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Eagles have all the motivation needed vs Saints

November 15, 2018

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz celebrates his touchdown catch on a pass form quarterback Carson Wentz during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The standings give Malcolm Jenkins and the Philadelphia Eagles all the motivation they need against the New Orleans Saints.

Trash talk doesn’t matter when your season is on the line.

The Saints (8-1) were 10 seconds away from facing the Eagles in the NFC championship game last January before the “Minneapolis Miracle” ended their season.

Alvin Kamara used colorful language when he told a reporter in August the Saints would’ve defeated the Eagles, who ended up routing the Vikings and beating the Patriots for their first Super Bowl title.

“We won the Super Bowl,” Jenkins said. “The bulletin board material is more for you guys than us.”

Kamara explained his thoughts Thursday.

“I don’t care if we’re playing against the Monstars (from “Space Jam”). My team, whatever team I’m on, I’m going to say we’re going to win. Period,” the star running back said. “And I guarantee it’s the same way with any other guy in this league that feels strongly about the team they’re on. ... It’s no disrespect, direct disrespect to, you know, I didn’t call a name or call like direct names. It’s just my team against your team. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”

The Eagles (4-5) trail Washington (6-3) in the NFC East and need an upset to avoid falling further behind. That’s plenty of incentive when they face Kamara and the Saints on Sunday at the Superdome.

“I have a laundry list of reasons why I want to be excited for this game,” said Jenkins, who played his first five seasons in New Orleans. “One, is it’s our next game. Two, our season is kind of in the balance. I could go on for days, so I don’t need any more motivation.”

The Saints would’ve presented a different challenge for the Eagles 10 months ago for various reasons. Foremost, Drew Brees is an elite quarterback who already won a playoff game in Philadelphia’s hostile stadium.

Instead, Case Keenum led the Vikings to Philadelphia and tossed a momentum-changing pick-6 in the first quarter. Nick Foles and the offense did the rest in a 38-7 victory.

“It is done and gone,” Brees said about the team’s last-second loss to Minnesota in the divisional round. “I thought about it back then, but not now. It is a new season, new team. Here we are now, we’re playing now.”

While the Eagles are desperate for a win, the Saints are trying to keep pace with the Rams (9-1). They already own the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed because of a win over Los Angeles.

“We have our work cut out for us and we know what type of game it’s going to be,” Brees said. “We know they’re coming in hungry for a win. Both teams have a lot to play for.”

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AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this report.

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