After another slow start Sunday, the Eagles recovered in a big way to pick up an important win.
And keep their season alive.
The Eagles overcame two ugly first-half interceptions to beat the lackluster Saints, 39-17. The Eagles outgained the Saints, 519-389, on the afternoon.
The win gives the Eagles a 2-3 record to go along with some hope. The Saints fell to 1-4.
The Eagles' offense came out strong but finished two long drives without points after two Sam Bradford passes on consecutive offensive drives were intercepted in the end zone.
The Eagles’ offense finally found success rushing the ball against the Saints, who came into the game giving up 123 yards per game on the ground. Of their 519 yards, 186 of them came on the ground.
The Eagles’ defense had a nice afternoon as well, limiting Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense to one touchdown until the last (and meaningless) play of the game. The defense forced and recovered three fumbles and intercepted Brees once.
The win was the first at home for the Eagles since a 43-24 win over the Titans at the Linc on Nov. 23, 2014.
Sam Bradford hit Josh Huff for a 41-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Huff gathered in the short completion, two Saints collided, and Huff took it to the house. It was the first receiving touchdown of Huff’s career.
Before that drive, the Eagles’ two previous drives ended with Bradford interceptions in the end zone. Those two interceptions killed 8- and 10-play drives. The Eagles were in control on offense but until that drive and that play, they couldn’t score.
The Eagles piled up 519 yards of total offense on Sunday. Sunday was the first 500-plus yard game for the Eagles' offense since last Oct. 26 against the Cardinals.
The tight ends got involved early and found some room in the middle of the field. Zach Ertz made some nice plays and Brent Celek caught a touchdown pass. Ertz had five catches for 60 yards. Celek had three catches, 44 yards and a touchdown.
Josh Huff caught his first touchdown pass and had his best career game as an NFL receiver. Huff was expected to have an expanded role in his second season but the season got off to a slow start for him. He could be a very big weapon for the Eagles if he has turned it around.
Bradford did some good things but prevented the Eagles from jumping out to a big lead early. He threw two interceptions in the end zone on consecutive drives.
The Eagles took their second possession of the game 68 yards on eight plays but Bradford's pass to Riley Cooper in the end zone was underthrown and intercepted. That was the Saints' first interception of the season. They didn't have to wait long for another.
After the Saints put together a touchdown drive, the Eagles went on a drive of their own again. This time, Ryan Mathews led most of the 10-play, 66-yard drive. But again, Bradford was intercepted in the end zone.
The Eagles wasted an eight-play drive and a 10-play drive.
Fletcher Cox was a monster Sunday. He took advantage of the Saints’ injury-depleted offensive line, causing trouble up front. He had two sacks in the first half. It was the first two-sack game of the lineman’s career. On his second sack, he forced a fumble, which the Eagles recovered. That led to an Eagles’ field goal.
In the third quarter, he picked up his third sack of the game. On that one, he stripped the ball and recovered the fumble on the New Orleans’ 13-yard line. Celek caught a touchdown pass on the next play.
The Saints’ first offensive touchdown came in the first half on a pass from Brees to Ben Watson. On that play, it looked like rookie Jordan Hicks was supposed to cover Watson but didn’t.
Hicks did make a nice play and nearly intercepted a ball early in the fourth quarter.
Brees added a garbage-time TD to Brandin Cooks as time expired.
Caleb Sturgis did miss an extra point but drilled all four of his field goals. His longest of the day was a 41-yarder.
Wideout Nelson Agholor injured his left ankle in the first half and didn’t return. Celek suffered a stinger but returned to action during the game.
Left tackle Jason Peters (quad) and right tackle Lane Johnson (knee) each started and played the entire game.
The Eagles will host an NFC East battle next Monday night against the Giants. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m.
The following week, the Birds will fly south to face the Carolina Panthers in a Sunday night game before their bye week.