Saints march into the NFC championship game
NEW ORLEANS – When the New Orleans Saints finally found their rhythm, they marched one step closer to the Super Bowl.
Using a dominant ball-control offense and a few gambles that paid off, the Saints got two touchdown passes from Drew Brees and two interceptions from Marcus Lattimore in a 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Brees took the Saints on scoring drives of 92, 79 and 67 yards after falling behind, 14-0. Lattimore clinched it when Nick Foles’ pass from the Saints 27 deflected off usually sure-handed receiver Alshon Jeffery with about two minutes remaining. A couple dozen Saints players surged off the sideline toward the end zone in celebration, while Jeffery fell face-first to the turf in agony.
“We were real calm and poised and we knew we were going to get things done,” Brees said.
New Orleans (14-3) will host the NFC title game next week against the Rams (13-4).
Philadelphia (10-8) will not repeat as NFL champion; no team has done so since the 2004 Patriots.
“We were going down to win, but I just felt like we beat ourselves, honestly,” Jeffery said.
This was really two games in one. Philly scored on its first two drives as the Saints could do virtually nothing right.
“Listen, they got off to a fast start, they’re a great team,” Brees said. “Nick Foles has done a phenomenal job for them. We knew it was going to be different than last time.”
After that opening period, it was all New Orleans.
Philadelphia’s Alshon Jeffery is consoled by Nick Foles after Jeffery allowed a pass to go through his hands that led to a late interception.