Saints earn big win at Eagles but NFC South title hopes end

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After playing in frigid Cleveland last Sunday, the New Orleans Saints played in what had to seem like tropical weather Sunday in Philadelphia with the temperature 53 degrees and sunny at game time.

The Eagles came in averaging 30 points per game. Of course, injured star quarterback Jalen Hurts did not play.

Of course, the Saints would come out and play a great game to pull the upset.

Of course, the Saints got no help as Carolina blew a two-score lead to lose at Tampa Bay, 30-24. The NFC South is officially out of play while the loss by the Vikings at Green Bay officially ended all playoff hopes.

Still, it was a great outcome for New Orleans.

It was also a great day for Cam Jordan, who set the all-time record for sacks in franchise history, surpassing the great Rickey Jackson.

Here are my Quick Takes from the 20-10 victory:

**Marshon Lattimore and Chris Olave returned for the Saints. It was the first game for Lattimore since October 9, who missed 10 straight games. He would make a huge difference.

**Inactives for the Saints were Marquez Callaway, Justin Evans, Chase Hansen, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Marcus Maye, Andrus Peat and Dwayne Washington.

**Gardner Minshew got the start in place of the injured Jalen Hurts for the Eagles.

**Philadelphia won the toss and deferred, giving the Saints the ball first.

**Josh Andrews and Calvin Throckmorton were the starting guards.

**Outstanding defensive end Josh Sweat was hurt on the opening series for the Eagles and was carted off with a neck injury.

**The Saints started the game with a huge drive, taking 8:58 off the clock, going 75 yards in 15 plays with Taysom Hill scoring on a 1-yard run to make it 7-0 with 6:02 to play in the opening quarter.

**On the drive, Dennis Allen, clearly playing to win, went for a fourth-and-2 at the Philadelphia 9-yard line, passing on a field goal attempt. Hill bulled his way for eight yards to the 1-yard line. It was an attitude run which set the tenor of the game for New Orleans.

**It was the longest scoring drive of the season for the Saints.

**Hill had four carries and one pass completion on the drive as Pete Carmichael wisely got him involved early.

**Kaden Elliss continued his breakout season with a sack of Minshew which was followed by a sack by Carl Granderson as the defense forced a 3-and-out on Philadelphia’s first possession.

**New Orleans had the ball for 12:52 of the first quarter and had 103 yards to just two yards for the Eagles.

**Two sacks of Dalton killed the second possession of the Saints.

**Cam Jordan got a big stop on third-and-1 on Minshew, staying home and making the tackle short of the first down, forcing a punt.

**Ryan Ramczyk left the with a hip injury, replaced by Landon Young and Young promptly got a holding call to kill the second drive by New Orleans.

**Wil Lutz came on and booted a 54-yard field goal to give the Saints a 10-0 lead with 8:30 to play in the half, capping a 22-yard drive in five plays.

**The Saints then forced their third consecutive 3-and-out as Granderson collected his second sack of the game.

**New Orleans added to the lead, driving 68 yards in seven plays, taking 3:55 off the clock with Lutz booting a 20-yard field goal to make it 13-0 with 3:05 to play in the half.

**The field goal was set up by a 58-yard completion from Dalton to Rashid Shaheed, who leads the NFL in yards per catch and added to that total. Unfortunately, the Saints could not punch it in despite a first-and-goal at the 6-yard line.

**Then, Dalton made the first poor decision and big mistake, throwing into coverage with Isiah Scott interception it at the Philadelphia 25-yard line. It was intended for Olave, who was covered. Johnson was wide open on a short route.

**The Eagles made their initial first down of the game with 12 seconds left in the first half on a 12-yard completion from Minshew to Dallas Goedert.

**The Saints ran 39 plays to just 17 for the Eagles in the half. The Saints had the ball for 22:50 to just 7:10 for Philadelphia.

**New Orleans amassed 247 yards to just 61 yards for Philadelphia.

**The Saints were 15 of 16 for 175 yards with the only incompletion being the interception by Dalton.

**It was the first time the Eagles were shut out in the first half this season.

**The Eagles took the second half kickoff and gashed the Saints on the ground.

**It appeared Philadelphia scored a touchdown but Kenneth Gainwell’s 28-yard scoring run was negated by a holding call against Landon Dickerson on Kentavius Street.

**That forced a 56-yard field goal by Jake Elliott to cut the deficit to 13-3 with 10:58 to pay in the third quarter. The drive covered 53 yards in nine plays, taking 4:02 off the clock.

**Philadelphia got a stop but on its next possession, the Eagles committed three false start penalties, resulting in a punt of just 26 yards, giving the Saints the ball at their own 40-yard line.

**Throckmorton gave up a sack to kill the drive, forcing a Blake Gillikin punt.

**Gillikin punted beautifully and special teams ace J.T. Gray made a leaping save to keep the ball from going into the end zone, batting it back into the field of play where it was downed at the Philadelphia 4-yard line on a 42-yard punt.

**It took the Eagles just two plays to score their first touchdown as Minshew found A.J. Brown on a long ball. Brown made the catch and ran away from defenders on a 78-yard score to make it 13-10 with 45 seconds left in the third quarter. Paulson Adebo was in man coverage, lost a hand-fight and lost the battle in decisive fashion.

**James Hurst was beaten for a sack, the fifth of the game by the Eagles on Dalton, to stop the next New Orleans possession.

**The Saints got a huge stop on a fourth-and-1 for the Eagles at midfield with 8:20 to play in the game. Demario Davis and Pete Werner came over the top and helped stop Minshew on a quarterback sneak.

**Then, Lattimore made his present felt. He stepped in front of a flat pass by Minshew, intended for Brown, picked it off and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-10 with 5:27 to play in the game.

**It was Lattimore’s first interception of the season and just the 12th takeaway by the Saints, last in the NFL. It was the fourth career interception against the Eagles for Lattimore.

**Jordan got his record-setting sack of Minshew in the fourth quarter to help stop an Eagles’ possession. That gave Jordan 115.5 for his career to the 115 for Jackson.

**The Saints turned to Hill to be the finisher and he delivered, rushing five straight times for 26 yards, moving the chains before Kamara ran for a first down to end it.

It was a terrific team win over the team with the best record in the NFL.

Veteran Daniel Sorensen played well, proving very valuable with injuries at safety.

Granderson continued his excellent play, which has earned him the starting defensive end job, opposite Jordan.

Shaheed continues his superb rookie season, as does Olave.

Elliss has earned his stripes this season.

The Saints won despite giving up seven sacks.

Ironically, each team ended up with 313 total yards.

Demario Davis surpassed 100 tackles for the fifth straight season, the first player in franchise history to do so.

With a chopped-up offensive line, the Saints ran the ball well for 130 yards with Kamara rushing 16 times for 74 yards and Hill rushing 14 times for 46 yards and a score. Hill also completed both of his pass attempts for 24 yards and he caught a pass for nine yards.

Shaheed had six catches for 79 yards while Juwan Johnson had five grabs for 62 yards with a drop.

New Orleans got a draw in the turnover department and were only penalized three times for 20 yards. When you minimize mistakes and play good defense, you win.

The Saints have now won three straight games for the first time this season.

The season finale is next Sunday at home against Carolina. All that remains is to finish well, playing for pride and building for the future.

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Ken Trahan


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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