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New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton dismisses the premise that the Philadelphia Eagles could derive extra motivation from the widespread perception that New Orleans ran up the score on them when they met in November.
"My question would be: We're all playing hard in these divisional playoff games, right?" Payton began, referring to Sunday's rematch in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. "Are you going to play harder" because of a perceived slight?
Still, Payton expects a more competitive affair than the Saints' 48-7 blowout of the Eagles on Nov. 18, which gave Philadelphia the dubious distinction of becoming the first reigning Super Bowl champion to lose by that wide a margin in the following regular season.
So here we are. Eagles-Saints, Round Deux.
Here's all the info you need to know before Sunday's divisional round affair at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
-- Who: Philadelphia Eagles (10-7) vs. New Orleans Saints (13-3)
-- When: 3:40 p.m.
-- Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
HOW TO WATCH
-- WVUE-TV (FOX 8) in New Orleans
-- WGMB-TV (FOX 44) in Baton Rouge
-- Via NFL Game Pass (click here to learn more.)
-- WWL 870 AM/105.3 FM (New Orleans)
-- WDGL 98.1 FM (Baton Rouge)
-- KMDL 97.3 FM (Lafayette)
When the Saints pass | Advantage: Saints
The Eagles are playing better, but they’ve still faced issues in the secondary all season long.
When the Saints run | Advantage: Saints
The Saints didn’t have many issues running against the Eagles in the first meeting, and that shouldn’t change this time around.
When the Eagles pass | Advantage: Saints
Nick Foles has done a good job, but New Orleans had no issue against Carson Wentz in the first meeting.
When the Eagles run | Advantage: Saints
Philadelphia had one of the worst rushing offenses in the NFL this season. The Saints had one of the best run defenses in the NFL.
Special teams | Advantage: Saints
New Orleans has some of the best special teams units in the NFL. Those units should show up on Sunday.
IF YOU NEED A SONG TO PLAY WHEN THE SAINTS SCORE...
Of course by now you've heard Choppa's special 'Choppa Style' G.O.A.T. remix for Drew Brees and his birthday, right?
When New Orleans scores, your friends will appreciate you blaring this...
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Nick Underhill | Saints 34, Eagles 23
It’s a different game. We know. But New Orleans still beat this team by 41 points earlier this season. Nick Foles is a fine quarterback, but there is no magic here. This team is only here because the Bears missed a field goal. The Saints will finish the job.
Rod Walker | Saints 24, Eagles 21
This one won't be as easy as the Saints' 48-7 beatdown in October. The Eagles are much healthier this time around and that Nick Foles magic from a year ago is trying to reappear. But the Saints are well rested, and the Dome will be rocking enough to get the Saints a step closer to Atlanta.
Scott Rabalais | Saints 28, Eagles 20
Philadelphia is playing with a peculiar brand of confidence, and New Orleans has not matched the ruthless efficiency with which it crushed the Eagles in Week 11. That said, there is a big difference in closing the gap and overcoming it. There will be some nervous moments, but the Saints march on.
Nathan Brown | Saints 33, Eagles 20
A healthy, vengeful Philadelphia squad will keep this close into the second half, but the Saints defense will be ready to make a big play late, giving Drew Brees and company a chance to squash the Nick Foles magic with a late touchdown.
If you're curious...
At least one member of the the Philadelphia Inquirer's Eagles beat team is picking against the Saints. Click here to read more.