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Who Will Win?
Playing in front of their hometown fans, the Eagles decide to receive and try to get their offense going right out of the gate and start at their own 31.
The offense was soaring on their opening drive, going 10 plays for 69 yards, capped off by a 1 yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy to give the Eagles an early 7-0 lead.
As good as the Eagles offense was, their defense came out flat as the Saints run game marched right down into Eagles territory. However Brandon Boykin, who picked off Kyle Orton to end the Cowboys season, picks off Drew Brees, after the ball tipped off of Marques Colston's hands.
Nick Foles and the Eagles took full advantage of getting another opportunity to add on to their early lead. After a 27 yard run by McCoy put the Eagles deep into Saints territory, Foles found rookie Zach Ertz wide open in the back of the end zone for an easy touchdown, giving the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
End of 1st: Eagles 14 Saints 0
Hooking up with 4 different receivers on the drive, Drew Brees drove the Saints down the field, hitting Jimmy Graham for an 11 yard touchdown. It was challenged and after official review, the ruling on the field was overturned, and he was ruled down at the 1 yard line. On the next play Brees handed the ball off to Mark Ingram who slammed it up the middle to cut the Eagles lead in half.
Brad Smith, with the help to some big time blocks was able to run right up the sideline on the kickoff, getting all the way to the Saints 49, giving the Eagles excellent field position.
In what looked to be another easy drive for the Eagles that would lead to a third touchdown, the offense stalled inside the Saints 5 and walked away with an Alex Henery 21 yard field goal.
Another ball thrown by Brees, into coverage, was batted around before being picked off by Cary Williams. This set the Eagles up at the Saints 37.
After a 24 yard run by McCoy, Nick Foles was able to hit Jason Avant on a slant route, for 6 yards on third and 6, and McCoy finished it off with a 3 yard touchdown run.
Tiring out the defense as the Saints went with the no huddle, Drew Brees completed 7 passes, capped off by a 4 yard touchdown to Colston with just 23 seconds left in the half.
At the Half: Eagles 24 Saints 14
Trying to establish a run game, the Saints started the second half with multiple runs and it almost cost them. Pierre Thomas fumbled right around midfield, but Jimmy Graham was there to recover it. The next play Brees hit Graham for 24 yards down the middle of the field and then Lance Moore absolutely burned Cary Williams down the sideline for a 27 yard touchdown to cut the Eagles lead to just 3.
Instead of attempting a long 55 yard field goal against the wind, Chip Kelly decided to punt the ball away, trying to pin the Saints deep inside their own zone. However the punt by Donnie Jones sailed into the end zone and the Saints took over at the 20.
Darren Sproles, getting only his second carry of the night, gets stripped by Patrick Chung, his second forced fumble of the game, and it was recovered by Connor Barwin, giving the Eagles the ball at the Saints 31.
Facing a possible 3 and out, Foles dumped off a pass to McCoy who followed his blocking up the sideline and took it to the house for 28 yards. His third touchdown of the game.
After a big sack by Barwin on 1st down, the Saints were unable to pick up a first down, and were forced to punt, a quick 3 and out.
The Eagles continued to convert on third down and it was DeSean Jackson getting it done. He quietly had 9 catches for 106 yards at the end of 3 quarters.
After 3: Eagles 31 Saints 21
On the Saints 42, facing 4th and 4, Chip Kelly decides to take a gamble as he went for it and Nick Foles was unable to connect with Brent Celek, giving the ball back to New Orleans around midfield..
On third and 1 from the Eagles 15, Brees hit Graham along the sideline who picked up the first, then found plenty of running room in front of him, taking it the distance and making this a 3 point game with 5:29 left to play.
Despite giving up a 25 yard run to Bryce Brown, the Saints defense made some stops and forced the Eagles to punt, with just 3:58 remaining.
Down 3 at their own 21, it literally took just two plays for the Saints to get into field goal range. Brees found Moore down the middle of the field for 27 yards, then hit his tight end Graham once again for 30 yards on a free play thanks to an offsides call against the Eagles.
With the clock on their side the Saints decided to run the ball, as they did not want to give Nick Foles and the Eagles offense a chance to win it.
On third and 10, Brees connected with Colston who broke a few tackles picking up the first down before getting tackled at the 4.
After two running plays with Pierre Thomas failed to find the end zone, Drew Brees dropped back to throw from the 2, scrambled out of the pocket to escape the pressure, and found Lance Moore in the back corner of the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. This gave the Saints their first lead 35-31 with just 1:06 remaining and two timeouts.
Completing passes to Jackson, McCoy, Celek, Jason Avant and Riley Cooper, the Eagles found themselves at the Saints 15 with just 14 seconds left and 1 time out.
McCoy caught a pass over the middle but was tackled at the 2 and the Eagles were forced to use their last time out with just 6 seconds left.
As Foles dropped back to pass, Parys Haralson busted through the offensive line, hitting Foles as he was about to pass and forced a fumble which was recovered by the Eagles but with no timeouts, they were not able to stop the clock and their season comes ends, just 2 yards short.
Final Score - Saints 35 Eagles 31
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