New Orleans (EP)
The explosive New Orleans Saints hosted a Divisional Playoff Game and welcomed the Philadelphia Eagles into the Superdome.
New Orleans earned a first-round playoff bye by winning the NFC South Division. Philadelphia survived a Wildcard playoff game against Dallas with a 34-31 win.
The Saints won the coin toss and chose to accept the ball first and give their offense first crack at the scoreboard. Eagles defender, Trent Cole, put an end to New Orleans’ plans when he sacked Saints quarterback Drew Brees for a two yard loss when Brees stretched for the first down marker on a scramble. Amazingly, the New Orleans defense was the first unit to put points on the board. Cornerback Tracy Porter snatched a Donovan McNabb pass and raced 39 yards for a touchdown that erupted the already boisterous New Orleans crowd into a frenzy. Suddenly, the Saints led, 7-0.
Not shaken by the turnover, McNabb moved his team directly to a score on their next possession. Running back Brian Westbrook vaulted the final two yards into the endzone to even the score at 7-7.
In usual Saints fashion, Brees carved up the Eagle defense until halfback Mike Bell blasted in for a touchdown to put New Orleans ahead once again. The extra point was good and the Saints led, 14-7.
Defense dominated for the rest of the First Quarter. McNabb was sacked for a six yard loss, then Brees was brought down for a three yard loss. The First Quarter ended with the score, New Orleans 14 Philadelphia 7.
The Second Quarter was either full of defensive defensive prowess or offensive ineptitude. A promising Philadelphia drive ended with a personal foul penalty, the two teams then traded fumbles before New Orleans scored on a 12-yard run from running back Pierre Thomas that gave the Saints a 21-7 advantage. The teams again traded fumbles and McNabb tossed another interception as well. The First Half mercifully ended with New Orleans leading, 21-7.
Philadelphia began the Third Quarter by keeping possession of the football long enough to give kicker David Akers an opportunity at a 52-yard field goal. Akers kicked the ball cleanly through the uprights and moved the score to 21-10 in favor of New Orleans. Philadelphia’s next possession led to a competent drive culminating with a McNabb to DeSean Jackson 5-yard touchdown pass. The Eagles cut the Saints lead to 21-17 half way through the Third Quarter.
The Eagles then intercepted Brees immediately and put themselves in great position to take the lead or crawl right up the back of the Saints. New Orleans defensive end, Will Smith ended the Philadelphia scoring threat with a sack of McNabb that jammed the Eagles out of field goal range. Brees then found running back Reggie Bush on the following drive with a screen pass that Bush caught and loped 5 yards for a touchdown. The Saints led 28-17 at the close of the Third Quarter.
The New Orleans fans were loud and animated as the Fourth Quarter began. The Eagles could do nothing with the ball on their next opportunity before Reggie Bush then electrified the already bristling home crowd with a 43-yard signature, dashing, darting, blazing run. The Saints were quickly out front 35-17 and the Saints fans were sensing a victory.
The Eagles mustered up courage and determination and crept a bit closer to the Saints halfway through the quarter with a 1-yard DeSean Jackson reverse touchdown run. Akers booted the extra point to bring the score to 35-24, New Orleans.
Hearts in New Orleans jumped a beat a few minutes later when Philadelphia cornerback, Asante Samuel, picked off a Brees pass and gave the Philadelphia team a charge. The Eagles moved the ball nicely, but the Saints defense held and Akers kicked a solid 46-yard field goal to climb the Eagles closer at, 35-27 as the Fourth Quarter wound down.
The Eagles defense rose up during the next New Orleans drive, stopping running back Mike Bell short on a third down run.
The game clock was nearly down to triple zeroes, but the Eagles had one last chance with the football. McNabb and Coach Andy Reid snapped into a hurry-up game plan that began well, but the clock was too formidable a foe and McNabb’s desperation pass for Jackson in the endzone as time ran out was intercepted by New Orleans’ Randall Gay.
New Orleans won the game and advanced to the 2009 NFC Championship Game.
Final Score: New Orleans 35 Philadelphia 27
2009 NFL Playoff Replay
Played using Downey Games' Momentum Football.
What This Is
A play through of the 2009 NFL playoffs. Write-ups are all original content.