PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Since the New Orleans Saints ravaged the Eagles 48-7 on Nov. 8, a lot of things have happened.
Since then, the Saints have gone 4-2, while the Eagles caught fire, going 6-1 over their seven games.
The Eagles secondary, which was torched for 363 yards and four touchdowns, has settled into a far better corps than the first time Drew Brews saw them. The offense, under Nick Foles, is playing with a greater confidence and appears far healthier than when the Saints defense held them without a first down until the second quarter.
So, it is possible, a few months can drastically change NFL teams.
It has with the Eagles.
Will they beat the New Orleans Saints this Sunday in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs? Maybe, or maybe not.
What does seem certain is that the Eagles won’t suffer the same fate as they did in November, when they suffered the worst loss a reigning Super Bowl champion ever received.
“I know the guys, it’s on their mind, obviously, because we’re playing them again. It’s all over the news every time you turn it on, it’s always referenced back to that game, which is the last thing we know,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said.
“So the guys understand, didn’t play well. If they use it as motivation, great. Everybody gets motivated differently for different games. I just think that this is a big game because it’s the next one and it’s the only one we have left on our schedule unless we win, and so from that standpoint, the motivation factor is a little different.”
In fact, the Saints may have more to adjust to than the Eagles. Sometimes, it’s just human nature that fixates itself into someone’s head that there is no way a team that was beat 48-7 can be that drastically different the second time around.
It’s an attitude that no matter how many buckets of money Saints head coach Sean Payton lugs into his locker room will change the mindset of his players.
Maybe this time, it is genuinely beneficial to be thought of as the underdog.
LEADER: Eagles lead all-time series, 17-14
STREAKS: Saints have won 4 of past 5
LAST GAME: 11/18/18: Eagles 7 at Saints 48
LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/18/18
LEADER: Saints lead all-time series, 2-1
STREAKS: Saints have won past 2
LAST PLAYOFF: 1/4/14: Saints 26 at Eagles 24
LAST PLAYOFF AT SITE: 1/13/07: Saints 27, Eagles 24
PLAYOFF RECORD 23-21
LAST WEEK W 16-15 at Chicago VS.
COMMON OPP. 6-5 (Atl 1-0; Car 0-1; Dal 0-2; LAR 1-0; Min 0-1; NYG 2-0; TB 0-1; Was 2-0)
PTS. FOR/AGAINST 22.9/21.8
PASSING Nick Foles: 141-195-1413-7-4-96.0
RUSHING Josh Adams (R): 120-511-4.3-3
RECEIVING Zach Ertz (TE): 116-1163-10.0-8
SACKS Fletcher Cox: 10.5
TAKE/GIVE -6 (17/23)
PLAYOFF RECORD 8-10
COMMON OPP. 8-3 (Atl 2-0; Car 1-1; Dal 0-1; LAR 1-0; Min 1-0; NYG 1-0; TB 1-1; Was 1-0)
PTS. FOR/AGAINST 31.5/22.1
PASSING Drew Brees: 364-489-3992-32-5-115.7 (1L)
RUSHING Alvin Kamara: 194-883-4.6-14
RECEIVING Michael Thomas: 125 (1L)-1405-11.2-9
SACKS Cameron Jordan: 12
TAKE/GIVE +8 (24/16)