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Saints Officially on Losing Streak After Loss to Eagles

The Saints got blown out early, made it interesting in the final quarter, but the result was still the same for Sean Payton's squad.

PHILADELPHIA -- The New Orleans Saints are officially on a losing streak for the first time in a long time. 2016 to be exact when they opened the season 0-3. The team did the things you can't do when you're facing adversity, and it's been common themes that have plagued them in losses this season. Getting into a hole early, committing untimely penalties, not getting key receptions, and losing the turnover battle are some of the things to highlight the 40-29 loss to the Eagles on Sunday.

Game Recap

The Saints started with the ball to open the game, as the Eagles won the opening coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. New Orleans came out aggressive on their first play, but Marquez Callaway couldn't connect with Trevor Siemian. New Orleans would end up getting a first down on their opening drive, but was not able to get anything going after that.

The Eagles had a similar start, running a short 6-play drive. However, the Saints defense would stuff them on a 3rd-and-3 run with Christian Ringo forcing a 3-yard loss on Jordan Howard to force an Eagles punt. As New Orleans took over at the 9:46 mark of the opening quarter, they'd run just one play and it resulted in an Eagles interception by T.J. Edwards. Siemian appeared to have a wide open Adam Trautman, but Nick Vannett was the closest receiver to the ball.

Philadelphia would not waste the short field, as they went on a quick 7-play, 39-yard drive to put the ball into the end zone via a Jalen Hurts rushing touchdown from a yard out. Dallas Goedert was a big thorn in the defense's side, getting 3 catches for 34 yards. It was 7-0 Eagles at the 7:17 mark of the first quarter.

Unfortunately, New Orleans could not muster anything offensively to counter the touchdown drive from Philly, and it hurt them in a big way. The Eagles put together a 7-play, 58-yard drive that took 3:52 off the clock that ended in Hurts getting his second touchdown of the game, this time from 3 yards out. Big runs by Hurts and Miles Sanders helped out, as the Saints defense had little answers for the run.

Facing a 14-0 deficit, New Orleans leaned on Mark Ingram to get some things going on offense, but they'd stall out entering the second quarter, going from a 2nd-and-9 to 2nd-and-14 due to a Landon Young false start penalty, and then not being able to get the first down on the ensuing two plays. 

The Eagles took over after another strong Blake Gillikin punt, and the defense came up huge on the first play by forcing a fumble on Miles Sanders. Christian Ringo stripped and recovered to give the Saints the ball at the Eagles' 6-yard-line. 

It looked like they were going to have to settle for a field goal, as they were pinned to a 3rd-and-Goal from the 18-yard-line after a holding call on Landon Young wiped out a great Siemian scramble and throw to Lil'Jordan Humphrey for at touchdown. However, Siemian once again put a great play together and found Adam Trautman for the score to make it 14-7 Eagles with 13:01 left until halftime.

Philadelphia threatened on their next drive, and managed to get a field goal out of it. Hurts connected with DeVonta Smith for a 33-yard gain to flip the field on the 7-play, 43-yard drive, and the play after looked to be an Eagles touchdown, but Marcus Williams showed off some incredible range to break up a would-be touchdown to Miles Sanders. Jake Elliott converted from 50 yards out to make it 17-7 with 9:27 left until the half.

The Saints offense ran a three-and-out on their next possession, and the Eagles would counter by putting together an 11-play, 56-yard drive that took 4:13 off the clock and ended with a 37-yard Elliott field goal to put Philly up 20-7 with 4:20 left in the half. Big runs by Jordan Howard helped the drive, and it looked like the Eagles were going to get into the end zone with Dallas Goedert, but offensive pass interference was called on the play on DeVonta Smith and pushed Philadelphia back. Marcus Williams made another outstanding play to help negate a big play.

New Orleans got a first down on their next series thanks to a nice screen play to Adam Trautman, but that was about all for their success on the drive, as they had to punt back to the Eagles with 2:50 to go before the half. The Saints defense looked to have another fumble from Miles Sanders, but the play was ruled as his forward progress being stopped, and therefore could not be challenged. 

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New Orleans still ended up forcing a punt, and went to work inside a minute. However, it would end in disaster for them, as Siemian was picked off by Darius Slay for a 51-yard pick-6 to put the Eagles up 27-7 with 24 seconds to go until halftime. The Saints just kneeled it and went into the half trailing by 20.

Second Half

The Eagles ran out of halftime and got one first down on their first possession of the third quarter, and the Saints managed to run another three-and-out of their own with their first possession. Philadelphia then put together a 8-play, 25-yard drive to cash in more points, this time getting a 30-yard field goal from Elliott to make it 30-7 with 5:57 to play in the third quarter. New Orleans managed to pick up its first sack of the day, as David Onyemata and Marcus Davenport split the sack.

Any notion of positivity was quickly squelched on the next Saints offensive possession, as Mark Ingram was stripped by Fletcher Cox two plays into the drive, giving the Eagles back the ball in Saints territory. Jake Elliott added another field goal for Philadelphia after a short drive, putting it 33-7 with 2:38 to play in the third quarter.

The next Saints offensive possession saw them have signs of life, as New Orleans was able to put together a touchdown drive after going 75 yards in 7 plays. Siemian found Marquez Callaway for a 26-yard touchdown, but the two-point attempt failed to make it 33-13 Eagles with 14:49 left in the game. Big plays to Deonte Harris, Adam Trautman, and a 28-yard run by Mark Ingram helped set things up.

A quick three-and-out for the Eagles gave the Saints back the ball with under 14 minutes left in the game. New Orleans struck quickly, going 39 yards in 3 plays after a strong connection to Tre'Quan Smith to open the drive. Two plays later, Trevor Siemian took it in from 17 yards out. However, Brett Maher missed the extra point, and it was 33-19 Eagles with 12:33 to go.

New Orleans would once again stuff Philly on their next possession, forcing a three-and-out to get the ball back with time left. The offense couldn't punch it into the end zone, but did get a 28-yard Brett Maher field goal to make it 33-22 with 7:14 left in the game. Adam Trautman got hurt on the drive, but made a really good catch near the sideline to put the Saints in business on the 8-play, 39-yard drive.

The Eagles offense would finally wake up, getting a couple key first downs on their next possession and moving into Saints territory. They'd cap off the 9-play, 74-yard drive with a third rushing touchdown from Hurts, this time from 24 yards to make it 40-22 Eagles with 3:59 left. The ground attack was something the Saints could not contain all day, as the Eagles gashed them for 244 rushing yards with under 4 minutes to go.

The Saints offense put together a responding touchdown drive of their own, but it was one of those 'too little, too late' type of drives, as New Orleans went 75 yards in 11 plays in 3:14 that saw Siemian find Lil'Jordan Humphrey for a 4-yard touchdown to make it 40-29 with 45 seconds to go. Philly would recover the onside kick attempt and just run out the clock, sending the Saints to 5-5 on the year. 

New Orleans will look to end their three-game skid when they host the reeling Bills on Thanksgiving night. It's certainly a tall order, but they need to find the answers sooner rather than later. Drew Brees will be in the house calling that game with Mike Tirico, and will also be honored at halftime in front of the Superdome crowd. This is a team that desperately needs to find answers if they want to stay alive in the postseason race.


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