Philadelphia - Recently acquired kicker Shayne Graham booted the sixth-seeded New Orleans Saints onto the divisional round of the playoffs with a 32-yard field goal as time expired to give New Orleans a 26-24 win over the Eagles on Saturday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
It was the Saints' first road playoff win in franchise history and should end the talk that has dogged the team for the second half of the season about its problems of winning away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and in cold weather.
The Saints (12-5) will take on the top-seeded Seattle Seahawks (13-3) next Saturday at 3:35 p.m. in Seattle in a divisional playoff game. The Seahawks had a bye this week.
The kick was Graham's fourth field goal of the game (36 yards, 46, 35 were the others) as he came through when the Saints needed him most. Graham, a 14-year veteran, was signed following the team's road loss at St. Louis on Dec. 15.
Running backs Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson turned in strong efforts as the Saints dominated in the run game (36 attempts for 185 yards) and in time of possession (34:53-25:07). Ingram finished with 18 carries for 97 yards and a 4-yard touchdown run while Robinson had eight carries for 45 yards, including several on the final 10-play, 34-yard drive that set up Graham's heroics.
Darren Sproles gave the Saints great field position on the final drive when he took the kickoff back 39 yards. An additional 15 yards were tacked on for a horse-collar penalty on Philadelphia so the Saints started the drive from the Eagles' 48.
In addition to the sensational kickoff return Sproles carried the ball four times for 29 yards and had four catches for 31 yards as the Saints played without running back Pierre Thomas, who missed the game with a chest injury. Sproles ended the game with 98 yards on kickoff returns and 31 yards on three punt returns.
After a tough first half in which he threw two interceptions, Saints quarterback Drew Brees was sensational as he completed 20 of 30 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown (24 yards to Lance Moore).
The Saints' defense held Philadelphia (10-7) in check most of the night and the Nick Foles-led attack only managed 256 total yards of offense. Foles was 23 of 33 for 195 yards and two touchdowns while LeSean McCoy rushed the ball 21 times for 77 yards and a TD. Receiver DeSean Jackson had three receptions for 53 yards.
The defense had to make do without two of its top defenders - cornerback Keenan Lewis and linebacker Pars Haralson - who both left the game with injuries and didn't return. Cameron Jordan led the team with 1.5 sacks and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks shared a sack with Jordan.
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