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(Sunday, September 20th)
Final Score: New Orleans 48, Philadelphia 22
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Drew Brees completed 25-of-34 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns as the New Orleans Saints dominated the Philadelphia Eagles, 48-22, at Lincoln Financial Field.
"I think that we have a chance to be better than the other teams we've been a part of," said Saints head coach Sean Payton about his club which reeled off consecutive 40-plus-point games to start the season. "We played pretty good today but there's always room for improvement. The goal for each week is to get better for the next and keep the focus on us."
Marques Colston had eight receptions for 98 yards and two scores for the Saints (2-0), who hadn't won in Philadelphia since October 13, 1991.
Mike Bell added 86 yards and a TD on 17 carries before leaving the game late with a knee injury while Reggie Bush also scored on the ground for New Orleans, which posted its most points against the Eagles in franchise history.
Kevin Kolb's first career start in place of the injured Donovan McNabb was unspectacular, as he was 31-of-51 for 391 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions for the Eagles (1-1), who had opened the season with a 38-10 drubbing of Carolina.
If McNabb, who sat out because of a rib injury, isn't able to play next week at home against Kansas City, Eagles coach Andy Reid said Kolb will start, despite the fact Michael Vick will be active following a suspension for his role in a dogfighting operation.
Brent Celek posted eight catches for 104 yards, DeSean Jackson racked up 101 yards and a TD on four catches while Brian Westbrook was held to 52 yards on 13 touches before leaving in the second half due to a sprained right ankle. Jason Avant also had a catch for a score in the setback, during which the Eagles used several variations of the wildcat formation.
"It wasn't right today in any phase," said Reid. "It was an absolutely horrendous performance. We came out in the second half and committed a turnover and it just slid downhill from there."
Eagles returner Ellis Hobbs fumbled on the second-half kickoff and the Saints were set up on the Eagles' 22. Three plays later Heath Evans stumbled into the end zone on an 11-yard pass and the visitors led 24-13.
Scott Shanle picked off Kolb two plays later and New Orleans had the ball on the 24. Bell finished off that short series with a seven-yard run for a 31-13 contest.
John Carney hit from 25 yards out with 4:10 left in the third, but the Eagles responded on a 4th-and-goal on the following series when Avant brought in a three-yard Kolb pass.
Bush rumbled into the end zone from 19 yards out and the Saints took a 41-20 lead with 9:36 left to play. An illegal formation penalty on 4th down killed a late Eagles drive deep in Saints territory, but the Saints were pinned in the shadow of their own goal line and a Brees fumble out of the end zone made it 41-22.
Darren Sharper put the exclamation on the rout with a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown inside the final minute.
"We displayed a confidence level on offense where we believe every time we touch the ball, we're going to get points," Brees admitted. "We're going to play with tempo, dictate to the defense the pace of the game. I think we've done a great job of that the first two weeks."
Brees picked apart the Birds' defense on the first series of the game, going 5-for-5 and hitting Colston for a 15-yard score to cap a 74-yard drive.
Kolb responded on the following series, hitting Jackson in stride for a 71- yard touchdown strike.
The Saints were then helped by a shanked punt which landed near midfield, and Carney's 23-yard field goal inside two minutes to go in the first quarter made it 10-7.
Akeem Jordan's pick at the Philly 27-yard-line derailed a potential New Orleans scoring drive early in the second, and the Birds took 8:20 off the clock in 15 plays to tie the score on David Akers' 23-yard boot with 2:38 left in the second quarter.
Brees connected again with Colston for a 25-yard TD and a 17-10 game with 43 seconds to go, then the Eagles climbed back within 17-13 on a 32-yard Akers make on the final play of the half.
Brees posted his 32nd career 300-plus-yard passing performance...Despite the setback, the Eagles lead the all-time series, 15-10, and have won six of the last eight regular-season meetings...For the Saints, it was the largest margin of victory over the Eagles in either regular season or playoffs since the team entered the NFL in 1967...Eagles safety Asante Samuel left the game early in the fourth and did not return due to a stinger. New Orleans travels to Buffalo next week.
09/20 21:54:52 ET
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