PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Marshon Lattimore returned an 11-yard interception for a late touchdown in New Orleans, and the Philadelphia Eagles’ bid for the NFC’s No. 1 seed took a serious dent with a 20- 10 against the Saints on Sunday.
Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts missed a second straight game with a sprained right shoulder, and the loss puts the Eagles (13-3) in a precarious position: still needing just one win to clinch the NFC East and the top seed in the conference, do they hurry to return It hurts for the final against the Giants?
The easy decision this week, of course, was to rest Hurts and have the franchise QB near full-strength for the playoffs. But everything Hurts helped build looks set to crumble with one game left in the season.
The Cowboys suddenly have a shot at winning the division crown.
The Saints (7-9) won their third straight game as they remain in contention for a playoff berth through the final weeks under first-year coach Dennis Allen. Taysom Hill had a 1-yard TD run in New Orleans’ surprising first half.
Andy Dalton, who threw for 204 yards, completed his first 13 passes, including a 58-yard reception by Rashid Shaheed. That play set up one of Wil Lutz’s two first-half field goals that gave the Saints a 13-0 lead.
Gardner Minshew had a pass intercepted by Lattimore late in the fourth which concluded a dreadful game for Hurts’ substitute. Minshew passed 18 of 32 for 274 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his second straight start and showed no signs he could effectively lead the Eagles into the playoffs if Hurts were injured again.
Minshew connected with AJ Brown for a 78-yard touchdown late in the third that made it 13-10 and temporarily roused the crowd – which had voraciously booed the Eagles for most of the game – and an inept offense. But Minshew is unhurt and he failed to convert on a fourth dive late in the fourth that cost his team as much as their last pick.
Without their outstanding QB, the Eagles were shut out in the first half for the first time this season.
The Eagles hadn’t allowed more than four sacks in a game this season, but – playing without injured right tackle Lane Johnson – allowed five in the first half. The Eagles failed to convert a first down until 12 seconds remained at halftime.
Even the call play was questionable. Instead of trying to help their backup QB by relying a bit more on 1,000-yard rusher Miles Sanders, the Eagles gave him just two carries in the half.
Hurts apparently solidified his MVP credentials by holding a clipboard. He probably won’t win the award now, but the Eagles are much worse off without the QB who tied a franchise record with 35 total touchdowns.
Eagles fans have been booing the team off the field and suddenly a team that expected to play two home playoff games is just trying to make it through with their confidence intact.
Jake Elliott threw a 56-yard field goal for the Eagles.
The Eagles became the first team to have four players with 10+ sacks in a single season (Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, Javon Hargrave and Brandon Graham) since individual sacks were first recorded in 1982. The Eagles sacked Dalton seven times.
Saints: OT Ryan Ramczyk has a hip injury.
Eagles: Sweat suffered a neck injury but had movement in all extremities after being injured trying to make a tackle. The Eagles said Sweat was taken to hospital as a precaution. Sweat, who has 11 sacks this season, pounded the ground with his hands before being taken off the field on a stretcher in the first quarter.
The Saints finish at home against Carolina next Sunday.
The Eagles host the New York Giants next Sunday with the No. 1 seed on the line.
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