PHILADELPHIA – It was a costly win for the Eagles on Sunday as regulars Darius Slay, Jordan Howard, Davion Taylor and Shaun Bradley were unable to complete a 40-29 win over the New Orleans Saints due to injuries .
Slay is in concussion protocol, a cruel twist considering how his 51-yard interception comes back for a touchdown with 24 seconds left in the first half opened the game. The Eagles led 27-7 in intermission and held off the Saints in the fourth quarter en route to their first win in five tries this season at Lincoln Financial Field.
Taylor came out in the first quarter after worsening a knee injury. Bradley, who got snaps in place of Taylor as a linebacker, came out with a shoulder injury in the third quarter.
Also in the third quarter, running back Howard made a header after tripping, leaving him to twist on the turf. He was able to get out on his own. Howard injured his knee on the play, spoiling a day in which he ran 10 carries for 63 yards.
Those injuries were significant in an unanswered 15-point streak for the Saints who turned a 33-7 deficit to a 33-22 score with 7:14 remaining.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts gave the Eagles another shot at winning, the veteran accumulating 69 yards and three touchdowns, giving him eight rushing scores this season and 11 in his first 15 games. These latest numbers are tied with Josh Allen and Kordell Stewart for the second most out of 15 games, the mark held by Cam Newton (14 TDs).
After the game, Hurts was adopted by the Saints and former Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, who had four tackles. Hurts said Jenkins offered encouragement.
“I just remember last year, even after my first start, the words he had for me,” said Hurts. “Coming from a guy who played here and won a Super Bowl here and did some big things here, I appreciate what he said last year. And he just had the same love and respect for me, just encouraging me to keep playing, keep going, and be me. I appreciate that.
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The good news for the Eagles was that tight end Dallas Goedert was back from the concussion he had suffered the week before. Goedert pulled off an excellent one-handed grab of a Hurts pass to extend a scoring campaign. He finished with five receptions, a team-high, for 62 yards.
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NOTES >> Teams that returned one or more interceptions for a TD have won 78.8% of their games going into Sunday, further proof of “Big Play” Slay’s Pro Bowl bid. … Jenkins, who turns 34 next month, was eclipsed by the 6-6, 250-pound Goedert, who beat him early and often, including twice on the second set to set up Hurts’ first TD. Goedert is also working on a role where he pushes Hurts forward on third and short. The duo converted at the start of the match. … The Eagles rushed for 75 yards in the first quarter against a Saints’ defense allowing just 73 rushing yards, first in the league. The Eagles ran for 242 yards in the game, the third time in four games they’ve passed the 200 yard mark. … Jake Elliott kicked baskets from 50, 37, 33 and 47 yards, as well as four PATs. His 16 points are the most important for the Eagles in a game since Cody Parkey collected 19 points in 2014. Elliott has scored 18 of 20 FGs (90%) this season.