PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles finally played Coach Buddy Ryan's "46" defense the way he intended it to be played.
The Eagles intercepted three passes, made three sacks and recovered two fumbles Sunday in a 27-17 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Randall Cunningham threw a pair of touchdown passes to help overcome a first-period 10-0 deficit, but Ryan's defense stole the day.
It shut down Rueben Mayes, one of the National Football League's top runners, with 20 yards in 13 carries, and held the Saints to 220 yards in total offense, 36 rushing.
The Eagles trailed, 10-0, after the first period, but a 30-yard field goal by Paul McFadden, and Cunningham's 19-yard touchdown pass to Mike Quick and 25-yard pass to Kenny Jackson triggered their first victory of the season against an opening loss.
Cunningham's go-ahead touchdown pass to Jackson with 22 seconds left in the half was subjected to an instant-replay judgment because the Saints (1-1) claimed he had one foot out of bounds.
Ralph Morcroft, the replay official, said: "I could not positively dispute his (the official's) call. That's as simple as it is."
In the third period, a fumble recovered by Charles Crawford led to another 30-yard field goal by McFadden and a 20-10 Philadelphia lead.
The Eagles went ahead, 27-10, in the fourth quarter when New Orleans quarterback Bobby Hebert was sacked and defensive end Reggie White pushed the loose ball to linebacker Seth Joyner, who ran 18 yards for a touchdown.
The Saints had built a 10-0 lead in the first period on a 45-yard field goal by Morten Andersen and a 6-yard touchdown pass from Hebert to tight end John Tice.