ground per game.

Saints Defensive Players to watch:

Outside linebacker Demario Davis is tied for 21st most combined tackles in the league with 67, and he’s also had 2.0 sacks, 4 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and a pass defended.

Defensive end Cameron Jordan has 6.0 sacks, currently 18th most of any NFL player, while also racking up 25 tackles (9 for a loss), 9 quarterback hits and 3 passes defended.

Defensive end Marcus Davenport (toe) is officially listed as out for Week 11.

Special Teams Stats Comparison

Punters:

Philadelphia’s second-year punter, Cameron Johnston, signed as an undrafted free agent last season, has punted 37 times for a net average of 43.8 yards per punt, tied for first in the NFL.

New Orleans’ punter, Thomas Morstead, was a fifth-round draft pick back in 2009 and so far, he’s punted 19 times for a net average of 42.6 yards per punt, ranked 4th in the league.

Placekickers:

Philadelphia’s placekicker, Jake Elliott, promoted from the practice squad last season, has gone 14-for-18, his longest was a 56-yarder. He hasn’t missed an extra point attempt (20/20).

New Orleans’ placekicker, Wil Lutz, in his third season, is 19-for-20, his longest a 54-yarder just last week against the Vikings. He has missed one extra point attempt (33/34).

Punt Returners:

Philadelphia’s punt returner was running back Corey Clement, who was ranked 69th in the league. Taking over the role is newly acquired wide receiver Golden Tate, currently ranked 51st in the league after returning 2 punts so far for 11 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per return, his longest for 12 yards.

New Orleans’ punt returner, running back Alvin Kamara, is ranked 44th in the league in return average. He’s returned 7 punts for 45 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 6.4 yards per return, his longest for 15 yards.

Eagles–Saints prediction and odds

The oddsmakers have the Saints favored over the Eagles by 8.5 with an over/under of 54.5.

CBSSports.com has two final score predictions:

Pete Prisco goes with the over and has it Saints 32, Eagles 30

John Breech takes the over and predicts it Saints 34, Eagles 24