The Birds have dominated lesser quarterbacks all season long and that trend continued against Trevor Siemian. The Saints couldn’t get much going against Jonathan Gannon’s defense, especially early on. New Orleans went on a little run late in the game that cut the lead to 11 points but it wasn’t enough.
Philly had success moving the ball with their ground game despite facing the NFL’s top-ranked run defense. They stalled a bit too often in opponent territory, settling for Jake Elliott field goals. But Jalen Hurts ultimately closed out the game with a highlight 24-yard touchdown run.
All told, this was a really big win. The Eagles improved their chances of getting a playoff spot while also damaging the Saints’ postseason hopes.
Wild card fever, baby.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage.
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer. The Saints picked up one first down but got to 3rd-and-11 on their next set. Avonte Maddox came free on a cornerback blitz and pressured Trevor Siemian into a deep incompletion. Nice start by the D.
- The Eagles took over at their own 15-yard line after Jalen Reagor fielded a punt at the 2-yard line (why?). The Eagles picked up a first down but then got to 3rd-and-3 and Jordan Howard was tackled for a loss to bring up Philly’s first punt. Arryn Siposs’s punt was almost blocked.
- T.J. Edwards made a leaping pick on a really bad throw by Siemian. Ryan Kerrigan had the pressure!
- The Eagles took over at the Saints’ 39-yard line. Jalen Hurts almost gave the ball right back after getting hit by Marcus Davenport as he threw and the ball hung in the air before landing incomplete. Hurts had a good throw to Dallas Goedert to move the Eagles into the red zone. Hurts went to Goedert again and the tight end ran through some tackles to get to the 1-yard line (but may have actually been in for the score?). The Eagles snuck it in with Hurts from there. Boom. Nice job of capitalizing off the takeaway. EAGLES 7, SAINTS 0.
Jalen Hurts records his 6th rushing TD of the season (9th of his @NFL career) to give Philadelphia a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Hurts' 6 rushing TDs are the most by an @Eagles QB through 11 games since Donovan McNabb in 2002 (also 6). #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) November 21, 2021
- The Saints went three-and-out with Siemian throwing another incompletion while being blitzed on third down.
- Miles Sanders broke a run to the outside for a 25-yard gain. On 3rd-and-2 from the Saints’ 25-yard line, Hurts gained 20 yards on a keeper. Rushing attack’s kinda dangerous when the QB can do that. The Eagles got to the 1-yard line but a false start on a play with Jordan Howard lined up as the wildcat quarterback knocked the offense back. Why overthink it there? Hurts took off running on 3rd-and-goal and was ruled out at the 1-yard line ... but it looked like he had the ball over the goal line right before he went out. Nick Sirianni challenged it with the fans at the Linc going crazy over the replay and the ruling was overturned. Rushing TD No. 2 for Mr. Hurts. Offense rolling. EAGLES 14, SAINTS 0.
He's the only Eagles quarterback to rush for two touchdowns in the first quarter.— Tucker Bagley (@TBagleySports) November 21, 2021
- The Saints got to 3rd-and-8 and Josh Sweat tipped Siemian’s pass to help force a punt.
- Sanders’ first fumble of the season came at a pretty bad spot. The Saints recovered to take over at the Eagles’ 6-yard line.
Christian Ringo legit stole this ball from Miles Sanders on the ground. Huge break for the Saints. Really gotta punch it in for 7 here. pic.twitter.com/eN2dJ8TIXs— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) November 21, 2021
- The Saints got knocked back to the 18-yard line after a holding penalty wiped out a Siemain touchdown throw. On 3rd-and-goal from that mark, Siemian took a shot to Adam Trautman in the back of the end zone for a touchdown that counted. T.J. Edwards had his back turned and didn’t see the balling coming in. Great throw but pretty bad to allow a TD in that spot. EAGLES 14, SAINTS 7.
- Hurts had a chance to take a shot deep to a streaking DeVonta Smith but the QB hesitated and took off running for a 4-yard gain instead. On 3rd-and-2, the offensive line gave all day for Hurts to throw and he hit a crossing Smith for a 33-yard catch-and-run. YAC city. Hurts spun around in the pocket and lofted a pass up to what was originally a wide open Sanders but a Saints defender was able to range over and knock the ball down. Hurts threw short of the sticks on 3rd-and-12 and the Eagles settled for a successful 50-yard field goal from Jake Elliott. EAGLES 17, SAINTS 7.
Jake Elliott (currently 467) has surpassed Steve Van Buren (464, 1944-51) for the 5th-most career points in @Eagles history.— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) November 21, 2021
Elliott (currently 15) is also one 50+ yard FG shy of tying David Akers (16, 1999-2010) for the franchise record (including playoffs).#FlyEaglesFly
- Gannon sent another third down blitz, this time with Alex Singleton coming free up the middle. Siemian threw the ball into the dirt to bring up another three-and-out.
- The Eagles ran JoHo up the gut five straight times to get to the Saints’ 27-yard line. Power football. A crazy one-handed catch from Goedert got the Eagles to the 13-yard line.
This is a good throw by Hurts and an even better catch by Goedert. He’s so damn strong. I still don’t know how he caught it. pic.twitter.com/5ffAfXE9Rp— Patrick (@76Iggles) November 21, 2021
Hurts threw a ball to Goedert in the end zone but it was wiped out by offensive pass interference on DeVonta Smith (Jack Driscoll was also flagged for illegally being downfield). Hurts connected with Smith but the Saints defender was able to knock the receiver out before he could land inbounds. Might’ve been a touchdown if Hurts got the ball to him earlier. Hurts targeted Smith in the back middle of the end zone but the pass was high and incomplete. Philly had to settle for a 37-yard Elliott field goal. EAGLES 20, SAINTS 7.
Jordan Mailata likes to serve his pancakes with 1 hand pic.twitter.com/4ZDwMsVKrE— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) November 21, 2021
- Darius Slay knocked down Siemian’s third down throw to bring up another three-and-out.
- It looked like Sanders fumbled again but the refs ruled his forward progress stopped. Fortunate. Sanders was immediately replaced by Jordan Howard. Jordan Mailata and Marcus Davenport got into a scrap on the ground after a play but no flags were thrown. Hurts’ 3rd-and-4 pass for Jalen Reagor was incomplete. Reagor actually got open but the throw was off.
- An awful throw from Siemian resulted in an easy pick-six for Darius Slay. EAGLES 27, SAINTS 7.
Darius Slay scored 1 TD in his first 125 NFL games.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) November 21, 2021
He’s scored 3 TDs in his last 4 games. #Eagles
Slay is the first Eagles defensive player with two 50-yard TD returns in a season since Sheldon Brown in 2009.— Reuben Frank (@RoobNBCS) November 21, 2021
Sheldon returned a Brandon Jacobs fumble 60 yards for a TD vs. the Giants and an INT off Chris Redman 83 yards against the Falcons.
- The Eagles went six-and-out after Hurts was pressured into throwing the ball away on 3rd-and-6.
- Fletcher Cox had a chance to sack Siemian for a safety but missed him. The Saints went three-and-out instead.
- A short punt and a 13-yard return from Reagor allowed the Eagles to start at the Saints’ 40-yard line. Smith almost broke a screen for a touchdown but got tripped up for a 14-yard gain instead. Hurts held onto the ball and was sacked on 3rd-and-8. The Eagles settled for a 33-yard Elliott field goal. EAGLES 30, SAINTS 7.
- Fletcher Cox knocked the ball out and it was recovered by Edwards. Another big takeaway by the D.
- On 3rd-and-2, Hurts kept the ball on a read and was tackled for a 6-yard loss. Elliott hit the 47-yard field goal. EAGLES 33, SAINTS 7.
- Ingram broke a 28-yard run on 3rd-and-2 to move into field goal range.
- Edwards broke up a pass to bring up 3rd-and-7. But then Siemian hit an open Marquez Callaway up the seam for a touchdown. Maddox was trailing with Rodney McLeod also in the area. The Saints went for two and Edwards tipped Siemian’s pass to prevent more points from going on the board. EAGLES 33, SAINTS 13.
- Hurts targeted Tyree Jackson but Marcus Williams knocked his pass down to bring up 3rd-and-7. On third down, Hurts threw to Goedert short of the sticks and the pass was dropped.
- The Saints took over at Philly’s 39-yard line and scored three plays later on a Siemian run up the middle with no one in the way of him running to the end zone. Anthony Harris noticed Siemian taking off a little too late. The Saints missed their extra point attempt. EAGLES 33, SAINTS 19.
- Goedert had a bad drop along the sideline to bring up 3rd-and-12. On third down, Hurts took off running but was quickly tackled to bring up a three-and-out. Some boos broke out at the Linc.
- Javon Hargrave was called for a (BS) roughing the passer penalty to move the Saints into Eagles territory. Harris came up with a big tackle on a Saints screen to bring up a 6-yard loss. But then Siemian hit Adam Trautman for a really good contested catch to move the Saints into the red zone. The Eagles defense held up and forced the Saints to a 28-yard field goal. Highly suspect decision from Sean Payton is a gift to the Eagles. EAGLES 33, SAINTS 22.
- The Eagles ran a screen to Reagor that lost a yard. Then Hurts hit J.J. Arcega-Whiteside for a very big 23-yard gain for a stalling offense. JJAW’s first catch of the entire season! Lol. The Eagles trusted Sanders carrying the ball to help get them to the 24-yard line. From there, Hurts crossed over a defender on a keep and cut through the defense for a pretty nice touchdown run to ice the game. Good stuff! EAGLES 40, SAINTS 22.
- Steve Nelson couldn’t break up a Siemian fade pass for a garbage time touchdown. EAGLES 40, SAINTS 29.
- The Eagles lined up in victory formation to run out the clock.
- Alex Singleton was the top linebacker next to T.J. Edwards after Davion Taylor got hurt.
- Davion Taylor, who entered the game questionable to play due to a knee injury, got banged up in the first quarter. He did not return.
- Avonte Maddox got hurt early in the second quarter after hitting Mark Ingram. He returned.
- Shaun Bradley left the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.
- Jordan Howard went down with a knee injury midway in the third quarter. Got tackled late by a Saints defender. He stayed on the sideline after getting looked at in the medical tent.
- Darius Slay got looked at in the medical tent late in the third quarter. Hethen slowly walked into the tunnel and did not return.
- Anthony Harris was evaluated in the medical tent in the fourth quarter but quickly returned.