Alvin Kamara’s comments to Bleacher Report over the summer, when he said the New Orleans Saints would have “beat the s— out of” the Philadelphia Eagles had they met in the playoffs last season, were revisited again this past week.
Kamara’s comment doesn’t look so crazy now.
True, this isn’t the same Eagles team that won last season’s Super Bowl. That becomes more clear by the week. But the Saints treated the Eagles like an FCS non-conference opponent. The Saints are on an absolute roll, and they pummeled Philadelphia 48-7. The 41-point loss is the largest ever by a defending Super Bowl champion. The Eagles lost three games all last season by a combined 27 points.
The blowout included the Saints going for it on fourth-and-7, up 31 points in the fourth quarter, throwing deep to Kamara and hitting a touchdown. That might have been the low point of this underwhelming Eagles season.
New Orleans is a good team, one of the few top Super Bowl contenders this season. Sunday was an impressive, resounding victory. But it’s also true the Eagles have shown little interest in defending their title.
Eagles were flat from the beginning
The Eagles were in trouble from the start. The Saints put up 321 yards by halftime. Carson Wentz had 77 yards at the half, and he had to rally in the second quarter to reach that. Wentz finished with 156 yards, three interceptions and a 31.9 passer rating. He threw his third interception with 31 seconds left, and it made zero sense why he was in the game at that point. It was probably the worst game of Wentz’s career, or at least since his rookie season.
The Eagles trailed 24-7 at halftime, and late in the third quarter the Saints took a 38-7 lead on a Mark Ingram touchdown. The game was practically over at that point, long before the fourth quarter. Then, up 38-7 in the fourth quarter, the Saints went for it on fourth down and threw deep to Kamara for another score. There might have been a message attached to that touchdown in a blowout. Saints coach Sean Payton isn’t the type to ever let up. After getting torched by Kamara for that score, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins came back to the sideline and slammed his helmet to the ground.
Most coaches wouldn’t want to rub it in like that, for fear of having to see that opponent again in the playoffs. Payton generally doesn’t seem to care. And the Eagles don’t look like they’ll be in the playoffs anyway.
Philadelphia sinks into a deeper hole
This was a total failure from Philadelphia. Even accounting for injuries, the Eagles defense was manhandled. Injuries at cornerback don’t explain how the Saints were averaging 6.2 yards per carry by the time they took a 38-7 lead. The offensive line couldn’t protect Wentz. Zach Ertz, who came in challenging the NFL single-season record for receptions, was stuck on one catch until late in the third quarter. They never got anything going against a Saints defense that’s far from great.
The only fight the Eagles showed all day was when punter Cameron Johnston threw down Kamara when Kamara was returning a punt in the second half. The only other times the Eagles looked like they cared was when they were throwing helmets on the sideline.
If there was a week for the Eagles to put forth their best effort, it seemed like this was a good time for it. They came in 4-5, needing a win to get back in the playoff picture. You’d have thought they would have wanted to show everyone they’re still capable of going on the road and at least giving a great effort against a contender like the Saints.
The Saints are very good. The Eagles are dealing with a lot of injuries. That still doesn’t fully explain how the defending champions, with a lot of their core back from last season, were blown off the field.
The Eagles had a magical 2017 season, and the championship they won will live forever. And maybe this season they have enough pride to put together a run and make it back to the playoffs. But time is running out, and they’ve shown no signs that’s coming. On Sunday, they showed no signs of life at all.
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