New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes, extending his NFL record streak to 51 games, to lead the Saints past the reeling Philadelphia Eagles 28-13 on Monday.
Patrick Robinson returned an interception 99 yards while New Orleans (3-5), which bounced back from a dismal loss at Denver, also got a 22-yard touchdown run from Chris Ivory.
“There are defining moments throughout a season,” Brees said. “Big plays, big wins, that kind of bring you together and let you see a vision of what you can be, what you can accomplish. Here we are the midway point. It’s gone by fast. This is the type of momentum we want going into the second half of the season.”
The Eagles (3-5) lost their fourth straight, which is sure to keep the heat on quarterback Michael Vick and embattled coach Andy Reid.
Vick threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson in the third quarter, but that was about the only highlight for the visiting team.
The normally elusive Vick was sacked seven times.
“It’s very frustrating,” Vick said. “These are games that we have the opportunity to win, or get back in the game. At this point, everything has to be dead on. You can’t miss, and you almost have to be perfect on every drive.”
Philadelphia was far from perfect, wasting plenty of chances.
Four times, the Eagles were staring at first-and-goal, but only managed two field goals by Alex Henery.
In fact, they were outscored in those situations, with Robinson going the other way for a touchdown just when it looked like Philadelphia was on the verge of scoring.
Rubbing salt in the wound, Philadelphia squandered a chance to get back in the game with a brilliant trick play on a kickoff return.
Riley Cooper laid flat in the end zone, unseen by the Saints, then popped up to take a cross-field lateral from Brandon Boykin.
Cooper streaked down the sideline for an apparent touchdown. Only one problem — Boykin’s lateral was actually a forward pass by about a yard, ruining the play with a penalty.
Cooper stood with his hands on his hips, in disbelief, as the officials brought it back.
Philadelphia finished with 447 yards — the eighth straight team to put up more than 400 yards on the Saints. That was already the longest streak of 400-yard games given up by a defense since at least 1950, and maybe in the history of the NFL, putting New Orleans on pace to shatter the record for most yards allowed in a season.
However, New Orleans came through where it mattered most, giving up a season low in points.
Their previous best was a 31-24 victory over San Diego.
“The most important stat at the end of the day is points,” Brees said. “Our defense came up with some huge plays tonight. If we can hold teams to 13 points, we’re going to win a lot of games.”
Brees kept his record touchdown streak going, hooking up with Marques Colston on a 1-yard scoring pass and Jimmy Graham from 6 yards out.
The Saints quarterback finished 21 of 27 for 239 yards, a big improvement on his 22-of-42 showing against the Broncos.
Brees also got plenty of help from the running game, which came into the league ranked last in the league.
Ivory, Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram combined for 136 yards, each breaking off double-digit gains.
Meanwhile, the embattled Saints defense kept the heat on Vick, and the brutal beating made it tough for No. 7 to establish any rhythm. He finished 22 of 41 for 272 yards and really could not be blamed for Robinson’s interception, which went off the hands of tight end Brent Celek.