Peter Mucha: Welcome, Ashley. For those not up on their Inquirer writers, Ashley is a sports columnist who has also been covering the NFL for several years...
Eagles offense vs. Saints defense
The Eagles showed they could win last week despite a less-than-stellar performance from quarterback Jeff Garcia (17 of 31 passing, 153 yards, 1 TD, 79.1 passer rating). They will need better against the Saints. Eagles receiver Donté Stallworth didn't play against his former team in New Orleans' 27-24 win on Oct. 15 because of a hamstring injury. His presence should add a dimension against a Saints defense that allowed 26 touchdown passes, 30th in the NFL.
All week the Eagles players and coaches have praised the play calling of Saints head coach Sean Payton. They weren't just blowing smoke. Payton is imaginative and specializes in getting mismatches on the field.
Record: 10-6, NFC South champions. Won opening week at Cleveland, 19-14; won at Green Bay, 34-27; beat Atlanta, 23-3; lost at Carolina, 21-18; beat Tampa Bay, 24-21; beat the Eagles, 27-24; lost to Baltimore, 35-22; won at Tampa Bay, 31-14; lost at Pittsburgh, 38-31; lost to Cincinnati, 31-16; won at Atlanta, 31-13; beat San Francisco, 34-10; won at Dallas, 42-17; lost to Washington, 16-10; won at the N.Y. Giants, 30-7; and lost the regular-season finale to Carolina, 31-21.
Ashley Fox covers the NFL for The Inquirer.