The last time the Philadelphia Eagles played the New Orleans Saints in Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the outcome was historic -- the worst loss by a reigning Super Bowl champion, a 48-7 drubbing at the hands of Drew Brees, Sean Payton and company.
That was less than two months ago. But Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson sees things differently, fresh off the Eagles' 16-15 road win against the Chicago Bears in the first round of the NFC playoffs, setting the stage for Eagles-Saints, part deux Sunday in New Orleans at 3:40 p.m.
"Yeah, it wasn’t very good the first time," Pederson said after Sunday's game, according to the Philadelpia Inquirer. "I think we’re a different football team now than we were then. And we’ve just got to put a good plan together in all three phases. Go back down there, we’re on the road, it’s going to be in a dome, it’s going to be loud again, all those things, and it’s going to be a great atmosphere."
A few notable statistics from New Orleans' 41-6 win on Nov. 18:
-- The Saints rolled up 546 yards of offense to the Eagles' 196.
-- The Eagles, via quarterback Carson Wentz who's out for the playoffs with a back injury, threw three interceptions. New Orleans had no turnovers.
-- Wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith, not Michael Thomas, was the leading receiver the day for New Orleans. Smith caught 10 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown. Thomas caught four passes for 92 yards a touchdown.
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"I haven't gotten my (butt) kicked like that in a long time," Eagles defensive end Chris Long said after the Week 11 matchup.
The early point spread has New Orleans favored by 8.5. For context Philadelphia was a 6.5-underdog to the Bears.
“They said we weren’t going to get in the playoffs, either,” Eagles offensive guard Brandon Brooks said. “They said we weren’t going to beat the Bears. So, we’ll see what happens.”