Game Recap: The Eagles had other ideas about how to bring in the new year. Without Jalen Hurts and Lane Johnson, the offense struggled terribly, but the Saints made enough huge plays on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field to defeat the Eagles 20-10.
Why does this matter? The Eagles (13-3) must defeat the New York Giants in Week 18 (date and time TBD) in order to clinch the NFC East division title and the top seed in the NFC playoffs. The Eagles have now dropped two straight games.
The Saints increased their winning streak to three games in an effort to maintain their tenuous playoff aspirations by containing the league’s top offense. It was not until right before halftime that the Eagles gained a first down. Gardner Minshew completed 18 of 32 passes for 274 yards. Six times during the game, he was sacked. A.J. Brown caught a 78-yard touchdown pass from Minshew at the end of the third quarter, cutting New Orleans’ lead to 13-10 and giving the Eagles new life. However, in the fourth quarter, cornerback Marshon Lattimore scored a pick-six by returning a Minshew interception 12 yards.
On 12 carries, running back Miles Sanders amassed 61 yards. Brown gained 97 yards and the touchdown on four catches. DeVonta Smith had the most receptions (9 for 115 yards), by far.
Andy Dalton, the Saints’ quarterback, completed 18 of his 22 passes for 204 yards and one interception. By alternating between straight snaps to Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara on the game’s first drive, the Saints managed to throw the Eagles off guard. On a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, the Saints were almost nine minutes off the clock and never trailed. Hill completed two passes for a total of 24 yards, ran for 46 yards and a score, and also caught one catch for nine yards. Alvin Kamara, a running back, gained 74 yards on the ground and 7 through receptions. Rashid Shaheed, a wide receiver, led the Saints in receiving yards with 79 on six catches.
Protective end With two sacks on the day, Brandon Graham surpassed the double-digit mark for the first time in his career and now has a career-high 11 for the year. Haason Reddick added two more sacks to his total of 16 for the year. Seven sacks were registered by the defense, while the interception was made by CB Josiah Scott.
Here’s how the game unfolded in real-time:
- After winning the toss, the Eagles decided to defer until the second half. The Saints start the contest offensively. Taysom Hill immediately took a direct snap at the quarterback. T.J. Edwards, a linebacker, stopped Hill for no gain and ended the play. On 3rd-and-4, though, quarterback Andy Dalton connected underneath with tight end Juwan Johnson for 10 yards and a first down. Dalton connected with wide receiver Chris Olave out of the slot on a slant for 8 yards to the Eagles’ 28 as the Saints successfully converted another 3rd-and-4. Fullback Adam Prentice gained 2 yards on a run on a 3rd-and-1 at the Eagles’ 19, but more significantly, defensive end Josh Sweat was down after helping to make the tackle. With 9:19 left in the opening frame, Sweat was taken off the field on a cart. The Lincoln Financial Field sold-out crowd yelled Sweat’s name and gave the rookie Pro Bowl pass rusher a standing ovation as the whole Eagles sideline moved over to the cart.
- Kamara received a straight snap after the game resumed and rushed for a 4-yard gain. On the second down, tight end Adam Trautman had a wonderful option for Dalton, but linebacker Patrick Johnson did a great job removing him, and center Erik McCoy was called for being an unlawful man downfield. On 3rd-and-3 from 11, Hill took the direct snap but was stopped after only gaining 1 yard. On 4th down, Hill received the ball once more and ran for 8 yards to the 2 to set up goal-to-go. The Saints took the lead right away as Hill punched the ball in during the following play.
- A 75-yard drive that took 15 plays and over nine minutes to complete. Keep in mind that Hill sat out of the game when these two teams faced off at Lincoln Financial Field last year; the Eagles easily prevailed, 40-29.
SAINTS 7, EAGLES 0 – 6:02 remaining
- Linebacker Kaden Elliss of the Saints blitzes on the Eagles’ opening offensive play and succeeds in sacking Gardner Minshew for a loss of six yards. On the second offensive play, Minshew ducked to his left to avoid pressure and was sacked once more by defensive end Carl Granderson. The Eagles’ offense managed just a quick three-and-out.
- Josh Sweat Update: As a precaution, Sweat was sent to a nearby hospital with a neck injury. He can move all of his limbs.
- The Saints keep converting 3rd-down chances. Rashid Shaheed, a wide receiver, first received a 9-yard pass on a short out route in front of Marcus Epps, a safety. Hill then took a direct snap on third-and-1 from the Eagles’ 47 for a 3-yard gain. Javon Hargrave sacked Dalton to finish the third quarter, losing 5 yards. The Saints will kick off at the 49-yard line of the Eagles.
Game Recap: Saints vs. Eagles | January 1, 2023
- The drive is perfectly capped off by the Eagles. For his tenth sack of the year, Brandon Graham decapitated Dalton. He made it to double digits for the first time in his career. He joins Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave, and Haason Reddick as the fourth Eagle to record ten or more sacks this year. Four players from the same club each had double-digit sacks in a season for the first time in NFL history. With 63, that sack broke the 1989 Buddy Ryan team’s previous record of 62 for the most in a single season by the club.
