Saints rally past Eagles, will host NFC title game
The New Orleans Saints got two touchdown passes from Drew Brees, two interceptions by Marcus Lattimore, and rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 Sunday to advance to the NFC championship game.
Using a dominant ballcontrol offense after a horrendous start, Brees took the Saints (14-3) on scoring drives of 92, 79 and 67 yards. And a few gambles paid off to assure New Orleans will host the Rams (13-4) next Sunday for a spot in the Super Bowl.
Los Angeles, which fell 45-35 at the Superdome in November, will try again, with the winner taking on either Kansas City or New England in the Super Bowl in Atlanta. The Saints’ win finished off a sweep of the divisional round by teams coming off byes.
Wil Lutz added two field goals for the Saints, who last got this far in 2009, when they won the Super Bowl.
Philadelphia (10-8) will not repeat as NFL champion; no team has done so since the 2004 Patriots.
Saints starting defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks each had leg injuries within a few plays of one another, and each was taken from the field in a cart during the first quarter.
The injuries mounted even more for Philadelphia in the second quarter, albeit temporarily, when defensive back Rasul Douglas, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and defensive end Michael Bennett all came off the field needing attention. The Eagles announced that Douglas injured an ankle, but he returned. Cox and Bennett also both returned late in the first half.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas pulls in a touchdown reception against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cre'von LeBlanc in the second half Sunday.