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The Saints have their first road playoff win

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The Saints have slain their road dragon.

Shayne Graham’s 32-yard field goal as time expired gave the Saints a 26-24 victory over the Eagles, the first time they’ve won a road playoff game in the history of the franchise. The kick sends the Saints to Seattle next weekend, the site of one of their previous road failures in the postseason.

They’ll be heading to the Pacific Northwest thanks in large part to their running game and their defense. The Saints ran the ball 36 times for 185 yards, allowing them to control the tempo of the game for most of the night. It was an impressive performance by the offensive line and by a coterie of backs that didn’t include the injured Pierre Thomas, which led Sean Payton to lean on them late. The final drive, which followed Zach Ertz‘ go-ahead touchdown, started in Philly territory after a good Darren Sproles kick return and a Cary Williams horse collar that might have saved a touchdown, and the Saints ran the ball or kneeled on eight of nine plays to set up Graham’s kick.

Drew Brees played well in the second half, connecting on 10-of-12 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown, after throwing two interceptions in the first half. The running game was still the standout of the night for New Orleans, though, as it allowed them to answer once and for all whether they have the offensive adaptability to win when everything isn’t going their way through the air.

New Orleans hit a rough patch defensively after cornerback Keenan Lewis was knocked out of the game with a possible concussion, but their strong work until that point allowed them to survive 17 second-half points from the Eagles. The Saints held LeSean McCoy to 77 yards on 21 carries, a huge win given the occasional difficulties that the Saints had against the run during the regular season.

The Eagles will have plenty of things to kick themselves about when they look back on the game, including a brutal drop by Riley Cooper on third down in the third quarter when he had nothing but empty field between him and a huge gain. There was also a drive that featured a first down on the New Orleans 15-yard line in the first half that ended with no points, something that really stands out when you lose by two. They wound up being outgained by nearly 200 yards, telling you much of what you need to know about the work their offense and defense did on Saturday night.

Lewis’ status is certainly something to watch, but New Orleans should feel good about what they did on both sides of the ball while they try not to remember that they were run out of Seattle in a 34-7 loss not too long ago.

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65 Responses to “The Saints have their first road playoff win”
  1. otistaylor89 says: Jan 4, 2014 11:38 PM

    I think teams are to need to look harder, with offenses the way they are, of letting the other team score in order to get the ball back with enough time to score themselves.

  2. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Jan 4, 2014 11:38 PM

    When will teams learn to just let the runner score in those situations?

  3. nfl4days says: Jan 4, 2014 11:39 PM

    Drew brees: Horrible first half and great second half. Way to step up when you had too.
    Defense: GREAT JOB! The defense is the main reason we won this game. Rob Ryan is my coach of the year. Excellent gameplan to eliminate shady and Djax.
    Eagles team: Great game!
    Eagles fans in the stands: You’re trash. Booing EVERY injury is classless and ugly. Have fun booing at home in your couch.
    Chris Collinsworth: SHUT UP!
    Mark Ingram/ Robinson: BEAST! Tied with the
    defense for the reason we won! GREAT JOB.
    Shayne Graham: Money!!
    Keenan Lewis: Way to show HEART out there. Wish you could have went back in. Best free agent pickup for us.
    Terron Armstead: Great job on pro bowler trent cole!
    Sproles: Great kick off return at the end to force the big penalty.
    WHO DAT!?!?

  4. akasaintsbaby says: Jan 4, 2014 11:41 PM

    They won it by running the ball. They have a good run game and have had it all season but have chose not to use it much. I love it.

  5. jagsdynasty says: Jan 4, 2014 11:42 PM

    No Quinoa?

  6. t8ertot says: Jan 4, 2014 11:43 PM

    NFC least

  7. herlies says: Jan 4, 2014 11:43 PM

    47 years to win a road playoff game?

    That is unbelievable, but congrats to the Saints.

  8. igglesfan74 says: Jan 4, 2014 11:44 PM

    Sorry to see the Eagles season come to an end. An amazing turnaround from 4-12.
    Saints persevered and used time wisely and made good play calls in the 4th quarter to set up the win.
    Congrats to the Saints.

  9. taintedlombardis says: Jan 4, 2014 11:44 PM

    Saints beat the refs and Eagles. Another tainted contest.

  10. skoodsports says: Jan 4, 2014 11:45 PM

    Good year Eagles. The team is on the right track.

    Even if they did just break my heart a little bit.

  11. baltimoresnativeson says: Jan 4, 2014 11:47 PM

    Gritty win by saints. Didn’t think ole drewsy would pull it off in the cold. Probably get smoked again next week though.

  12. bennyb82 says: Jan 4, 2014 11:47 PM

    Gotta give props to Ingram finally looking like a legit NFL RB. The Saints are probably the last team the Seahawks wanted to face even if it is a home game.

  13. staffordsyear says: Jan 4, 2014 11:49 PM

    Nice! congrats Saints fans.

  14. timsmooth says: Jan 4, 2014 11:49 PM

    Everybody picked us to loose. GEAUX SAINTS!!

