Opening up the 2014 NFL playoffs on Jan. 4, 2014, was an instant classic between the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs, but there was still much more to come. The New Orleans Saints traveled to face the Philadelphia Eagles in a game that the black and gold needed to prove that they could play well in the cold weather.
Shayne Graham hit four field goals including one as time expired to kick the "cold curse" and elevate the Saints to a 26-24 win.
The first half did not go well for the Saints as they would get some things going, but then mistakes would do them in. Drew Brees just seemed off in the early going as he overthrew receivers, under-threw others, and threw two bad interceptions.
The second led to a 10-yard touchdown pass from Nick Foles to Riley Cooper with less than two minutes left in the first half. The Saints got the ball back and were able to get in position for Shayne Graham's second field goal of the night.
Philadelphia led 7-6 at the half.
New Orleans got rolling a bit more in the second half as the Saints put together a good drive that led to a touchdown. The score came on a 24-yard pass from Brees to Lance Moore.
Later in the third quarter, the Saints turned to the running game after their defense stepped up yet again. This time, Mark Ingram pounded the ball time and time again before running it in from four yards out to put the Saints up 20-7.
It didn't take long for the Eagles to answer though as they put together a good run to get back in the game. Philly drove 65 yards in less than three and a half minutes and LeSean McCoy ran it in from one-yard out to make it 20-13, Saints.
That is how the third quarter would end in chilly Philadelphia.
As the fourth quarter went on, the Saints got the ball and put together a drive that took a little over three minutes. They would get close, but only enough for another Graham field goal to make it 23-17 in favor of the Saints, with eight minutes remaining.
Less than three minutes later, the Eagles put together a long drive that was helped by a big pass interference play on the Saints' Cory White. It ended with a three-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz that put the Eagles up 24-23.
On the ensuing kickoff, Darren Sproles got a good return and an added 15 yards due to a horse-collar penalty on the Eagles' Cary Williams. That allowed the Saints to start close to midfield with under five minutes to go.
From there, the Saints still had to score, but began seriously milking the clock. The Saints were able to take over four and a half minutes off the clock before allowing time for Shayne Graham to come in and hit a 32-yard field goal to win the game.
Please be sure to check out SaintsReport.com for more.