New Orleans Saints take on the Philadelphia Eagles on the road in Week 11 on November 21, 2021.
Philadelphia – None of the New Orleans Saints' respective units played well enough in Sunday's 40-29 loss to the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
The offense was stagnant, the defense was porous against the run and special teams couldn't break a big play, and even missed another point-after attempt. All in all, it was a recipe for a third consecutive loss for the Saints (5-5), who have a short week to recover in time for their Thanksgiving night game against Buffalo in the Caesars Superdome.
OFFENSE: Three turnovers, including the first two interceptions of the season by quarterback Trevor Siemian – one of them returned 51 yards for a touchdown – was too much to overcome for an offense that was missing its most important player (running back Alvin Kamara) and its two starting offensive tackles (Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk). New Orleans totaled 323 yards, but most of them came in a 22-point fourth quarter; the Saints trailed 33-7 entering the fourth. The red zone efficiency remains high (3 of 4), so that's encouraging. But the inability to convert third downs early was a large factor in New Orleans only having possession for 22:59. The Saints are too wounded to make as many mistakes on offense as they did Sunday.
DEFENSE: Philadelphia's offensive strength overwhelmed the Saints' defensive strength. The Eagles ran for 242 yards against a defense that entered the game allowing 73 per game. And while New Orleans didn't allow a 100-yard rusher – last season, Philadelphia had two 100-yard rushers against the Saints – three players ran for 94, 69 and 63, respectively. The Eagles averaged 4.8 yards on 50 carries, and quarterback Jalen Hurts had three rushing touchdowns. After holding Philadelphia to seven yards on its first five carries, New Orleans wasn't effective against the run consistently. The Eagles converted eight of their first 11 third-down chances (12 of 21 overall) and ran 77 plays on offense. The lack of third-down stops, and the inability to stop the run, are recipes for disaster on defense.
SPECIAL TEAMS: New Orleans needed something splashy to happen on special teams, and it almost happened on Philadelphia's first punt – safety J.T. Gray came close to blocking it. But otherwise, nothing happened to flip momentum. The return games didn't provide a spark, and while punter Blake Gillikin was outstanding (six punts for a 42.7-yard net, including three downed inside the 20), New Orleans never was able to take advantage of his punts.