The 2012 NFL Season hasn’t exactly turned out the way that that either the Philadelphia Eagles or the New Orleans Saints thought it would.
Both teams had high expectations before the year started, considered by many to be the favorites to win their respective divisions. The Saints were coming off a 13-win season, and the Eagles were looking to have a bounce-back year with a healthy Michael Vick.
Entering Week 9, a loss for either team could essentially end their playoff hopes. New Orleans is set to host Philadelphia on Monday Night Football.
The Saints need a win just about as bad as any team in football. At 2-5, they have virtually no chance of winning their division. The Atlanta Falcons went to 8-0 after beating the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. The only undefeated team has a four-game lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South.
Now, the Saints can only afford to lose one or two more games, if they want to have a chance of making the playoffs.
New Orleans’ defense has been its downfall this season. The Saints haven’t been a strong defensive team in recent years, but they’ve never been this bad. They’re allowing 30.9 points per game, good for 30th in the NFL.
If the Saints are ever going to turn their defense around, the Eagles may be the team to do it against. Philadelphia has been able to move the ball, but can’t seem to find the end zone. They’re only scoring 17.1 points per game.
If Michael Vick continues to struggle, head coach Andy Reid could look for another quarterback to lead the Eagles. There were rumors that Vick was going to be benched this week, and the signal caller even admitted that Reid was considering making a change. If the Eagles lose and fall to 3-5, Nick Foles could take over the reins in Week 10.
Vick has been healthy all season, but hasn’t been able to duplicate the success he had in his first season as the Eagles starter. He’s committed more turnovers than touchdowns, and is 26th in quarterback rating.
Despite his team’s struggles, Drew Brees has managed to remain very effective. His 20 touchdowns are tied with Peyton Manning for second in football. After Monday’s game, he’ll likely lead the league in passing yards.
With both teams struggling, the contest is expected to be very close. The consensus betting line at most Las Vegas sportsbooks has the Saints as three point favorites.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET. You can watch a free live stream online at espn3.com.
Prediction: With the Eagles ability to move the ball and the Saints porous defense, this should be a high-scoring affair. Most of the Saints losses have come by less than one score. New Orleans has one of the biggest home-field advantages in the NFL, and that could be the difference in this one.
Predicted Score: New Orleans 37, Philadelphia 27