All season long, Eagles fans have waited to see the aggressive play on both sides of the ball that they'd expected when the year began, and so far today they've gotten exactly that. Philadelphia scored 16 points in the frame, with Sam Bradford completing all eight passes he attempted and the defense forcing a key turnover in New Orleans' red zone, as the team took a 26-10 lead into the final quarter.
The Saints opened the third quarter with possession at their own 25. The Eagles' defense was able to get New Orleans into third-and-8, but a 46-yard gain on a perfectly placed deep ball from Drew Brees brought them down to the Eagles' 27. Another third-down completion made it first-and-goal on the 10, but on third-and-3 the Eagles finally got the stop they were looking for. After a pass by Brees harmlessly floated out of the back of the end zone, New Orleans was forced to settle for a 21-yard field goal, tying the game up at 10-10.
Philadelphia started their drive at the 20 after a touchback and methodically worked the ball into the Saints' red zone with a nine-play drive that culminated in a 2-yard touchdown run by Ryan Mathews to put the Eagles up 17-10.
New Orleans began their drive at the 20, and on first down Fletcher Cox got to Drew Brees for his third sack of the day and his second forced fumble, which he recovered himself to give Philadelphia possession on the Saints' 13. On the very first play of the ensuing drive, Sam Bradford floated the ball to a wide open Brent Celek in the end zone. The touchdown put Philadelphia up 23-10 after a missed extra point by Caleb Sturgis.
The Saints were more successful the second time around, moving the ball out of their red zone and up to Philadelphia's 37, but the Eagles' defense once again forced a punt. The offense took over at midfield after a 13-yard shank by Brandon Fields, who was signed to replace injured punter Thomas Morstead just a few days ago. After gaining 39 yards on eight plays, Philadelphia settled for a 29-yard field goal to extend their lead to 26-10 with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
Philadelphia has already gained 413 yards on the day and has held New Orleans to 228.
The Eagles returned home to face the Saints in Week 5 of the regular season. View the full gallery here...