- The offensive suffers yet another three-and-out. With two carries, Miles Sanders picked up 9 yards. However, on 3rd-and-1, Minshew fumbled and was sacked by defensive end Cameron Jordan for no gain.
- Ryan Ramczyk, a lineman with the Saints, has a hip injury and is questionable to play again.
- The difficulty with Hill is that he will also have to play quarterback. Hill fired a shotgun snap to Johnson for 17 yards, bringing the drive’s starting point to the Eagles’ 41-yard line. In response to the Eagles’ pass rush, offensive lineman Landon Young was penalized for holding, moving the Saints back to their 49-yard line. In the end, Wil Lutz’s 54-yard field goal was the Saints’ only option.
SAINTS 10, EAGLES 0 – 8:30 remaining
- The pass rush by the Saints has been brutal. In order to avoid a third down and a first down, Minshew checked the ball to Kenneth Gainwell after Granderson recorded his second sack of the game. triple drives Three outs and a three.
- Shaheed gained 58 yards on a slant-and-go route down the right sideline against James Bradberry on 3rd-and-4 after Dalton threw an over-the-shoulder pass to him at the Eagles’ 6-yard line. When Hill attempted to run the direct snap out of the shotgun on third-and-goal from the one, a wave of midnight green, led by Edwards and Hargrave, overwhelmed him. The Saints settle for a field goal from 20 yards by Lutz.
SAINTS 13, EAGLES 0 – 3:05 remaining
- For the offense, a fourth three-and-out. A.J. Brown gained 7 yards on a slant, but Minshew’s deep pass to DeVonta Smith down the right side on third-and-3 was incomplete.
- Josiah Scott, a cornerback, ignites the game with an interception of a Dalton pass intended for Olave along the right sideline, following a 5-yard loss on a sack by Haason Reddick. With 34 seconds left in the half, Scott returned the kick 13 yards to the Eagles’ 25-yard line.
- On the first play of the first half, Jordan sacked Minshew for the second time and fifth time overall for the squad. The Eagles take a break with 26 seconds remaining. With 11 seconds left in the first half, the Eagles gain their first first down. On third-and-7, Minshew hit Dallas Goedert for a 12-yard gain after connecting with Brown on an 8-yard pass earlier in the drive. DeVonta Smith received a short outside pass to end the half, and he carried it in for a 25-yard gain to the Saint’s 35-yard line. The second half will begin with the Eagles having the ball first.
- Following a holding infraction by linebacker Kyron Johnson on the kickoff to open the second half, the Eagles begin to play at their own 9. Running back Miles Sanders receives assistance from the Eagles, gaining 9 and 14 yards on back-to-back plays. Goedert gains 18 yards to the midfield after being hit by Minshew. Two plays later, on a wide receiver screen, Minshew connected with DeVonta Smith for a 15-yard gain to the Saint’s 34-yard line. To create a second-and-two situation, Boston Scott gains 8 yards running off the left tackle. It appeared as though Kenneth Gainwell burst a 28-yard touchdown run after Scott lost 2 yards, with Landon Dickerson’s pancake block serving as the pivot. However, the Eagles were penalized for holding; although tackle Jordan Mailata was given the blame, the penalty was really given to Dickerson. Jake Elliott’s 56-yard field goal gave the Eagles the lead.
- Elliott’s season-long field goal makes him 3-of-4 from 50+ yards out.
SAINTS 13, EAGLES 3 – 10:58 remaining
- To give the offense the ball back, the defense completes a three-and-out. On third down, safety K’Von Wallace helps the defense by intercepting the pass meant for Johnson.
- Sanders launches the offense. Sanders gains 9 yards, 4 yards, 6 yards, and 2 yards on four carries. Dickerson makes a false start penalty on third-and-two. Jason Kelce receives a false start penalty after that. On 3rd-and-12, Minshew gets hit by Granderson as he throws the ball, and Smith makes a spectacular catch for the first down against Marshon Lattimore’s coverage at the sticks. Isaac Seumalo made the offensive line’s third false start of the drive while facing a 3rd-and-8. Smith’s third-down pass from Minshew was incomplete and high. At the age of forty, saints take over.
- On a first-down run, Kamara gains 15 yards down the left sideline. Fletcher Cox’s 12-yard sack two plays later, though, neutralized it. Eno Benjamin receives a short pass from Dalton on 3rd-and-20 for a gain of 9 yards, but the Saints are forced to kick the ball away. With 2:14 remaining in the period, the Eagles take over at their own 4.
- To start the drive, Minshew launches a pass from outside the end zone that is caught by Smith for 12 yards on an out route and another 6 yards on a slant route. THEN A.J. Brown made a huge play that led to a touchdown. After beating Paulson Adebo on an out-and-up and catching the ball along the right sideline at midfield, Brown took off for the 78-yard score as Daniel Sorenson failed to corner him.
SAINTS 13, EAGLES 10 – 0:45 remaining
- A 16-yard pass on a crossing pattern to Trautman and a 7-yard run by Kamara to the Saints’ 48-yard line marks the end of the third quarter.