Eagles win the toss, decide to defer. They have a habit of doing that in recent weeks.
Saints up on offense first. The crowd is pretty loud. Saints move to the Eagles 37 and go for it on 4th and 2. False start! Saints pushed back and they opt to punt it instead. Costly penalty. That's the 12th straight game the Eagles have not allowed their opponent to score on the first possession.
Eagles take the field on offense for the first time. Rookie TE Zach Ertz reels in a pass to move the chains. Next set of downs, Nick Foles doesn't see Celek wide open down field and throws to Avant for a short gain instead. Eagles forced to punt. Donnie Jones hits a good one for 48 yards, Saints to start on their 14.
Eagles second possession. Nothing. It's cold, by the way. Punt. The ball is almost downed at the one, but it rolls into the end-zone for a touchback instead. Rough. The ball went off Roc Carmichael, who was trying to down it.
Saints. New Orleans get a big passing play down the field, then goes for another... interception! Brees left that one hanging in the air and Bradley Fletcher picked it off and ran it back for a decent return. Looks like rookie WR Kenny Stills may have given up on the throw as well. Either way, big play by the defense. That's 13 straight games with an Eagles takeaway.
Time for the Eagles to do something on offense. A first down is a start. A pass down field to Celek is another positive sign. Eagles move into field goal range. Saints looking tired already, so they take their first timeout. Eagles facing 4th and 1 at the 23. Eagles going for it. They get it easily. Next two plays don't go so well. Foles gets sacked on a play where he holds the ball forever and the Eagles face a 3rd and 30. Bad Foles.
End of the first.
Alex Henery attempts a 47 yarder and... it's no good. Welp.
Saints take over and move down the field. Jimmy Graham catches a pass over the middle and loses control of the ball, and it's ruled a fumble. Eagles recover. Replay shows his knee was down, though, so the call is rightfully overturned. The ball is placed short of the first. Fourth and inches... false start! Saints go for the FG instead. Big break. Shayne Graham nails a 36 yarder. Saints 3, Eagles 0.
Eagles up. Three and out. Where's the offense? Punt.
Saints ball. Moving down the field. Big play by the defense! DeMeco Ryans interception. Nice return on the play. Really brutal throw/decision by Brees.
OK, seriously, time for some offense now? First play, big completion to Cooper. Eagles deep in the red-zone. Need a TD here. Big play from Riley Cooper! Foles put the ball in the air and Cooper jumps up for the catch. Impressive and much-needed. First career playoff TD for both players. Eagles 7, Saints 3.
Saints get the ball back with 1:45 left in the first half and 2 timeouts. Moving down the field. Huge sack by Brandon Graham pushes the Saints back. Saints get a first down due to a defensive holding on Fletcher Cox. Or because Brees asked for the flag. Sack (for no gain) by Trent Cole and the Saints opt to go for the FG with three seconds left in the first half. Graham hits it. Eagles 7, Saints 6.
End of first half.
Eagles get the ball back to start the second. Foles is called for intentional grounding, then is sacked. Less than ideal. Punt.
Saints up. Driving. Brees finds Lance Moore open in the middle of the field and he runs it in for a score. Saints 13, Eagles 7.
Eagles offense seriously needs to step up. And they don't. Riley Cooper drops a wide open catch on third down that would have gone for a big gain. Huge mistake. Frustration. Punt.
Saints. Facing a third and long after a holding penalty. Cary Williams leaves the game for one play and Carmichael comes in. The Saints attack him right away with a pass and get the first. Predictable. Saints in the red-zone. They get a TD on a Mark Ingram run. Not good. 20 Saints, Eagles 7.
Decent return by Brad Smith sets the offense up at the 35. But can they actually do anything? Well, maybe! After Saints CB Keenan Lewis suffers an injury and is forced to leave the game, a big pass play to DeSean Jackson puts the Eagles in the red-zone. At the 2 now. Eagles go for it, and they get it. LeSean McCoy 1 yard TD run. Much-needed score there. Now a one possession game. Saints 20, Eagles 14.
Saints up, and the Eagles need a stop. New Orleans faces a 3rd and 11 as the third quarter comes to a close.
Saints fail to convert on third down, and that's a big stop for the Birds. New Orleans Punt.
29 yard punt return by DeSean Jackson puts the Eagles at the Saints 40. Good field position. Cooper helping move the chains. Eagles face a 4th and 2 deep in the red-zone but decide to go for it. Safe call, and the Eagles get the FG. Saints 20, Eagles 17.
Injury update: Saints CB Lewis ruled doubtful to return. Significant loss.
Saints on offense. Big pass play to Robert Meachem down the field, with Chung in "coverage". Brutal. New Orleans in FG range, and that's exactly where the Eagles need to hold them. That's exactly what the Eagles do. Shayne Graham hits a 35 yarder to make it a 6 point game. Saints 23, Eagles 17.
Eagles ball with 7:59 left on the clock. Here we go. Shady running. Eagles driving. Big pass down field, and it's incomplete. Pass interference is called on New Orleans, and the Eagles are set up deep in the red-zone. Foles connects with Ertz for a short TD pass and the Eagles take the lead! Much needed and well executed drive by Foles. Eagles 24, Saints 23.
Saints get a good return from Sproles, and then Williams commits a horse collar penalty. That penalty may have saved a TD on the return, though. Saints moving into FG territory. Eagles burn their 2 timeouts. None left.
Season over. Rough to go out like this.
The Eagles defense played well for most of the game but couldn't bunker down in the end. The offense started off rough but played better at the end. Alex Henery's missed FG earlier in the game proved to be costly.
It was still a great season for Chip Kelly's first season as the Eagles head coach, but this is an unfortunate ending for Philly.
Stay tuned to BGN for more coverage.