(Reuters) - The New Orleans Saints pounded Michael Vick in a 28-13 victory over Philadelphia on Monday likely to trigger further questions about the future of the Eagles quarterback and his coach.
There was media speculation before the game that a struggling Vick could be benched while head coach Andy Reid was fighting for his job.
Sensing blood, the Saints went for the jugular, attacking Vick with seven sacks and several other big hits to inflict a fourth successive defeat on the visiting Eagles.
“We’re out there fighting, giving it everything we’ve got,” Vick told reporters. “It’s very frustrating but we have to keep pushing forward. I don’t know what else to say.”
Vick passed for 272 yards but had a first-quarter pass intercepted by Patrick Robinson, who ran 99 yards for a game-opening score that set the tone for the Saints (3-5).
Drew Brees threw one of his two touchdowns in the second quarter to give New Orleans a 21-3 halftime lead and they held off a brief challenge in the second half.
Philadelphia (3-5) recovered two Saints fumbles, turning them into a 77-yard touchdown pass to Desean Jackson and a field goal that made it 21-13 midway through the third.
However, the home team responded, Brees capping a 70-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham to prolong Philadelphia’s woes.
The Eagles compiled 447 yards total offense but were unable to get touchdowns out of their many trips into New Orleans’ territory.
Brees had 239 yards passing, but it was his team’s running game for 140 yards that provided him with surprise support given the absence of versatile running back Darren Sproles, who broke his hand last week.
“We have a stable of (running) backs that can do so many things,” said Brees. “We believe. The book on the 2012 Saints has yet to be written.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury