- Ben Fawkes, NFL
For the 2-5 Saints, it's pretty simple: The defense has been downright awful. They can't stop the run (27th in DVOA, according to Football Outsiders) and they can't stop the pass (last in DVOA). They aren't getting any pressure on opposing quarterbacks, with just 12 sacks on the season. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo isn't blitzing as often this season, as Pro Football Focus notes, bringing pressure just 28 percent of the time compared with 52 percent under Gregg Williams in 2011.
For the 3-4 Eagles, the story is a little more complicated. Michael Vick has been an average quarterback, and a turnover machine, while a defense with big names has yet to play at an elite level. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo was fired after a Week 6 loss to Detroit, but all that did last week was ensure someone else would be overseeing a mediocre Philadelphia defense. The Eagles lost 30-17 to an Atlanta Falcons team that scored on its first six possessions.
If coach Andy Reid wants to quiet the calls for his job and have a chance to save this season, he should run LeSean McCoy more than usual to take the ball out of Vick's hands, quiet the crowd and keep Drew Brees off the field.
The Eagles are an NFL-worst 1-5-1 against the spread this season (1-0 as an underdog), not covering by an average of 7.8 points. The Saints are 3-4 ATS (2-3 as a favorite) and haven't covered the spread by an average of 5.3 points. According to Insider's NFL PickCenter, 53 percent of the public is backing the Saints as of Monday afternoon.
The Monday Night Chaser looks at which team to bet on when the Philadelphia Eagles visit the New Orleans Saints