  15. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Jan 4, 2014 11:49 PM

    Chris Collinsworth is great !

  16. MichaelEdits says: Jan 4, 2014 11:50 PM

    On Rob Ryan’s card with the defensive plays and signals to call, I saw a picture of Buddy Ryan.

  17. twodat says: Jan 4, 2014 11:52 PM

    Saints held Gore, Lynch, Jackson, and several others under 50 yards Only two games with big rushing yards Jets and Rams

  18. boisestatewhodat says: Jan 4, 2014 11:53 PM

    This feels great…who dat!

  19. skippynj says: Jan 4, 2014 11:54 PM

    Wore my Brees jersey, had lots o beers, kicked philly butt , moving on to kick seattle butt, no prob with Philly faithful, see you next year as we move on…

  20. dolphins4 says: Jan 4, 2014 11:58 PM

    The Eagles defense sucks .So until they rebuild the defense they won’t win many playoff games.But Chip Kelly did a great job in his 1st year as head coach of the Eagles.

  21. elliottcovert says: Jan 5, 2014 12:00 AM

    I give them tremendous credit for notching a win predicated on defense and running. Drew Brees had a substandard game, but the Saints showed determination and persevered.

  22. number1hawkfan says: Jan 5, 2014 12:00 AM

    Looking forward to the game next Saturday up here in Seattle. Saints proved they can win on the road. I’m not over confident but all signs point to a Seahawks win. I’m hoping for a repeat of 2 months ago and a lot of rain. The saints won’t run the ball against us so we need all the help we can get against the pass.

  23. boisestatewhodat says: Jan 5, 2014 12:01 AM

    To all philly fans everywhere…thanks for all the motivation! Yall (southern who dat drawl and all baby) are awesome…Enjoy your off season.

  24. raiderapologist says: Jan 5, 2014 12:05 AM

    And Rob Ryan finally gets a playoff win as a DC. Still, no HC interviews.

  25. kehav1 says: Jan 5, 2014 12:06 AM

    Eagles played inconsistently and it caught up to them. The team showed their in-experience. Honestly speaking saints don’t look like they can beat Hawks.

  26. thefiesty1 says: Jan 5, 2014 12:09 AM

    Congrats Mr. Westlake.

  27. r0b1b0y says: Jan 5, 2014 12:18 AM

    Forte, Gore, Lynch, D. Williams twice, Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson twice, and now McCoy…….all shut down

  28. samapoc says: Jan 5, 2014 12:20 AM

    Saints have a chance to play the underdog card in Seattle!

  29. idothis2 says: Jan 5, 2014 12:26 AM

    i wonder if jerry jones misses rob ryan yet…

  30. saint970 says: Jan 5, 2014 12:31 AM

    But it was cold outside and away from the dome! what happened? Glad not to have to hear about the eagles until next season.

  31. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Jan 5, 2014 12:35 AM

    All signs point to a Saints victory next week in Seattle.

  32. cubano76 says: Jan 5, 2014 12:40 AM

    Shayne Graham showed up!!!!!!

  33. kezie says: Jan 5, 2014 12:44 AM

    good run philly. we were the better team today, see you again in the playoffs next year

  34. discosucs2005 says: Jan 5, 2014 1:06 AM

    I like how all the Philly fans were over on the Chiefs thread mocking Andy Reid for losing in the first round. “We’ve got Chip now!” You sure do.

  35. dukeearl says: Jan 5, 2014 1:28 AM

    Nice game Saints…
    Hope Seahawks can win next weeks game though!
    Good luck to the Saints!

  36. jimmysee says: Jan 5, 2014 1:30 AM

    So either the Packers or ‘Niners will play Carolina in Carolina.

    Very interesting.

    And the Iggles go home.

  37. Eric says: Jan 5, 2014 1:40 AM

    Wouldn’t their SB victory be a road win?

  38. ilovefoolsball says: Jan 5, 2014 1:46 AM

    I think as long as I pick against the saints they will continue to win.

  39. jameslongstaffe says: Jan 5, 2014 1:48 AM

    Much credit to the medical staff of the Saints & Chiefs. The doctors are an easy target, but they both did what was right under difficult circumstances, & I was really happy to see that. Good Job because this game deserves that:)

  40. osiris33 says: Jan 5, 2014 2:02 AM

    Next Saturday; Who dat going home for 6 months?

  41. n0hopeleft says: Jan 5, 2014 2:31 AM

    And the Eagles empty trophy case woes continue….

  42. MostlyRight says: Jan 5, 2014 3:24 AM

    Eagles feeling some Karma after being gifted the Cardinals game earlier this year.

  43. thegloriousone says: Jan 5, 2014 4:55 AM

    To all the Eagles fans who were ripping Andy Reid for losing to Indy…

    Does “one and done” feel better under Chip Kelly?

