Eagles 15, Saints 10
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Rodney Peete didn’t do anything great in his first start for Philadelphia. He didn’t do anything really bad either and that was good enough to give the Eagles their second victory of the season _ 15-10 over the New Orleans Saints.
``We’ve got to score more touchdowns,″ Peete said. ``That’s what we’ve got to work on, but I think the number one thing is that we come away with a win. That was our main objective, any way we could get it.″
Peete, who replaced Randall Cunningham twice this season, started Sunday and moved Philadelphia into range for five field goals by Gary Anderson five times in a 15-10 win over the New Orleans Saints.
``Obviously we would like to have scored more than field goals when we got down there,″ Peete said. ``It’s something we definitely have to work on. We’ve not going to be able to win many games when you’re kicking five field goals.″
Anderson, who established himself as one of the most accurate kickers in the league during his 13-year career at Pittsburgh, hit field goals of 20, 43, 36, 37 and 42 yards for the Eagles (2-3).
``What can I say? Kicking indoors, no wind, on the carpet. It’s great,″ Anderson said.
The Saints (0-5) are off to their worst start since 1980 when they lost their first 14 games in a 1-15 season.
A crowd of 43,938 watched the latest loss, the smallest turnout for a Saints game in the Superdome since 29,745 watched the first strike game in 1987. Many people put paper bags over their heads when it became apparent the Saints would lose again.
Peete was named the Philadelphia starter after the Eagles’ 48-17 loss to Oakland last week. He completed 18 of 29 passes for 173 yards and one interception, and was sacked four times. He rushed for 28 yards on three carries, and would have scored except for a holding penalty that nullified a 9-yard run. The Eagles settled for a 36-yard field goal.
Against the Raiders, Cunningham was hounded by a relentless pass rush. He threw one interception and lost a fumble and also botched a snap on a key third down.
``I don’t think it was too much of a distraction for us,″ Peete said of the quarterback controversy. ``Everybody was more focused on how embarrassed we were after the Oakland game.″
Cunningham offered advice every time he left the field, Peete said.
``He’s been very supportive,″ Peete said. ``I’m sure it’s a situation where he’s upset, but he wants to win.″
Eagles coach Ray Rhodes said Peete will start again next week.
Anderson, who was 4-for-7 on field goals this season, kicked six field goals for the Steelers on Oct. 23, 1988, against Denver.
Philadelphia rushed for 155 yards, led by Ricky Watters’ 79 on 26 carries. The Saints rank last in the NFL in rushing defense.
New Orleans quarterback Jim Everett was sacked three times, including Mike Mamula’s hit in the third quarter that sidelined him with a sprained ankle. Everett was not expected to return, but went back into the game with seven minutes left. Two minutes later, Mamula sacked Everett again.
Everett completed 10 of 24 passes for 102 yards and an interception on a last-second desperation pass.
Tommy Hodson took over for Everett and on his first play handed off to wide receiver Torrance Small, who rushed 44 yards on a reverse for New Orleans’ only touchdown and a 10-9 lead.
``What this team needs is a win,″ Saints coach Jim Mora said. ``It’s very frustrating.″
On Philadelphia’s next drive, Anderson kicked a 37-yard field goal to reclaim the lead. He added a 42-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Tyrone Hughes returned the opening kickoff 39 yards setting up the Saints’ first score, Chip Lohmiller’s 34-yard field goal.
Anderson kicked a 20-yarder in the first quarter to tie the game at 3-3. The field goal came after Philadelphia drove to the Saints’ 2-yard line but could not score on two running plays and Peete’s pass to the end zone was broken up.
Anderson’s 43-yard field goal with eight seconds left in the first half gave the Eagles a 6-3 lead.