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New Orleans Saints defensive back Justin Hardee (34) celebrates a third-down stop of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate (19) during the second half Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Saints won 48-7.

The New Orleans Saints, in one of their most dominant performances of the season, manhandled the reigning Super Bowl champions once this season.

But for the Saints to keep their own Super Bowl dreams alive, they'll have to beat the Philadelphia Eagles again.

To do so, they'll have to figure out a way to do what no team has been able to do in the playoffs over the past 13 months: contain Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.

The Saints will host the Eagles at 3:40 p.m. next Sunday in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.

The Eagles, the No. 6 seed in the playoffs, advanced on Sunday by upsetting the No. 3 Chicago Bears 16-15 in the wild-card round when Bears kicker Cody Parkey's final-seconds field-goal attempt hit the left upright and then the crossbar before bouncing out.

It sets up a rematch of the Nov. 18 game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where the Saints throttled the Eagles 48-7.

The stakes will be much higher this time around.

The winner advances to the NFC championship game to play the winner of the other NFC playoff game between the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys on Saturday.

The Saints' victory over the Eagles seven weeks ago was their most lopsided win of the season. The Saints led 17-7 midway through the second quarter, then rattled off 31 straight points to close out the game and hand Philadelphia its worst loss of the year. Drew Brees had one of his best games of the season, throwing for 363 yards and four touchdowns. The defense dominated that day as well, holding the Eagles to just 198 yards, with three sacks and seven tackles for loss.

The Eagles limped out of the Dome with a 4-6 record. Since then, they have won six of their past seven games, earning a playoff berth on the last weekend of the regular season then knocking off the Bears.

The Saints, who had the luxury of a first-round bye after locking up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, said they have plenty of confidence going into the postseason.

"It's very high," said receiver Ted Ginn Jr. "Why wouldn't it be? When you're in this deal, confidence is half of the battle. When you have a locker room as confident as ours on all sides with offense, defense and special teams, it's just easy to just go out there and play."

The Eagles will look different than they did in the November game. Carson Wentz started as quarterback in the first game. But since then, he's been sidelined by a back injury and been replaced by Foles. Foles did the same thing last season, taking over after Wentz tore his ACL in Week 15. Foles went on to lead the Eagles to the first Super Bowl title in franchise history. Foles improved to 4-1 in the postseason with Sunday's victory over the Bears.

Philly running back Darren Sproles, who played with the Saints from 2011-2013, missed the first game between the teams but will be back for the rematch.

It'll be the fourth postseason meeting between New Orleans and Philadelphia. The Saints have won two of the three games, including the one in the 2013-14 season that was played in Philadelphia.


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This one will be in the Superdome, where the Saints have been invincible during the Sean Payton-Drew Brees era.

They are 5-0 at home in the playoffs since Payton took over in 2006.

"It's a new season," said Saints offensive lineman Cameron Tom. "We have to be ready for whoever we play. Obviously they have to come here, and we have to try to take advantage of that as best we can."

Saints players like cornerback Marshon Lattimore were prepared regardless of whom they were matched up against.

"Whoever we play, we gotta win," Lattimore said. "We just have to get the job done. We are trying to win the Super Bowl."


Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.