  44. coolmoe14 says: Jan 5, 2014 6:29 AM

    If the Saints keep winning, it will be in spite of Shayne “big game” Graham not because of him. Just a word of caution from a Bengals fan

  45. jharmon64 says: Jan 5, 2014 6:38 AM

    Congrats to the Saints.

    Ugly game, but I’m always glad a team boots their “stereotype” capabilities.

    In this case, winning a road game and winning in the cold.

    Nice running by Ingram/Saints and 4 big kicks by a veteran that was out of work a month ago.

  46. vapor54 says: Jan 5, 2014 7:55 AM

    Brees has to stop forcing the ball. Shayne helped us survive last night. D was good enough. Seattle is going to be tough.

  47. kev86 says: Jan 5, 2014 8:07 AM

    Pretty clear the NFC East needs the Giants back on top to win a SB.

  48. gunnybunny31 says: Jan 5, 2014 8:24 AM

    And The Eagles get another season with no Championship. Excellent.

    And now hopefully the ‘Hawks trounce the ‘Aints and we don’t have to see anymore of that cheeseball Drew Brees warmup dance. It’s just plain lame.

  49. sidepull says: Jan 5, 2014 8:53 AM

    Great game Saints.

  50. moshulu says: Jan 5, 2014 9:33 AM

    “brutal drop by Riley Cooper on third down in the third quarter when he had nothing but empty field between him and a huge gain.”

    Exactly, that would have been a game changer!!! Too bad, was looking for an Eagles win…..

    Hopefully Seattle will repeat December 2, 2013!!!

  51. bunkerhillbob says: Jan 5, 2014 9:47 AM

    Another great playoff game. Nice year for the Eagles with their new Coach and QB; Foles is the real deal. Impressive ball control at the end by the Saints to go ahead with no time left, using every second. I think this road win will help NO give a better account of themselves in Seattle this time around.

  52. grizzlybear54 says: Jan 5, 2014 9:54 AM

    Chip Kelly blew the game.
    He went into 2 min offense with 8 min to go in the game. They scored and left 5+ min left on the clock for Bree’s to drive for a FG.
    Very bad clock management.

  53. Youknowimright says: Jan 5, 2014 10:25 AM

    Eagles are just not that good. Plain and simple.

  54. skins1970 says: Jan 5, 2014 10:47 AM

    That game was closer then I expected, the eagles are not very good and simply not that talented.

  55. polapea says: Jan 5, 2014 10:49 AM

    Saints were the better team. They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

    Very good season for the Eagles, I know I didn’t see 10 wins happening. Now go draft a couple safeties, a NT, a big WR and a K.

  56. dberce1 says: Jan 5, 2014 11:17 AM

    Game balls to the o-line and Mark Ingram. Ingram has been running with determination since his return from injury.

  57. leatherface2012 says: Jan 5, 2014 12:28 PM

    and the 49ers will have a road win today because gb never has to play on the road

  58. sweetnlow44 says: Jan 5, 2014 1:04 PM

    Sure, congrats on the win. But keep it in perspective… It was against the Eagles. Neither team was impressive. The Saints have to play a whole lot better to win in Seattle next week.

  59. saintsallday says: Jan 5, 2014 1:25 PM

    Take that haters. Everyone was saying eagles were gonna win. How bout now?! Tough game next week in Seattle, but it’s gonna be competitive and may the best team win. Go Saints!!

  60. phillyphannnn83 says: Jan 5, 2014 1:29 PM

    If Riley makes that catch, which was as routine as yo could ask for, it changes the entire game. Damn. At any rate, the haters are ridiculous. They said Chip was Spurrier 2.0. As a rookie Head Coach with no prior NFL experience, he lead a 4-12 team to a 10 win season and a division title. They said his offense was a gimmick and wouldn’t work in the NFL. It was the #2 offense in the league and featured the #1 QB by passer rating and the #1 RB. The more you people hate, the dumber you make yourselves look! This team is going nowhere but up!!

    Go Birds!! Fly Eagles Fly!!

  61. bikerhal says: Jan 5, 2014 1:47 PM

    Good game Philly – Nick Foles is a keeper. I expect better times ahead for your team in the future.

    The only negative I have an issue with is the booing of injured players. I notice that when the Saints were driving on the last possession, the fans in the stand did not boo when one of the Eagle players went down. -)

    Come on, man! Show some class.

  62. lovetohate12 says: Jan 5, 2014 2:06 PM

    Eagles=worst team that WAS in the playoffs

  63. jjackwagon says: Jan 5, 2014 2:48 PM

    Hey eagles fan, Kelly just lost your playoff game. How come you aren’t blaming him? I guess you are too busy over on the Chiefs articles blaming Andy Reid.

  64. greatestgamensports says: Jan 5, 2014 5:47 PM

    Philly LOL
    Chip LOL
    Philly fans LOL

  65. jocyn says: Jan 6, 2014 1:01 PM

    and in response to the last comment all there is to say is “Cowboys = Choke = LOL!
    Keep on dreaming of past days pal. Maybe someday you’ll wake up to the reality that those days are long gone.

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