Saints squeak past Eagles into NFC championship game

January 14, 2019 1:51 AM

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Brees had 2-yard touchdown passes to rookie Keith Kirkwood and all-pro wideout Michael Thomas, who had 12 receptions for 171 yards.

Philadelphia had ball for more than nine minutes in the first quarter, after which the Eagles had the ball about 13 minutes and never scored.

New Orleans, which routed Philadelphia 48-7 in November, gambled on its first play — and lost. Brees was a bit short on a deep pass to Ted Ginn Jr., and it was picked off by Cre’Von LeBlanc, one of several Eagles backups being used in the secondary due to injuries during the regular season.

“I just think we had to find our rhythm,” Brees said. “I tried to take a shot on the first play. Unfortunately, that didn’t work.”

Foles completed all five throws on a 76-yard drive capped by Jordan Matthews’ 37-yard TD catch. The Eagles, who quickly fell behind 17-0 in that previous Superdome loss, suddenly led 7-0.

Not long after, a 75-yard drive highlighted by a 30-yard pass to Jeffery ended with Foles’ short leap over the goal line for a 14-0 edge.

Indeed, the visitors were in control until Lattimore picked off Foles’ deep throw to Zach Ertz. The Saints showed plenty of moxie on their 79-yard march to a touchdown, faking a punt at their 30, with Taysom Hill running four yards for a first down. They also went on fourth-and-goal from the 2, and Philadelphia’s rapidly depleting defence surrendered Kirkwood’s two-yard touchdown.

With Brees finding the range and his receivers finding loads of room to roam, New Orleans crept to 14-10 at halftime on Lutz’s 45-yard field goal.

Source: thestar.com

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