Starting the second half with a 7-6 lead, the Eagles got the ball first, as Brad Smith returned the opening kickoff of the half to the Eagles 25. On the second play of the half, Nick Foles was called for intentional grounding, setting up third-and-17 at the Eagles 18. Foles was sacked on the next play, setting up a Donnie Jones punt from his own end zone.
Jones’ 55- yard boot was returned by Darren Sproles to the Saints 47-yard line. A pair of Mark Ingram runs would set up third-and-four from the Eagles 47-yard line. Drew Brees would find Lance Moore for seven yards, giving the Saints a first down. Ingram would pick up 18 on the next play, giving New Orleans another first down at the Eagles 22. A holding flag would back the Saints up, but Brees would find Moore once again, this time down the middle for 24 yards and a touchdown. The extra point put the Saints up 13-7 with 10:08 to play in the third quarter.
Smith returned the ensuing kickoff to the Eagles 24. A pair of LeSean McCoy runs made it third-and-four. After calling their first timeout of the half, Foles found Riley Cooper over the middle, but Cooper couldn’t hold on. What could have been a huge play for the Eagles offense ended up resulting in, another Jones punt, setting the Saints up at their own 34-yard line.
Two Ingram runs made it third-and-two for the Saints, but New Orleans needed to burn a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty. On the next play, a holding penalty backed up the Saints, but Cary Williams went down on the play. Fortunately for Eagles fans, Williams was able to walk off on his own. On third-and-twelve, Brees found Kenny Stills for 14 yards and a first down. On the next play, Brees found Benjamin Watson for a 27-yard gain, down to the Eagles 27. After picking up two more first downs with Ingram, the Saints faced first-and-goal from the four-yard line. Ingram finished the deal, running the ball up the middle for another Saints touchdown. The extra point put the Saints up 20-7 with 3:54 to play in the third quarter.
A nice return from Smith gave the Eagles the ball at their own 35-yard line. McCoy picked up 11 yards on the first play. Foles’ next pass, intended for Jason Avant, was broken up by Keenan Lewis, but Lewis was injured on the play. After a neutral zone infraction on New Orleans, Foles went deep, and DeSean Jackson came down with his first catch of the night, good for 40 yards, down to the Saints 10-yard line. A McCoy run set up third-and-goal from the two. After failing to punch it in, the Eagles went for it on fourth down, and McCoy found pay dirt. The touchdown cut the Saints lead to 20-14 with 32 seconds to go in the quarter.
After a touchback, a holding penalty backed the Saints up to their own 10-yard line. Brees found Josh Hill over the middle for nine yards, and with that the third quarter came to a close with the Saints leading 20-14. Stay tuned!