The Saints have their first road playoff win

Getty Images

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.

65 responses to “The Saints have their first road playoff win

  1. 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. 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!?!?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

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

    Very interesting.

    And the Iggles go home.

  16. 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:)

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

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. “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!!!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

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

  26. 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.

  27. 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!!

  28. 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!!
    ICWT

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

Leave a Reply