NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Patrick Robinson returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown, giving the New Orleans Saints a 7-0 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles after the first quarter Monday night.
In a matchup of struggling teams, the Eagles looked to strike first after Bryce Brown broke off a 40-yard run to the New Orleans 5. But, after losing 1 yard on a run, the Eagles went to the air looking for the touchdown.
Instead, it was the Saints who scored. Michael Vick's pass went off the hands of tight end Brent Celek — right into the arms of Robinson, a cornerback. He took off down the sideline in front of the shell-shocked Philadelphia bench, tying Darren Sharper's record for the longest interception return in New Orleans history.
Vick was the only guy who had a shot at Robinson, but he instead took a low shot at Saints safety Roman Harper, who was setting up to deliver a block for his teammate. That sparked a brief scuffle while Robinson celebrated. Vick was flagged for a personal foul, though it didn't really matter.
Both teams came into the game desperate for a win, after starting the season with high expectations.
Philadelphia had lost three straight, sparking constant speculation about whether Vick would lose his starting job and turning up the heat even more on longtime coach Andy Reid.
The Saints were coming off a dismal 34-14 loss at Denver, dropping their record to 2-5. As if they needed any further distraction, there was a report that a contract extension for suspended coach Sean Payton had been voided by the league, prompting speculation that he might not return to New Orleans in 2013.