Why the Saints Floundered in Week 14 Against the Eagles
With the Saints falling to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday it snapped not only their nine-game winning streak but their more impressive 55 game streak without allowing a 100-yard rusher and two Eagles did that.
How were the Eagles able to snap those streaks for the Saints and defeat them 24-21?
STOPPING THE SAINTS PASS-RUSH
Coming into this game, the Saints were fourth in the NFL with 36 sacks and had been racking them up in bunches over the past few weeks but on Sunday, New Orleans didn't record a single sack. In addition, they only had three quarterback hits, having to deal with trying to contain a dangerously mobile QB in Jalen Hurts was a big difference in this ballgame. Talk about dangerous speed, Carson Wentz is a mobile QB but Hurts is on a different level according to Next Gen Stats:
EAGLES DOMINATED THE SAINTS OFFENSIVE LINE
Coming into this game, controlling the line of scrimmage was going to be such a major factor, a facet of the game we thought the Saints should dominate but unfortunately, they didn't. The Eagles asserted their will upon the New Orleans offensive line which at times made things difficult for Taysom Hill who's on pace to break Aaron Brooks' fumble record. Philly sacked Hill five times, hit him 12 times, and forced a sack-fumble at a crucial point in the game in the 4th quarter on a fourth-down play where Hill was rolling to his right and never felt Josh Sweat coming from behind. According to Next Gen Stats, the Philadelphia pressure was hot and heavy dialed up by defensive coordinator Jim Swartz in this one:
INABILITY TO CONTAIN THE RUN
As mentioned, the Saints 55 game streak not allowing a 100-yard rusher was snapped on Sunday by not one player but by two in running back Miles Sanders and QB Jalen Hurts. What the Saints have done an exceptional job at over that incredible streak was not allowing big gashing, chunk yardage runs but against the Eagles they allowed Sanders to shake loose for an 82-yard score with their defense blocked up and out-flanked. That's not something you've seen much at all out of New Orleans and then their lack of containment on an extremely athletic rookie quarterback who was able to avoid/outrun pressure, escape the pocket, and pick up positive gains too many times. Again, with some help from our friends at Next Gen Stats we can see how the Eagles were able to succeed with the long touchdown run by Miles Sanders in which only the former Eagle, Malcolm Jenkins really had a shot at him but missed:
The Saints will look to rebound this week at home against the best team in the AFC in the Kansas City Chiefs, certainly, a tall task but not impossible as New Orleans is still a very good football team.
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