Domo's grades for Eagles-Saints
After each game, the Daily News' Paul Domowitch offers his grades on the Eagles' performance.
Click HERE to offer your own grades for the Eagles' 26-24 loss to the Saints, which will be published in Tuesday's Daily News.
Not a very good night for the league’s No. 1 rushing offense. The offensive line had one of its poorer run-blocking performances as LeSean McCoy was held to 3.7 yards per carry by a defense that had allowed 4.6 this season. McCoy had just one double-digit yard run (11 yards), but did have a one-yard touchdown run.
Nick Foles completed 70 percent of his passes and threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions. But he took a bad 12-yard sack late in the first quarter that ended up costing the Eagles three points and struggled on third down. DeSean Jackson was a non-factor until Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis went out with a concussion late in the third quarter. Riley Cooper had a team-high six catches, one for a TD. But he had a costly drop on a third-and-four.
The Saints’ ground game figured to be the least of the Eagles’ problems, particularly with Pierre Thomas out. But a unit that had the fourth best run average (3.8 yards allowed per carry) in the league was gashed for 185 yards, including 97 by Mark Ingram. The Eagles gave up a season-high 14 rushing first downs and five double-digit-yard runs.
All in all, the Eagles did a pretty good job against Drew Brees and the Saints’ passing game. They intercepted Brees twice and held the Saints’ prolific tight end, Jimmy Graham, to three catches for 44 yards. But they blew a coverage on a third-quarter Saints touchdown drive and left tight end Ben Watson wide open for a 27-yard catch. And safety Patrick Chung got beat by Robert Meachum for a 40-yard reception that set up a fourth-quarter Shayne Graham field goal.
Alex Henery came up small on a 48-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter, and the Eagles gift-wrapped the Saints’ game-winning drive by giving up a 39-yard kickoff return to Darren Sproles and threw in another 15 yards for good measure on Cary Williams’ horse-collar tackle. DeSean Jackson had a 29-yard punt return that kick-started a fourth-quarter scoring drive. Donnie Jones had a 48.8-yard gross average, but a 38.6 net.
A run defense that has been solid all season long, came up small against a team that averaged the fourth fewest rushing yards per game in the league and didn’t have its best back. Same with the Eagles’ offensive line, which picked a bad day to turn in a flat performance. This was a winnable game and the Eagles let it slip away.