Saints With a Stunning Victory but they are out of titles chances.
New Orleans Saints pulled off another impressive win in hopes to keep their season going. They take down the incomplete Eagles in their week 17 match-up, behind great team effort and determination.
However, the hopes of a miraculous turnaround for the Saints were ruled out with a victory by the Packers on Sunday. The Bucs had already clinched the NFC South title, but for a brief moment, New Orleans had an unexpected chance to enter playoff contention as a wild-card team. While it was thrilling to entertain even a small possibility, reality set in quickly and dashed away these dreams, leading to another disappointing year.
Meanwhile, the Eagles’ recent defeat puts their hopes of securing the NFC’s top seed in jeopardy. With quarterback Jalen Hurts still recuperating from a sprained right shoulder, the Eagles will need to beat the New York Giants next week to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Eagles Lose Again
Andy Dalton had a successful night against the Philadelphia Eagles, equalling his 204 yards of passing with a perfectly placed 58-yard reception by Rashid Shaheed. This was Dalton’s first 13 passes completed in a row, and it resulted in a pair of field goals for Wil Lutz that gave the Saints a 13-0 lead by halftime.
Eagles’ backup QB, Minshew, had one of his passes intercepted by Marshon Lattimore late on. Despite the interception, Minshew proved himself as an able replacement should Hurts go down again; he managed 18 completions out of 32 attempts for 274 yards, one touchdown, and an interception over the course of two full starts.
Despite the crowd’s boos and his team’s inept offense, Minshew showed off his strong arm by connecting with A.J. Brown on a 78-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to make it 13-10 and give the team some hope.
However, Minshew came up just short on a costly fourth-down dive late in the fourth quarter which ended any chance of narrowing the gap.
Eagles Need Hurts
The narrative of Jalen Hurts’s 2022 NFL season with the Eagles has been remarkable. He tied a franchise record with 35 total touchdowns and leads the team into an excellent season. Though he started as a backup quarterback way back, when he stepped into the starting role, many considered him the MVP frontrunner without even taking a snap.
We may very well never know if Jalen Hurts could have secured that elusive Most Valuable Player award had he stayed healthy, but it is clear that without him the Eagles are significantly worse off than they were before.
What’s Waiting for the Saints?
Finishing with a 7-9 record and a three-game winning streak might give the team some momentum as they head to the last week of the regular season. Though their coach, Dennis Allen, is expected to keep his job after the season opener, ultimately creating a pivot point for this organization, other changes could be in the works.
Namely, Payton’s future with the team remains uncertain as New Orleans looks to decide whether to trade him away or keep him as part of their plan moving forward. Regardless, the Saints should use this final game against Carolina Panthers to make sure that they head into the off-season on a high note.