Drew Brees with 3 turnovers in Saints’ loss to Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Drew Brees let a game stuffed with turnovers and shaky line protection finally get the best of him with New Orleans trailing in the second half.
He sprinted toward an official and complained when an incomplete deep pass to C.J. Spiller on third down failed to draw the pass interference flag Brees thought the play deserved.
"That was just one isolated incident," Brees said. "I felt like we had the right play, the right combination, all those things."
The Saints punted — and their slim playoff hopes may have been given the boot.
Brees and the Saints rarely had the right plays against Philadelphia. Brees had three turnovers and New Orleans failed to put away the Eagles after two early red-zone interceptions in a 39-17 loss on Sunday.
The Saints fell to 1-4 a week after an overtime win against Dallas.
Even worse, there’s a short week of preparation ahead for Thursday’s game against Atlanta.
"If you don’t have good character guys, you’d be worried about that," Brees said. "But we have good character guys, so I’m not worried about that."
He needs to worry about helping New Orleans snap out of a malaise that’s plopped them in last place in the NFC South and couldn’t bury an Eagles team that had their season on the ropes and were erratic early Sunday.
Brees’ three turnovers led to 17 points for the Eagles. He finished 26 of 43 for 335 yards, two TDs and one interception. He struggled to find time for the big pass plays behind a makeshift offensive line — left tackle Terron Armstead and right guard Jahri Evans sat out with injuries — and was sacked five times.
Willie Snead had six catches for 141 yards and Brandin Cooks had five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown.
But it wasn’t near enough against the Eagles. Philadelphia had a season-high 519 total yards, forced four turnovers and punted only once.
The Eagles had the playmakers on offense and let Fletcher Cox dominate on defense. Cox forced two fumbles on sacks to help the Eagles (2-3) snap a three-game losing streak at home that dated to last season.
Brees was fed up with losing.
"I don’t want to hear anything about youth, I don’t want to hear anything about talent," he said. "I don’t want to hear anything about anything other than what are we going to do to win the game."
Sam Bradford overcame two red-zone interceptions and threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Mathews and DeMarco Murray each rushed for touchdowns for the Eagles.
Bradford got going with a 41-yard catch-and-run TD pass to Josh Huff, who did a flip into the end zone to tie it at 7 in the second quarter.
The Eagles broke the game open in the third period. Mathews ran in from the 2 to complete a 65-yard drive to give Philadelphia a 17-10 lead. Bradford connected with Huff for 19 yards a play before the score.
On the Saints’ next snap, Cox sacked Brees, forced a fumble and recovered it at the 13. Bradford connected with Brent Celek on the following play to put Philadelphia ahead 23-10, but Caleb Sturgis missed the extra point.
Walter Thurmond intercepted Brees and returned it 44 yards to the 4 to set up Murray’s 4-yard TD run that made it 39-10.
Brees threw a 14-yard TD pass to Brandin Cooks on the final play.
Brees ended the game as well as he started in the first.
The Eagles had a first down at the Saints 12 when Bradford was picked off by Brandon Browner in the end zone in the first quarter. Brees immediately drove New Orleans downfield and threw a 6-yard TD pass to Ben Watson for a 7-0 lead.
"You can’t give it away four or five different times and expect to win. You just can’t," coach Sean Payton said. "I was encouraged with the interceptions. Those were good plays on the ball. Beyond that, it’s attention to detail. The same things that go into winning games can keep you from winning games."
- Brandin Cooks
- Brandon Browner
- Brent Celek
- Caleb Sturgis
- DeMarco Murray
- Drew Brees
- Fletcher Cox
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- Josh Huff
- New Orleans Saints
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Ryan Mathews
- Sam Bradford
- Walter Thurmond