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.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)