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New Orleans hands Eagles 4th-straight loss

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Nov 05 2012 11:01:20 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 06 2012 05:21:18 AM CST
New Orleans Saints helmet

NFL

NEW ORLEANS -

So much for players-only meetings.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick used the occasion of his team's three-game October nosedive to bring his teammates behind closed doors last week in an attempt to hash out their woes.

After a 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night -- the Eagles' fourth consecutive defeat and fifth in six games, dropping their record to 3-5 -- Vick might be running out of time as a starting quarterback.

Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes and the Saints finally uncorked their missing rushing attack. New Orleans (3-5) gained 140 yards on 25 carries to earn its third victory in four games.

Brees completed 21 of 27 passes for 239 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Eagles had five red-zone opportunities, and they wound up with just two Alex Henery field goals, an interception, a lost fumble and a fourth-down failure to show for it. The killer was a tipped Vick pass in the first quarter that cornerback Patrick Robinson intercepted and returned 99 yards for the game's first score.

Vick was sacked seven times, the most sacks the Saints have recorded in a game in 10 years. He finished 22-for-41 for 272 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception.

The Eagles turned two Saints turnovers -- a Brees fumble on a sack by Brandon Graham and a fumbled kickoff by Travaris Cadet -- into 10 points early in the third quarter to narrow a 21-3 deficit to 21-13. The touchdown came on a 77-yard connection between Vick and DeSean Jackson, who was wide open after a Vick bootleg fake.

However, the Eagles had to settle for a 37-yard field goal following Cadet's fumble, in large part because of Will Smith's 11-yard sack of Vick.

Brees settled down the Saints on the next series, directing a 10-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 6-yard pass to Jimmy Graham. The touchdown gave Orleans a 28-13 lead with 1:20 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles showed they could run the ball ran down the Saints' throats in the first quarter -- ripping New Orleans' woeful run defense for 105 yards on 12 carries. For some reason, however, Philadelphia decided to throw when it got into the red zone. That strategy backfired.

After Bryce Brown rambled 40 yards to the Saints' 5-yard line, Vick's bullet on a crossing pattern hit tight end Brent Celek on the right hand and bounced directly into the hands of cornerback Patrick Robinson, who hauled it in at the 1 and raced 99 yards to give the Saints a 7-0 lead.

It was Vick's 14th turnover in eight games -- nine interceptions and five lost fumbles -- and this one essentially resulted in a 14-point swing.

The Eagles came back on their next possession, and LeSean McCoy ripped off runs of 13, 25 and 34 yards to set up a first-and-goal at the Saints' 4. However, rather than keeping pounding the ball, Eagles coach Andy Reid called for a shovel pass to McCoy, which gained nothing. On third down, Vick's laser bounced off the hand of Jackson, and Philadelphia settled for Alex Henery's 22-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3.

By that time, the Eagles had run 29 plays to the Saints' six, but Philadelphia still trailed.

The Saints decided to pound their running game on the next series, capping a 76-yard, seven-play drive with a 22-yard touchdown run by Chris Ivory, playing in his first game this season due Darren Sproles' broken hand.

Brees made it 21-3 on the next series with a 1-yard strike to Marques Colston, which culminated a 74-yard drive on which Pierre Thomas got 23 yards on a delay around left end. Brees extended his NFL-record streak of throwing a scoring pass to 51 consecutive games.

NOTES: Eagles reserve defensive end Darryl Tapp missed the game to be in Philadelphia with his wife, Tiffany, for the birth of their first child. ... The Eagles lost right tackle Todd Herremans to an ankle injury in the second quarter, adding to their offensive line woes. ... After going scoreless in the first quarter, the Eagles have scored seven points in the first quarter over their eight games this year.

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