Coach Sean Payton pointed to New Orleans' nearly 10-minute edge in time of possession, converting seven of 13 third downs compared to the Eagles' three of 12, its 185-80 advantage in rushing yards and its 434-256 domination in total yards.
|Saints defenders Cameron Jordon (94) Junior Galette (93) and David Hawthorne (57) pursue Eagles running back LeSean McCoy.|
METAIRIE, La. (AP) — With a trip to Seattle looming, the New Orleans Saints gained more confidence from the first road playoff win in franchise history than Saturday's 26-24 margin at Philadelphia indicated.
Before kicker Shayne Graham connected on a 32-yard field goal as time ran out, the Saints dominated the Eagles statistically.
"Certainly when you watch the tape, the score could have been a lot bigger on our part," coach Sean Payton said Sunday. "It was a great team win."
Specifically, Payton pointed to New Orleans' nearly 10-minute edge in time of possession, converting seven of 13 third downs compared to the Eagles' three of 12, its 185-80 advantage in rushing yards and its 434-256 domination in total yards.
Philadelphia, which had won seven of its last eight to claim the NFC East, entered as the NFL's leading rushing team, averaging 160.4 yards. The Saints held LeSean McCoy, who had a league-high 1,607 yards in the regular season, to 77 yards on 21 carries with a long gain of 11.
"We tackled well and pursued to the ball," Payton said. "We really felt that was going to be important. He's such an exceptional player and has the ability to cut back. Your angles and gap integrity have to be really good because it might start out going right, then all of a sudden, it ends up all the way around the left end."
Conversely, New Orleans ran right at a Philadelphia defense that had limited five consecutive opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards. The Saints' number of carries (36) and yards were higher than in all but one regular-season game, and they rushed for 54 more yards than their second-best total.
On their final drive, Drew Brees threw one pass while the Saints ran eight times, getting three first downs to move from the Philadelphia 48 to the 14.
"We controlled both lines of scrimmage," Payton said. "When you do that, you have a good chance of winning."
That advantage allowed New Orleans to overcome two interceptions by Brees in the first half and become a rare team to win on the road in the playoffs while losing the turnover battle.
Trailing 7-6 at the break, New Orleans scored touchdowns on its first two possessions of the third quarter.
"At halftime, to some degree, we were fortunate to be down just a point after the turnovers," Payton said. "We felt like if we put our best football together and executed and did the things we had to do then, the result would take care of itself."
They also took care of having to answer questions again about their winless playoff record in opposing stadiums. The Saints were 0-5 overall and 0-3 under Payton, who downplayed that statistic all week.
"It is great for the city and it's great for our team, just momentum as we move through the playoffs," tight end Benjamin Watson said. "To win on the road in this league is tough as we saw through the regular season. To win in a hostile environment, the cold, in Philadelphia, it brings great confidence for our team."
They'll need all of that confidence in Seattle, which buried the Saints 34-7 on Dec. 2 in the midst of New Orleans' four-game road losing streak to end the regular season.
At least the Saints know what they will face next Saturday at raucous CenturyLink Field. They will try to duplicate what the New York Jets did three years ago when they won at New England in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs after losing there 45-3 a month earlier.
"When you face an opponent previously in the season, you have a better idea of what you're going against," New Orleans defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley said. "It helps you prepare for it a little bit better."
Notes: Payton offered no update on the status of CB Keenan Lewis, who left in the third quarter with a concussion, or any other player. ... The Saints will be off Monday before practicing Tuesday.
At a recent fundraiser held not far from the banks of Capitol Lake, Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, spent more time eyeing the water body than the influencers at the party.
Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.
Louisiana lawmakers are entering the second half of their three-month regular legislative session, which must end by June 2. Where some of the major issues stand:
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, April 21, 2014:
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.