PHILADELPHIA – Shayne Graham, signed by the Saints just over two weeks ago, kicked a 32-yard field goal on the final play Saturday night to give New Orleans its first road playoff victory, 26-24 over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Graham’s third field goal sent the Saints (12-5) to Seattle for next Saturday’s divisional playoff game against the NFC’s top seed. The Seahawks routed the Saints 34-7 during the season.
Drew Brees threw for a touchdown, Mark Ingram rushed for 97 yards and another score, and the Saints’ defense slowed Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense just enough. New Orleans had been 0-5 in postseason games outside of the Big Easy since entering the league in 1967.
Philadelphia wound up 10-7 in Kelly’s first year as coach. He guided them from worst to first in the NFC East, but they were only 4-5 at home.
Brees threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Lance Moore, Ingram ran in from the 4 and the Saints took a 20-14 lead after three quarters.
Two of the NFL’s most prolific offenses struggled to get things going early. Brees threw a pair of interceptions, the second leading to Nick Foles’ 10-yard TD pass to Riley Cooper.
But Brees, the eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback, bounced back with the go-ahead TD pass in the third quarter and key completions on another scoring drive.
NFL rushing champion LeSean McCoy had a 1-yard TD run on fourth-and-1.
The teams combined for an average of 816.7 yards and 53.5 points per game during the regular season. But defense dominated early.
Down 7-6 at halftime, the Saints forced a three-and-out on Philadelphia’s first possession of the second half. Foles was called for intentional grounding and then got sacked. The Saints took over at their 47 after a punt and Brees quickly moved them down field. He rolled out and hit Moore for a 24-yard TD for a 13-7 lead.
On the ensuing possession, the Eagles missed a big opportunity. Cooper was wide open going over the middle, but dropped a pass on third-and-4 that would’ve gone for a long gain.