Max Jean-Gilles vs. Hollis Thomas
If you're into sumo wrestling, former Eagles or the progress of players with little NFL experience, then this is the matchup for you. It also should be an important one in determining the outcome of the game, because a year ago, Thomas played two outstanding games against his former team.
Jean-Gilles, making his first NFL start after replacing the injured Shawn Andrews last week, is listed at 6-foot-3 and 358 pounds. Thomas, three inches shorter, is listed at a generous 306 pounds.
One of the things the Eagles did well in beating the Cowboys last week was control the football, winning the time-of-possession battle by nearly eight minutes. It's something they should strive for again against the Saints' explosive offense, and opening holes for running back Brian Westbrook will be a challenge for Jean-Gilles against a big body like Thomas.
Pass-blocking also should be a good challenge for Jean-Gilles. Thomas has 61/2 sacks in his two seasons with the Saints, after posting none in his final four seasons with the Eagles.