The 2021-22 NFL regular season in is the books, with the Los Angeles Rams having claimed the Super Bowl LVI trophy. Unfortunately for the New Orleans Saints, the season ended on January 9, 2022, without a playoff berth, and our eyes now turn to the 2022-23 NFL season.
The Saints’ opponents for next regular season as well as the games’ venues have now all been disclosed, with the only missing information being the dates and times of the games. So, we now know that the Saints’ 2022 home opponents will, as expected, include their division rivals (Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers). In addition, New Orleans will face the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings. If you counted with me, yes, the Saints have nine home games in 2022. It remains to be seen which one of these games will be played on a neutral site (New Orleans is expected to play a game in England in the 2022 season).
As we are in this new 17-game format in the NFL regular season, the Saints will play eight games on the road in 2022, their three divisional opponents as is customary, plus the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.
In this top 10, we will focus on the appeal of the matchup. With most NFL squads far from being finalized for 2022, it would be difficult to assess all individual matchups at this point. However, we look at factors such as: teams that the Saints do not play very often, or teams that have prominent players with ties to either the Saints or the state of Louisiana.
At Number 10 in our matchups countdown was the game between the Saints and the Cleveland Browns, which you can read about here.
At Number 9 in our matchups countdown was the game between the Saints and the Arizona Cardinals, which you can read about here.
At Number 8 in our matchups countdown was the game between the Saints and the Seattle Seahawks, which you can read about here.
At Number 7 in our matchups countdown was the game between the Saints and the San Francisco 49ers, which you can read about here.
At Number 6 in our matchups countdown was the game between the Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which you can read about here.
At Number 5 in our matchups countdown was the game between the Saints and the Atlanta Falcons, which you can read about here.
At Number 4 in our matchups countdown was the game between the Saints and the Baltimore Ravens, which you can read about here.
Today we focus on:
Number 3: The Philadelphia Eagles (Road)
Despite not being traditional rivals, the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles have a rather colorful history. Who remembers the 15-minute famous “F*ck Da Eagles” Heather, an avid Saints fan who gained her celebrity status during the 2006 NFC Divisional playoffs between the Saints and the Eagles? There was also an incident on this very blog where a former writer called the Eagles frauds, stirring the ire of the Bleeding Green Nation folks. Those “fraudulent” Eagles then went on to win a Super Bowl ring, forcing our dear friend to eat some eagl... err, crow.
While Philly holds a 19-15 all-time meetings advantage, the Saints have had the best of the Eagles in the playoffs, with a 3-1 all-time record. The last playoff win for New Orleans was a 20-14 victory in the NFC Divisional Playoffs in the 2018 season, while the Eagles’ lone postseason victory against the Saints dates back to 1993, a 36-20 win for Philly in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
In the Sean Payton era (from 2006), the Saints have enjoyed a 7-4 advantage over the Eagles, however New Orleans has lost the last two contests, each of them coming in Philadelphia and against quarterback Jalen Hurts. In 2020, the Saints lost a close 24-21 contest to the Eagles, while last season they were demolished by a 40-29 score as they simply could not keep up with Hurts’ zone-read plays and dual-threat abilities.
In 2022, New Orleans will be back playing a regular season game in Philadelphia for the year season in a row, and with former Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen now the head coach, it will be interesting to see what sorts of adjustments the Saints will have made defensively, should they face Jalen Hurts as the Eagles’ starting quarterback again.
A road game in Philly is always an exciting challenge for New Orleans, not only because it is a conference game and one that will likely have big implications for playoff positioning, but also for bragging rights. The Eagles fanbase is known to be a rowdy, at times contentious one. So, scoring a win against their team is always one that brings the out the trash talk in Saints fans. As of now, Eagles fans have had the last laugh two years in a row, and for New Orleans this game will be about trying to prevent a three-game squid against Philadelphia.
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