Philly has St. Nick but New Orleans has lots of Saints


Print Article

The Philadelphia Eagles have St. Nick, and he hasn't let them down in the clutch. The problem on Sunday is that New Orleans has a lot of Saints and a stronger team.

Nick Foles has been nothing short of superb in replacing Carson Wentz, first in the 2017 season when he guided Philly to its first NFL championship since 1960. And now, with Wentz again injured, Foles helped the Eagles slalom their way to an NFC wild-card berth.

Then, as in last February's Super Bowl win over New England, he drove the Eagles to a late winning touchdown at Chicago.

Can he keep it up? He'll have to against Drew Brees & Co. in the Superdome, where the Saints annihilated the Eagles 48-7 on Nov 18, Philadelphia's only loss by more than seven points all season.

From there, the Eagles have won six of seven, counting the 16-15 decision over the Bears last week.

"It's a credit to the players and the coaches for just kind of staying in the moment, just trying to win the week, starting with today," coach Doug Pederson says. "Just win today and then win tomorrow, try to go 1-0 each week. That's been the mentality and the mindset all season, even during those couple weeks of adversity in there.

"You still have to have a belief that we can get it done. The players do believe. They just come to work every day ready to go. There's great leadership on the team. It's really kind of held us together and pulled us through this stretch, and really the last three games of the regular season, I mean, they were all must win. Guys really understood what we needed to do, came together. They've jelled and here we are today."

Where they are is ranked No. 12 in the final AP Pro32 and 8-point underdogs against No. 1 New Orleans. It's hard not to share the faith in Foles and the Eagles after seeing what they have done. Then again, looking at their secondary and how Chicago found lots of open room, it's impossible not to believe in the home team.

SAINTS, 31-20

No. 5 (tie) Los Angeles Chargers (plus 4) at No. 5 (tie) New England, Sunday

Let's begin by mentioning that the Chargers are the better team. Right now, they might be the best overall team in the league. Should they win at Gillette Stadium, Pro Picks will be tempted to ride them all the way to and through Atlanta.

However, Philip Rivers never beats Tom Brady (0-7 is quite an ugly number) and the Patriots are the only unbeaten home team this season. Plus, the weather could be a factor, which always favors New England.


No. 8 Indianapolis (plus 5) at No. 4 Kansas City, Saturday.

Last weekend's most impressive squad? The Colts, by far.

Indeed, over the last two months, it's difficult to find any team that has been more dangerous and dynamic than Indianapolis. Andrew Luck, finally healthy, is playing at his highest level. The offensive line is a wall, the defense has become a force, and the coaching is first-rate.

The Chiefs have so much going for them when they have the ball, led by Patrick Mahomes' passing in Andy Reid's brilliant schemes. They have hardly anything except a pass rush going for them on defense, and Indy doesn't allow sacks or even much pressure on Luck.

Plus, the Colts are 4-0 in the playoffs against Kansas City, which hasn't gotten to a conference title game since the 1993 season.


No. 11 Dallas (plus 7) at No. 2 Los Angeles Rams, Saturday night

Another prime-time showcase for Ezekiel Elliott, and he'll need to be extremely productive, as he was vs. Seattle.

So, though, will his counterpart, Todd Gurley, likely back from a knee injury and crucial to the Rams advancing.

Dallas has a solid enough defense to keep the creative Rams off-balance, especially if Gurley is limited. Los Angeles has not looked like a power in the last month and needed to straighten out some issues in the bye week.

Still, we can't see an upset here.

RAMS, 23-17


2018 RECORD:

Last Week: Against spread (4-0). Straight up (2-2)

Season Totals: Against spread (133-110-9). Straight up: (171-87-2)

Best Bet: 7-11 against spread, 12-6 straight up

Upset special: 10-8 against spread, 9-8-1 straight up


More AP NFL: and

Print Article

Read More National & World Sports

The Latest: MSU trustee says Engler 'has a decision to make'


January 16, 2019 at 1:43 pm | EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) The Latest on the criticism of Michigan State's president from the Larry Nassar fallout (all times local): 2:30 p.m. The chairwoman of Michigan State University's B...


Read More

Berube's Blues playing well enough to make run at playoffs


January 16, 2019 at 1:33 pm | This is not Brayden Schenn's first rodeo with a lot of things this season. It is his second time playing under Craig Berube as an interim coach and the third time his name has been prominent in t...


Read More

'Dinosaur' defensemen like Orpik survive in NHL by adapting


January 16, 2019 at 12:33 pm | When John Tortorella compares Brooks Orpik to a creature that went extinct 65 million years ago, he means it affectionately. "He's a little bit of a dinosaur because he hits, and there isn't a lo...


Read More

The Latest: Sharapova sets up 3rd round against Wozniacki


January 16, 2019 at 7:52 am | MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) The Latest on Wednesday from the Australian Open (all times local): 12:40 a.m. Maria Sharapova set up a third-round showdown with defending champion Caroline Wozni...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2019 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy