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Saints Brush Off Poor Start to Reach N.F.C. Championship Game

Category: Other Sports,Sports

Foles moved the Eagles seamlessly down the field on its first two drives to jump out to a 14-0 lead. He found Jordan Matthews for a 37-yard score, then jumped in from the one-yard line for a second touchdown.

Foles was driving the Eagles back down the field in the second quarter and looked set to put his team ahead by three scores. But Foles was intercepted by Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore to end the threat and, it turned out, the Eagles’ chances.

On the ensuing drive, the Saints pulled a rabbit out of a hat with a fake punt. The team’s utility star, quarterback Taysom Hill, lined up behind the center on fourth down, took the snap and ran four yards for a first down.

Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox was hurt on the play. His replacement, Treyvon Hester, was called for offsides, giving Brees a free play. He took advantage, hitting Thomas with a 42-yard pass. Seven plays later, Brees hit Kirkwood for the Saints’ first points.

Though the scoreboard showed the teams just a few points apart, the Eagles looked worn down in the second half and never seriously threatened. The Saints, who averaged more than 31 points a game during the regular season, looked like they were making up for lost time. Brees hit his receivers, including on a third-and-16, when he evaded tacklers and bought himself time.

Saints kicker Wil Lutz added a field goal, but then missed one with just under three minutes to go to give the Eagles one last chance. Foles got the Eagles down to the Saints’ 28-yard line before a pass destined for Alshon Jeffrey went through his hands and was caught by Lattimore for an interception.

The Saints charged across the field to celebrate, while the crowd, sensing another party next weekend, erupted once again.

Brees and the Saints will now have to find a way to slow down an offense as potent as their own, with the winner of the showdown with the Rams advancing to the Super Bowl.

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