PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia Eagles rookie Jalen Hurts was more than the spark the Birds needed in his first start as quarterback. Hurts ran for 106 yards and threw for 167 yards and one touchdown as the Birds snapped a four-game losing streak, keeping them within reach of first place in the woeful NFC East.
Miles Sanders had 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 24-21 victory over the New Orleans Saints.READ MORE: DA Larry Krasner Partners With 4 Organizations On New Initiative To Fight Gun Violence In West/Southwest Philadelphia
The Saints (10-3) had won nine in a row and were 8-0 over the past two seasons without Drew Brees before running into the inspired Eagles.
The loss dropped the Saints to the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind Green Bay, but they already have secured a playoff berth.
Hurts was 17 of 30 in his first career start after replacing Carson Wentz. He fumbled once late in the fourth quarter.
The 2019 Heisman Trophy runner-up began the season as the third-string quarterback.
He was elevated to backup in Week 2 and took a few snaps each week until Wentz was benched during a 30-16 loss at Green Bay last Sunday.
Taysom Hill was 28 of 38 for 291 yards, two TDs, one interception and was sacked five times by Philly.
Sanders broke loose for an 82-yard TD run in the second quarter, giving the Eagles a 17-0 lead.
It was the fourth-longest run in franchise history.
Sanders has three runs of 70-plus yards since October.
He had a 74-yard TD run against Pittsburgh and a 74-yard run against Baltimore.
The Saints had 98 total yards in the first half before they got going on their first possession of the second half. Alvin Kamara ran in from the 5 to cap a 65-yard drive and cut Philadelphia’s lead to 17-7.READ MORE: Man Fighting For Life After Being Shot 16 Times In North Philadelphia Double Shooting, Police Say
Philadelphia lost cornerback Darius Slay and safety Rodney McLeod on the same play before Kamara scored. Both were blitzing on the play.
The Saints took advantage on the next drive when Hill fired a 37-yard TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders, who beat Kevon Seymour, playing his first game for the Eagles.
New Orleans had a chance to take a lead, but Philadelphia’s defense came through. On fourth-and-2 from the Eagles 42, Josh Sweat strip-sacked Hill and Javon Hargrave recovered. Philadelphia again kept it on the ground and Sanders ran in from the 1 to make it 24-14.
The Eagles were trying to run out the clock when Hurts fumbled near midfield. Hill connected with Jared Cook on a 20-yard TD pass to get the Saints within 24-21 with 1:29 left.
But Philadelphia recovered the onside kick.
Hurts tossed a 15-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery on fourth-and-2 to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter. Jeffery had two catches in four games this season before hauling in Hurts’ back-shoulder throw to give Philadelphia a rare lead.
After Duke Riley intercepted Hill’s pass that bounced off Kamara’s hands, Jake Elliott kicked a 44-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead. It was only the fourth pick this season for Philadelphia.
Will Lutz missed a 45-yard field goal wide right in the first quarter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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