Bradford, Cox lead Eagles past Saints
PHILADELPHIA (AP) This was more like Chip Kelly’s offense.
Sam Bradford overcame two red-zone interceptions and threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns, Fletcher Cox forced two fumbles on sacks and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New Orleans Saints 39-17 on Sunday.
Ryan Mathews and DeMarco Murray each rushed for touchdowns to help the Eagles (2-3) break out of their offensive slump. They snapped a three-game losing streak at home that dated to last season.
Drew Brees had three turnovers leading to 17 points for Philadelphia, and the Saints fell to 1-4 a week after an overtime win against Dallas.
Bradford and the rest of the offense struggled through the first quarter of the season. It looked like more of the same after he threw two INTs in the end zone, but he bounced back from the rough start.
Bradford got going with a 41-yard catch-and-run TD pass to Josh Huff, who did a flip into the end zone to tie it at 7-7 in the second quarter.
The Eagles broke the game open in the third. Mathews ran in from the 2 to complete a 65-yard drive to give Philadelphia a 17-10 lead. Bradford connected with Huff for 19 yards a play before the score.
On the Saints’ next snap, Cox sacked Brees, forced a fumble and recovered it at the 13. Bradford connected with Brent Celek on the following play to put Philadelphia ahead 23-10, but Caleb Sturgis missed the extra point.
Walter Thurmond intercepted Brees and returned it 44 yards to the 4 to set up Murray’s 4-yard TD run that made it 39-10 in the fourth quarter.
Brees threw a 14-yard TD pass to Brandin Cooks on the final play. Kelly ran onto the field toward Brees to shake hands but had to go back to the sideline for the extra point.
Late in the second quarter, Cox sacked Brees and forced a fumble that was recovered by Jordan Hicks at the Saints 39. Sturgis kicked a 39-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 10-7 halftime lead.
The Eagles had a first down at the Saints 12 when Bradford was picked off by Brandon Browner in the end zone in the first quarter. Brees immediately drove New Orleans down the field and threw a 6-yard TD pass to Ben Watson for a 7-0 lead.
On Philadelphia’s next possession, Devin Breaux intercepted Bradford’s pass from the 14 in the end zone.
The Eagles entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations but had hardly looked like a playoff contender. Kelly has been heavily criticized for his personnel decisions, play-calling and overall philosophy.
He silenced his critics for at least one week.
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