The Philadelphia Eagles' free fall continued in primetime on Monday night, as Andy Reid's team dropped their fourth straight game, losing 28-13 to the New Orleans Saints. As he so often does, Drew Brees methodically cut through the Eagles defense with one accurate throw after another. Michael Vick and the Eagles offense, on the other hand, repeatedly failed to capitalize on their drives into the red zone. The Eagles were in first-and-goal situations four times, but those four trips actually resulted in a net one-point advantage for the Saints.
Philly drove inside the New Orleans 5-yard line on consecutive possessions in the first half, but only came away with three points. The first drive resulted in seven points the other way, as a short Vick pass went off the fingertips of Brent Celek and into the arms of Patrick Robinson. The New Orleans defensive back was instantly off to the races, bursting down the right sideline untouched for a 99-yard touchdown return and a backbreaking early blow to the Eagles.
Because of the turnover, the Saints offense did not see the field for an extended stretch in the first half. But as soon as they did get possession, they made it count, with Brees leading back-to-back touchdown drives for a 21-3 halftime lead. New Orleans did a lot of their damage on the ground on each drive, with Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory sharing the backfield. Ivory busted one out to the right side for a 22-yard score. Thomas, Ivory, and Mark Ingram all found running room against the Todd Bowles-coached defense, with each averaging more than 4.5 yards per carry.
Vick and the Eagles' offense couldn't dig Philly out of the early hole. The Saints harassed Vick for the full 60 minutes, blitzing and victimizing a depleted offensive line. On just their second offensive play of the half, Vick did find DeSean Jackson for a quick-strike 77-yard touchdown. New Orleans blitzed from the outside and left Jackson completely uncovered, and the shifty wideout put a ridiculous move on an oncoming Saints defensive back to race off to the house. It would be the Eagles' only trip to the end zone all night.
Philadelphia had a golden opportunity to pull even when New Orleans fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but a missed blitz pickup snuffed out their shot for seven and they had to settle for three more. It was a costly missed opportunity, as Brees responded to the Eagles' flurry early in the third quarter with a 10-play touchdown drive that took nearly six minutes off the game clock. That pushed the lead back to 15 and secured the win.
Brees finished the game 21-of-27 for 239 yards and two touchdowns. Jimmy Graham was the biggest beneficiary on the other end, hauling in eight catches for 72 yards and one score.
DeSean Jackson's big play dramatically boosted his stat line, and he finished with three catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. LeSean McCoy added 119 yards on the ground, but did not score.
But did they cover?
The Saints were favored by three points in many places, and they held on in a scoreless fourth quarter to easily cover.
The Eagles' offensive line has been hit hard by injuries this season, and they sustained another blow when tackle Todd Herremans suffered an ankle injury early in the first half. He did not return.
Next on the schedule
The Saints will host the NFL's only undefeated team, the Atlanta Falcons, at the Superdome next Sunday. The Eagles will also host a divisional rival, as the Dallas Cowboys make their annual visit to Philadelphia.