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Game Notes: New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles - Divisional Round

Saints win to advance to NFC championship game





·     With the win, the Saints advance to the NFC championship game for the third time in franchise history, joining the 2006 and 2009 teams. The Saints will host the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday, Jan. 20 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.

·     The Saints' win improves New Orleans' all-time playoff record to 9-10 and improves Coach Sean Payton's postseason record to 8-5. Payton's home record in playoff games improves to 6-0.

·     With the win, Payton has now defeated eight head coaches in his eight playoff victories, now including Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson.

·     With the victory today, the Saints improve their playoff record against Philadelphia to 3-1. The four matchups against Philadelphia is tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the most against any opponent in franchise postseason history with the three playoff wins against Philadelphia the most against a postseason opponent.

·     After trailing 14-0, the Saints scored the last 20 points of the game. The 14-point comeback is the largest in Saints postseason history, surpassing the 10-point comeback to defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.

·     Offensively, New Orleans' finished the game with 420 total yards, including 137 rushing yards – the fifth highest rushing total in the team's postseason history.

·     Defensively, the Saints' 14 points allowed ties a franchise postseason low set in the 2009 Divisional Playoffs when New Orleans beat Arizona 45-14. The Saints also held Philadelphia to a third down conversion rate of 29%, Philadelphia's fourth-lowest third down conversion rate of the season.

·     After surrendering 151 yards and two touchdowns on the Eagles' first two drives, New Orleans' defense only allowed 99 yards on the Eagles final eight drives of the game, and held Philadelphia scoreless for the game's final 49:39.

·     Playing in his franchise-record 13th playoff game as a Saint and 14th postseason contest overall, QB Drew Brees finished 28-of-38 for 301 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. With the two touchdown passes, Brees moves into a tie with Kurt Warner for seventh in the all-time NFL playoff record books with 31. Additionally, Brees' 28 completions moves his career postseason total to 382, surpassing John Elway and Aaron Rodgers to move into seventh all-time.

·     In his fifth career postseason game, RB Mark Ingram II rushed for 53 yards on nine carries, surpassing Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas to move into first in New Orleans' playoff record books with 246 rushing yards. Ingram's fourth quarter 36-yard carry is the longest non-scoring rush in franchise postseason history.

·     WR Michael Thomas finished with a Saints postseason record 171 yards on 12 receptions and added one touchdown. In franchise postseason history, Thomas now stands third in receiving yards with 387, fifth in receptions with 27, and tied for fourth with Jimmy Graham for touchdown receptions with two. In his career, Thomas has played in three postseason games and has recorded at least 85 receiving yards in each.

·     CB Marshon Lattimore recorded two interceptions, including a fourth quarter interception to end Philadelphia's final drive. The picks tied a Saints single-game playoff career-high. The picks were the first postseason interceptions of Lattimore's career, and increased his season total (regular season and postseason combined) to four interceptions, and three against the Eagles. Lattimore also finished the day with four tackles and two pass defenses.

·     Lattimore recorded the Saints first multi-interception postseason game since Jabari Greer had two interceptions in the 2011 NFC wild card game against the Detroit Lions.

·     In his playoff debut, LB Demario Davis led the Saints' defense with eight tackles.

·     RB Alvin Kamara led the Saints in rushing, finishing with 16 carries for 71 yards, including a 12-yard rush for a first down with 1:03 remaining to seal the victory. Kamara also recorded four receptions for 35 yards.

·     QB Taysom Hill recorded two rushes for eight yards, including a second quarter 4-yard rush on a fake punt. The rush extended a 12-play, 79-yard scoring drive, which resulted in a two-yard touchdown reception by WR Keith Kirkwood, the Saints' first touchdown of the game

·     Playing in his first career playoff game, Kirkwood scored the Saints' lone first-half touchdown, on a two-yard reception from Brees.

·     CB P.J. Williams finished with three tackles, two quarterback hits, and one pass defense.

·     K Wil Lutz made two field goals, connecting on a 45-yarder with :11 to play in the first half and a 39-yarder with 10:28 to play in the fourth quarter. Lutz has now made at least one field goal in each of his three postseason appearances.

·     The Saints' third quarter 18-play, 92-yard,11:29 touchdown drive resulting in a Michael Thomas two-yard touchdown reception is the longest touchdown drive, in terms of time elapsed, in Saints' postseason history. The 18-play drive is also the longest in National Football League postseason play since the 2007 NFC Divisional Playoffs when the Dallas Cowboys had a 20-play touchdown drive against the New York Giants. It was the longest scoring drive by time in a playoff game since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.

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