Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

November 15, 2018 at 12:24 am.

Eagles try to keep season from unraveling

Clearly this hasn’t been the season the Philadelphia Eagles envisioned.

Sitting at 4-5, it doesn’t figure to get much better on Sunday when they travel to New Orleans to take on a red-hot Saints team that has won nine in a row, including handing the Los Angeles Rams their first loss of the year two weeks ago.

“It’ll be interesting how they play us because they are very multiple defensively with their coverages and looks, so we know we have a good test on the road but we’re excited for it,” said quarterback Carson Wentz.

The Eagles have been unable to sustain much momentum all season long, and have yet to win two games in a row.

The reasons are plentiful.

Perhaps the biggest flaw on defense is the inability to force turnovers. The defense has just four interceptions this year, with their last one coming on Oct. 11 against New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.

Then there is the shoddy tackling that was on display in losing to the Dallas Cowboys 27-20 on Sunday night.

Fourth quarters haven’t been good to the Eagles, either. They are being outscored 63-57 over the final 15 minutes, and allowed the Cowboys to score 14 points on them in the fourth quarter and, two weeks prior, gave up 21 in the fourth in losing 21-17 to the Carolina Panthers.

Offensively, the Eagles have had difficulty scoring early in games.

That could be a death sentence against the Saints, who have scored 121 points in the second quarter alone and are outscoring opponents 175-118 in the first half.

The Eagles have scored just 21 points in the first quarter.

“Obviously we realize they, as of late, have gotten up on teams early,” said Wentz. “We have a ton of confidence in our defense but that’s a heck of an offense over there. We don’t try to look too much into that because at the end of the day we have high expectations and standards on the offensive side of the ball. We realize we have some things we’ve got to clean up. … We realize we may have to score but again we have a lot of confidence in our defense and we’re excited to see how we match up.”

SERIES HISTORY: 28th regular-season meeting. Eagles lead series, 16-11. The Eagles have won the last two meetings, both of which were in Philadelphia, the most recent being a 29-17 triumph in 2015. The Saints won the last meeting in New Orleans, 28-13, in 2012 and are 8-7 in regular-season meetings in New Orleans. The Saints are 2-1 against the Eagles in the playoffs, including a 1-1 record in New Orleans. Their 27-24 home victory after the 2006 season was their first victory in a divisional playoff game and their 26-24 victory at Lincoln Financial Field after the 2012 season was their first playoff victory on the road.