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Billy Davis takes blame for Saints' run-game success

New Orleans flipped the script for its first road playoff win in franchise history.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay
will re-air the New Orleans Saints' 26-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles from Wild Card Weekend on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Instead of assaulting the Eagles through the air, the Saints leaned on a punishing ground game to wear down the opponent and keep Chip Kelly's offense off the field in Saturday's 26-24 wild-card win.

Despite the absence of Pierre Thomas, New Orleans still ran the ball 36 times for 185 yards, the team's second-highest output all season and the second most by the franchise in a playoff game. After the ground-happy approach caught the Eagles by surprise, defensive coordinator Billy Davis took the blame.

"I was putting calls out there that were about stopping the pass, which left us light in the run," Davis said after the game, per "So that run game is on me. The plan going in was to keep the points allowed down. That passing game is very potent."

Instead of an air raid, the Saints leaned on the much-criticized Mark Ingram for 97 yards off 18 attempts. Darren Sproles added 29 yards, while even undrafted Saints rookie Khiry Robinson went for 45 yards against Philly's caught-off-guard D. It was a stark departure from the progress the Eagles had made down the stretch, having not allowed 100-plus yards in a game since Week 11 and only twice since Week 5.

For a team under Kelly that's done an outstanding job adjusting all season, the Eagles never caught up to what New Orleans was throwing their way.

"We came up short. We know that," Davis said. "It really was the game plan. We were going to take their passing game away."

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