Saints Dismantle Undermanned Eagles 48-7
(973espn.com) - What looked insurmountable coming in lived up to its billing as the New Orleans Saints routed the Philadelphia Eagles, 48-7.
The latest setback for the reigning Super Bowl champions dropped Philadelphia to 4-6 on the season and in desperation mode as they begin a do-or-die three-game stretch inside the NFC East with the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field next Sunday.
The scoreboard watching earlier in the day was a mixed bag as division-leading Washington (6-4) not only lost a game against Houston, it also lost its starting quarterback, Alex Smith, for the season to a broken leg. Dallas, however, beat Atlanta to move a game ahead of the Eagles at 5-5. Meanwhile, don't look now but the Giants won for a second straight time to move within a game of Philadelphia at 3-7.
Jim Schwartz was hearing it in the leadup to the Saints' game and that narrative is going to continue even though the context says the defensive coordinator never had a chance against MVP candidate Drew Brees.
The Eagles entered the game without starting corners Ronald Darby (out for the season after tearing his ACL against Dallas last week) and Jalen Mills (foot) and then lost both Avonte Maddox and Sidney Jones to leg injuries early in the contest. Rasul Douglas then exited later in the second half.
By that time the longest-tenured CB Schwartz had was undrafted rookie Chandon Sullivan, who was elevated from the practice squad on Oct. 25.
With names like Sullivan, Cre'Von LeBlanc and De'Vante Bausby trying to handle the Saints' diverse passing game, the outcome was never really in doubt as Brees threw for 363 yards and touchdowns to Austin Carr, Tre'Quan Smith, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.
The Eagles' offense, however, also did not contribute much with Carson Wentz suffering through a terribly inaccurate game and the line having protection issues once Jason Kelce left in the first quarter with an elbow injury.
Wentz finished just 19-of-33 for 156 yards with three interceptions for a dismal 31.9 passer rating, far behind Saints' change-of-pace signal caller Taysom Hill (64.6) never mind Brees, who had a 153.2 passer rating and now has 26 TDs against only one INT all season. Overall, New Orleans outgained the Eagles 546-196, the largest differential in any NFL game this season.
The lone bright spot for Philadelphia was rookie runner Josh Adams, who took over the lead role and carried seven times for 53 yards and a 28-yard score.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen