Saints Pivotal Moments
Eagles 1974: Archie Returns to Lead Win with Fans' Help
The Saints (2-4) home game against the Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) was pivotal not only for the two teams but also for Saints QB Archie Manning.
The fourth-year signal-caller had been benched the previous week against the Atlanta Falcons. Coach John North said he thought the big redhead needed a rest. Bobby Scott led the Saints through three quarters until he injured his knee. Instead of sending in Man­ning, North called on rookie Larry Cipa to finish the 13-3 triumph, the Saints' first road victory after 18 straight losses.
Archie was the subject of trade rumors all week. Some said he would have been traded had Scott been healthy.
After North announced that Manning would start against Philadelphia, Archie said, "I don't need encouragement or motivation to get me ready to play a football game. As far as I'm concerned, the benching and trade talk is looking back. It won't do me any good to do that."
When asked what might happen if Manning couldn't move the ball against the Eagles, North replied, "Let's just put that behind us and look at what's ahead."
Archie was alternately cheered and jeered as the Saints couldn't put a point on the board in the first half. Fortunately, the Eagles scored only once, on Roman Gabriel's 5y touchdown pass to Harold Carmichael after an interception by LB Bill Bergey. Former Saint Tom Dempsey kicked the extra point.

Archie Manning scrambles and calls signals against the Eagles.
The Saints took advantage of a break early in the second half to tie the game. After re­ceiving the second half kickoff, the offense started poorly. FB Jess Phillips ran for an appa­rent first down only to have the gain nullified by a holding penalty. Then DT Joe Jones sacked Archie for an 8y loss. However, the Eagles were penalized 5y for defensive holding to give the Saints an automatic first down at the 13.
Manning suddenly got hot, hitting WR Joel Parker for 15y, then rookie TE Paul Seal for a whopping 42y after he beat a linebacker down the right side. Aided by blocks from his fellow RB Bill Butler, Phillips carried three straight times to pick up a first down at the 21. Butler got his chance next, gaining three before Manning scrambled to the eight. Archie dropped back to pass and threw toward Parker in the right corner of the end zone. The pass was a little high, but Parker drew contact to get an interference call from the official. The Saints scored from there on a crazy play. Phillips collided with Manning as Archie gave him the ball. Then Jess was hit hard by a defender, but as he was falling down, Phil­lips tossed the ball back to Archie, who zipped around the mass of humanity in the middle of the field to the end zone. Bill McClard's PAT tied the score with 9:27 left in the third quarter.

L-R: Jess Phillips, Joel Parker, Paul Seal, Bill Butler
The Eagles responded with a 63y drive to the Saint seven. The biggest gains came on Gabriel's passes to Carmichael for 15 and Charlie Young for 13. The advance was aided by two personal foul penalties on the Saints. The first, on DT Elex Price at the beginning of the march, was accepted by the fans. But they took great exception to the second foul on LB Wayne Coleman after Gabriel hit WR Don Zimmerman to the NO 15.
After the refs marked off the half-the-distance penalty to the seven, the Eagles tried 11 times to run a play, but the irate fans booed, stomped, and hollered until the Eagles re­treated. No one kept track of the distance the Eagles marched back and forth to their hud­dle, but it easily bested their total offense for the day. At one point, the officials sent both teams to the sidelines. The delay lasted 22 minutes.
When play finally resumed, RB Tom Sullivan plunged to the three. Then the officials got back into the fans' good graces on the next snap. TE Charle Young caught an apparent TD pass, but an official ruled that he had stepped out of the back of the end zone and come back into the playing area. So Philly settled for Dempsey's 18y field goal to take a 10-7 lead.
The score stayed the same until the Saints got the ball with only 3:42 left in the RB Alvin Maxson for 13y on a second down play, then scrambled 22y to the Philadelphia 36. After the two-minute warning, Archie found Parker for 13 and a first down. Then the Pride of Mississippi tossed to Seal down the sideline to the three. Phillips took it in around left end on the next snap. McClard's kick made it 14-10 with 1:10 left.
The Eagles staged a desperate last minute drive that carried to the NO 43 as the clock ran out.
Roman Gabriel commented on the effect of the home crowd on the game. "When you play in New Orleans, you have to expect to meet 12 players on the other side, and you have to come up with a better than errorless game in order to win." He said the long delay had an effect on the game. "We would have scored a touchdown on that series. The officials didn't have the guts to do what they were supposed to do. The rules say that kind of fan display warrants a 5y penalty, but an official told, 'We aren't going to call a penalty because the house would fall in.' The officials kept asking me to run a play if at all possible. So I did. I kept the ball myself. That's not the play I wanted to run. It was just a wasted play. So in effect, we had two plays to score instead of three. If that situtation would ever come up again, I wouldn't run a play. I'd just stand out there all night and half of the next week until the fans got quiet."
Philadelphia coach Mike McCormack didn't agree with his quarterback. "We just didn't play smart football." He cited the apparent touchdown to Young two snaps after play re­sumed following the delay. However, he did question the Saints' first touchdown by Man­ning after receiving the lateral from Phillips. "It looked like the runner's momentum was stop­ped and that his knee was on the ground. After that one, I told the officials not to drop the flag on us for a late hit because we were going to make sure their runners were down."