For New Year’s, the New Orleans Saints spent their day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania playing the Eagles to try and keep their playoff chances alive. The Black and Gold dominated in the first half, but Gardner Minshew and the Eagles flipped the script to cut it to within three. The defense of New Orleans stood tall though as the Saints defeated Philly 20-10.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
New Orleans started the game with the ball and burned through nearly the first nine minutes as they went 75 yards for the touchdown on 15 plays. Andy Dalton completed his first five passes early on in the drive then, it was all Taysom Hill, who carried the ball on the last three plays, including the one-yard score.
Philadelphia on their first two possessions couldn’t get much of anything going. Quarterback Garnder Minshew was sacked three times and the offense of the Eagles went three and out both times.
The Saints had a short drive as they started at their own 42-yard line. Hill started at QB and connected with tight end Juwan Johnson running down the seam for a 17-yard catch. Four plays later, Wil Lutz lined up and drilled a 54-yard field goal to put New Orleans up 10-0 with 8:30 left in the second quarter.
After another three-play possession for the Eagles, New Orleans threatened to score again. On 3rd & 4, Dalton went deep down the right sideline to Rashid Shaheed for a pitch and catch of 58 yards to set up 1st & GOAL at the six-yard line of Philadelphia. On 3rd & GOAL, Hill was stood up and Lutz would come on for a 20-yard kick to give the Saints the 13-point lead.
The Saints tried to squeeze in one more score before halftime. Dalton looked to hit Chris Olave, but his pass was intercepted by Josiah Scott with 34 seconds left. Philly picked up the first two first downs on that last drive. They couldn’t line up for a field goal as the teams headed to the locker rooms as the Saints led 13-0.
Out of the intermission, the Eagles received the ball and built on the little bit of momentum. Miles Sanders had a couple of nice gains for 23 total yards while Minshew completed three passes for 34 yards, one to Dallas Goedert for 18 yards and two to Devonta Smith for 16. A 28-yard touchdown by Kenneth Gainwell was called back via an offensive holding penalty that eventually called for the kicker Jake Elliott to knock down a 56-yard field goal for the first points of the day for Philly.
Following a three-and-out by New Orleans, the Eagles got the ball back to try and make it a one-score game. Three different offensive linemen for Philly were called for a false start, which led to a bad, 26-yard punt by Brett Kern to the New Orleans 40.
With 45 seconds left in the third quarter, Minshew went deep to AJ Brown for a 78-yard touchdown as he ran past players like Paulson Adebo and Daniel Sorensen. The Eagles’ deficit was now three.
After five straight possessions of no scoring, Marshon Lattimore broke the silence with a 12-yard pick-six to give the Saints the 10-point advantage with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans would burn through the rest of the clock to secure the 20-10 win for their seventh win of the season.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Taysom Hill
Hill did a little bit of everything for the Saints on Sunday as he completed both of his pass attempts for 24 yards, ran 14 times for 46 yards for the offense’s lone touchdown, caught a pass for nine yards, and nearly came up with a blocked punt a couple of times as New Orleans beat Philadelphia 20-10 on New Year’s Day.
BIG NUMBER: 13
Between both teams, we saw a total of 12 sacks on the day as Andy Dalton and Garnder Minshew were sacked six times and Taysom Hill was once. The total yardage lost was 73.
UP NEXT: The New Orleans Saints will finish out the regular season in the Caesars Superdome as they play the Carolina Panthers. Kickoff is Sunday, January 8th but no time has been decided.