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
The Dallas Cowboys welcomed the Philadelphia Eagles to Cowboys Stadium for the first game of the 2009 NFL Playoffs.
The Cowboys won the coin toss, but elected to defer to the Second Half. Philadelphia handled the ball first but could do nothing after three plays and was forced to punt. The Eagles could manage little offense, punting all four times they had the ball in the First Quarter.
Dallas wasted no time with their first possession of the day, getting on the scoreboard when Marion Barber took a reverse handoff and dashed 25 yard for a touchdown. The Cowboys quickly led, 7-0.
The Second Quarter began when Philadelphia's Bernard Bunkley recovered a Cowboy fumble at the Dallas 40 yard line. Eagle quarterback, Donovan McNabb, returned the turnover favor by tossing a pass that went directly to Cowboy Mike Jenkins that squashed the first effective Philadelphia drive of the game.
The Eagle defense rose up on the next Cowboy possession and stuffed Dallas tight end Jason Witten inches short of a first down on a third down catch just across the fifty yard line. Sparked by their defense, McNabb fired a dart through the Cowboy pass coverage to darting wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin who broke into the clear with the ball and took it in for a touchdown. Kicker David Akers added the extra point and the score was tied just like that, 7-7.
Again the Eagles defense stood up the Cowboy offense and forced a punt. Philadelphia now had the better of the field position and took little time to score again, this time on a McNabb to tight end Brent Selek six yard touchdown pass. Suddenly, the Eagles were up on the Cowboys, 14-7.
Dallas was unable to generate any offense in the Second Quarter, just as Philadelphia sputtered in the First Quarter. Cowboy defensive end salvaged the First Half for the Cowboys when he sacked McNabb for a 10 yard loss, knocking the Eagles out of field goal range. The First Half ended with Philadelphia ahead, 14-7.
The Third Quarter began with a futile drive by the Cowboys that ended in a punt. Both teams traded field goals by the middle of the quarter before Eagle wide receiver DeSean Jackson reeled in a McNabb pass on the sideline for a key first down that put the Eagles in scoring position. The Dallas defense stood firm, holding Philadelphia to another Akers field goal. The Third Quarter was nearly over and the home-standing Cowboys were looking at a 20-10 deficit.
Dallas quarterback, Tony Romo, brought his team back into the game with a confident throw to the sure-handed Witten who bowled into the endzone from 3 yards out to bring the Cowboys seven points closer, 20-17 as the Third Quarter ended.
Donovan McNabb gave no thought to slowing down on the Eagles next drive. The Eagles turned to the air and McNabb slung his team down the field and found tight end Jason Avant curling in the endzone for a 5 yard touchdown pass. Philadelphia had stretched their lead to ten, 27-17.
The Cowboys trudged back into Eagle territory on their next drive, but could only manage a field goal attempt after the Philadelphia defense kept them out of the red zone. Dallas kicker Nick Folk then missed a 51 yard attempt that flew just outside of the right upright.
Not discouraged, the Cowboy defense held. Romo and Dallas moved back into Philadelphia ground right away. Easily within field goal range, the Cowboys took to the air and Roy Williams pulled down a high Romo pass in the back of the end zone to pull the Cowboys within three points, 27-24.
The Dallas fans were roused and the 100,000-plus of them were roaring for their team to complete the comeback. McNabb and the Eagles were game enough, and switched up their play-calling on their next possession, moving back to their running attack. The dagger in the heart of the Cowboys and their faithful fans came when Eagle running back, LaSean McCoy took a draw handoff from McNabb at the Dallas nine yard line and stabbed through the heart of the tottering Cowboy defense for the touchdown. There was less than a minute to go in the game and Philadelphia had taken a 10-point lead, 34-24.
Eagle defenders played a conservative pass defense the final few seconds of the game. Cowboy halfback Felix Jones scored what was only an afterthought of a touchdown when he ran two yards through a passive Eagle defense.
Final Score: Philadelphia 34 Dallas 31
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.