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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 24 January, 2019

Brees orchestrates comeback as Saints end Eagles' run

The top-ranked New Orleans Saints earned a showdown with the Los Angeles Rams after dethroning the Philadelphia Eagles.

Drew Brees and Nick Foles embrace after the playoff game last night.
Drew Brees and Nick Foles embrace after the playoff game last night.

THE NEW ORLEANS Saints moved through to the NFC championship game after coming from behind to beat reigning Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14.

Things were a little different when the Eagles travelled to New Orleans for the second time this season, although the steaks were certainly higher on Sunday.

In the two team’s previous meeting, Philadelphia were without quarterback Nick Foles — who has since replaced an injured Carson Wentz — and former Saints running back Darren Sproles, who was out with a hamstring injury. 

But, the one thing that remained the same was New Orleans coming away with a victory as the top-ranked Saints earned a showdown with the Los Angeles Rams.

Source: NFL/YouTube

Brees sparked the greatest playoff comeback in Saints history from a 14-0 deficit.

“Obviously we didn’t start this game the way we wanted to,” Brees said. “They jumped out to a 14-point lead. We were calm, we were poised, we knew were going to get things going.”

The Saints blasted Philadelphia 48-7 in a November meeting, but the Eagles’ Cre’Von LeBlanc intercepted Brees’s first pass to set up a 37-yard Nick Foles touchdown toss to Jordan Matthews. Foles followed with a 1-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter.

New Orleans answered with a 12-play, 79-yard touchdown drive sustained by a Taysom Hill fake punt run and capped by a 2-yard Brees touchdown pass to rookie Keith Kirkwood. Will Lutz’s 45-yard field goal made it 14-10 at half-time.

The Saints made a season-longest 18-play, 92-yard touchdown march that took 11:29 of the third quarter and ended with a 2-yard Brees touchdown pass to Michael Thomas and Lutz added a 39-yard field goal.

Lutz missed from 52 yards with 2:58 remaining and the Eagles drove into Saints territory but a Foles pass deflected off the hands of Alshon Jeffery and into those of Saints defender Marshon Lattimore for an interception and New Orleans ran out the clock.

- © AFP 2019

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