Three was not the magic number for the New Orleans Saints, as the team committed three turnovers on its way to a third consecutive loss, falling to the Philadelphia Eagles 40-29 at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Saints trailed 33-7 before putting up 22 points in the fourth quarter to make the final score more respectable.
Just as they did last season, the Eagles beat New Orleans by spreading out the NFL’s best rush defense.
Philadelphia piled up 242 yards on the ground on 50 attempts, including three touchdowns, and controlled the clock for more than 37 minutes.
All three scores coming courtesy of the legs of Jalen Hurts, who ran it 18 times for 69 yards. Miles Sanders led Philly with 94 yards, and Jordan Howard finished with 63.
Trevor Siemian was better than his numbers would indicate, finishing 22-40 for 214 yards and four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing).
After exchanging punts with the Eagles to start the game, Siemian was picked off by T.J. Edwards at the New Orleans 39 yard line.
Hurts accounted for 35 of Philly’s 39 yards on their scoring drive, punching it in from one yard out to give the home team a 7-0 lead.
Following a Saints three-and-out, the Eagles doubled their advantage with another scoring drive capped by a Hurts TD run.
New Orleans got on the scoreboard following the Eagles’ only turnover of the day. Former UL Cajuns defensive lineman Christian Ringo recovered a Miles Sanders fumble, which led to Siemian finding Adam Trautman for an 18-yard score.
While the Saints’ offense stuttered, the defense tried to hang on by holding the Eagles to a pair of field goals in the second quarter. However, down 20-7 with under 30 seconds to play in the half, Siemian threw his first interception of the season. Darius Slay snagged the errant attempt and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown, giving Philadelphia a 27-7 halftime advantage.
The Eagles added six more points to their lead before the Saints would find the end zone for a second time.
Siemian led New Orleans on a seven play, 75 yard drive, ending with a 26 yard strike to Marquez Callaway. For Callaway, it was his third straight game with a touchdown reception.
New Orleans would fail on the two point attempt, but quickly scored again following a quick three-and-out by the Eagles. Siemian was forced to keep it and was able to reach the end zone on a 17-yard scramble up the middle.
Now trailing by only 14 with 12:33 to play, the Saints pulled closer to Philadelphia on Brett Maher’s 28 yard kick.
The Eagles removed all hope of a late comeback by putting together one final scoring drive. Jalen Hurts broke hearts and ankles with his final carry of the day, a 24-yard scamper that put Philadelphia up 40-22.
New Orleans’ three-game losing streak is its first in five seasons. The Saints also had a 10-game streak of allowing fewer than 30 points snapped as they fell to 5-5 on the year.
Stopping the skid won’t get any easier, with a short week and the Buffalo Bills (6-4) coming to the Superdome on Thanksgiving.
The Saints are still in the playoff hunt, but these losses are gobbling up their margin for error.