Eagles

Eagles roll early to down Saints, snap five-game home losing streak

The Philadelphia Eagles continued to run the ball with success on Sunday afternoon against the top-ranked run defense in the league and it propelled them to a fifth victory of the 2021 NFL season.

Jalen Hurts rushed for three touchdowns while the team as a whole finished with 242 rushing yards in a 40-29 home win over Sean Payton’s squad at Lincoln Financial Field. It was the first time in team history that the Eagles rushed for 200+ yards in consecutive games since the 1978 season, when the team did so in three straight games.

“I think [QB] Jalen [Hurts] is a special player that forces defenses to play different,” Sirianni said about the team’s rushing success on Sunday. “You look at the tape and again I think I told you guys early in the week, you look at the stat sheet, you look at where they are, you look at their defense, but you also want to do what you do well. We know we have been running the ball well and it’s a little different when Jalen is in there.

“You try to look at some teams that they’ve played that are similar to that, but you want to make them stop what you do well first and that’s definitely what our goal was going out there,” Sirianni said.

The Eagles offense got off to a fast start in the first quarter, using separate touchdown runs of one and three yards each from Hurts to take a 14-0 lead.

Trevor Siemian connected with Adam Trautman for an 18-yard touchdown early in the second quarter for New Orleans, but the Eagles continued to keep their foot on the gas for most of the half.

Jake Elliott’s pair of field goals extended the Eagles advantage to 20-7 before Darius Slay’s interception and 51-yard return for a touchdown gave the hosts a 20-point cushion at halftime. Slay’s big-play ability continued in 2021 and truly sunk a nail in the Saints’ slim comeback hopes.

Elliott added two additional field goals in the third quarter, these from 33-yards and 47-yards respectively. The veteran kicker finished the game with 16 points in total, moving his all-time total to 478 and into sole possession of third place on the Eagles’ all-time scoring list.

Despite Siemian’s best efforts to keep the Saints alive in the fourth quarter, Hurts added his third touchdown run of the afternoon, deking Carl Granderson before racing in from 24-yards out. The Eagles would finish with 380 yards of total offense on the day and three defensive turnovers, staying alive in the race for both the NFC East title and the Wild Card spots.

“We just have to continue to grind,” Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox said. “We just have to continue to play team football. Offense, defense, and special teams – I think everybody did a good job. We complimented each other and if we keep that up I think we have a good chance. Right now it’s just focusing on a big game coming up – a division game – basically, I think the rest of the games are divisional. We just have to continue to focus on what’s important and just take it one game at a time.”

The Eagles will hit the road for their next two games, first visiting Metlife Stadium for a November 28 showdown with the New York Giants before returning to North Jersey for a December 5 meeting with the New York Jets.


You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at lhenry1919@gmail.com.

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