PHILADELPHIA – Miles Sanders was back on the field for the first time since Oct. 24, but it was Jalen Hurts and Jake Elliott who stole the show in the first half against the New Orleans Saints at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
The Eagles’ quarterback ran for a pair of short touchdowns, scoring from 1-yard 3-yards, and Elliott kicked a pair of field goals, from 50 and 37 yards, to help the Eagles open a 27-7 lead after two quarters.
Not to be outdone, Darius Slay recorded his third touchdown in the last four games and second in as many weeks. He didn’t return a fumble for a score like the other two. Instead, he went 51 yards for a sore that accounted for the first-half margin.
The Saints were trying to position themselves for a field goal at the close of the half when Slay stepped in front of Trevor Siemian's throw and went straight to the end zone untouched.
Siemian threw two picks in the first half. T.J. Edwards had the other.
Both Hurts’ TDs came in the first quarter and gives him seven rushing touchdowns on the season.
Elliott’s kick from 50 yards with 9:27 to play in the second quarter made the score 17-7. It also kept the kicker perfect this season from 50-plus yards away. He is three-for-three on those kicks.
The Eagles' offense scored points on four straight possessions at one point.
Meanwhile, Sanders was up and down.
He had a 25-yard run that set up the second Eagles score, but his fumble at the 6-yard line proved costly when the Saints scored on third-and-goal from the 18 on a Trevor Siemian throw to tight end Adam Trautman.
Edwards was tightly guarding Trautman in the back of the end zone on the throw, but Siemian threw it slightly behind Trautman who made a nice adjustment on the throw.
The TD cut New Orleans’ deficit to 14-7 with 13:01 to play in the second quarter.
Edwards’ first pick of the season set up the Eagles’ first score.
Siemian hadn’t thrown an interception this season until Edwards climbed the ladder to pick him and set up Philly inside New Orleans territory at the 39.
The Saints entered the game as the NFL’s top-ranked rushing defense, but the Eagles had their way with them.
Philly ran for 152 yards on 27 carries. Hurts had 49 of those on 10 carries. Jordan Howard added 56 on nine runs; Sanders 8-for-47.
Hurts threw just 16 passes, completing nine of those for 78 yards.
Dallas Goedert, who two days earlier signed a contract extension through 2025, had four receptions for 48 yards. Three of those catches came on third down to keep drives alive.
DeVonta Smith had three catches for 47 yards, including one that went for 33 yards on third down.
The Eagles were 8-for-12 on third down.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.