Eagles again fail to clinch one seed, Evans explosion helps Bucs win NFC South

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The Philadelphia Eagles again missed the chance to clinch the number one seed in the NFC as they were stunned 20-10 at home by the New Orleans Saints.

Philadelphia's offense was again without quarterback Jalen Hurts because of a shoulder injury and, after coming up short in a thriller with the Dallas Cowboys last week, the Eagles saw their attack sputter with backup Gardner Minshew under center.

The Saints, who went into the game still in the mix to win the NFC South, dominated time of possession in the first half and led 13-0 at the long break thanks a Taysom Hill one-yard touchdown run and a pair of Will Lutz field goals.

Philadelphia looked to have found the necessary spark when, after a Jake Elliott field goal got them on the board, Minshew and A.J. Brown connected for a 78-yard catch and run.

However, it proved a false dawn for the Eagles, whose defeat was essentially confirmed when Marshon Lattimore intercepted Minshew and returned the pick 11 yards for a touchdown as the four-time Pro Bowl corner returned from a 10-week injury absence.

The Saints' victory means the Eagles drop to 13-3, giving the Minnesota Vikings (12-3) and San Francisco 49ers (11-4) hope they could yet catch Philadelphia and win the race for the NFC's only first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

New Orleans can still reach the postseason, but the NFC South title is out of reach.

BUCS CLINCH SOUTH

The South is beyond the Saints because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinched it with a 30-24 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

Tampa Bay knew they would win the division with triumph, but trailed 21-10 after Sam Darnold's third touchdown pass of the game. However, having tossed a 63-yard touchdown to Mike Evans in the first half, Tom Brady hit on two further deep shots of 57 and 30 yards to complete a turnaround for the Bucs.

Evans' decisive hat-trick came after a run of 11 games without a touchdown, exploding for 207 yards from his 10 catches.

GIANTS BACK IN THE DANCE

The New York Giants will join NFC East rivals the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs after they clinched a postseason berth for the first time since 2016 by routing the Indianapolis Colts 38-10.

Their win leaves just one NFC playoff berth up for grabs, and the Detroit Lions will be confident of grabbing it following their 41-10 blowout of the Chicago Bears. Meanwhile, Carson Wentz threw three interceptions as the Washington Commanders' hopes suffered a blow with a 24-10 home loss to the Cleveland Browns.

On the AFC side, the New England Patriots' held a Tua Tagovailoa-less Miami Dolphins offense in check in a 23-21 win that kept their Wild Card hopes, as well as those of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders, alive.