Embracing 'underdog' status, Eagles players wear dog masks after beating Falcons


Leading up to the game, much of the conversation had to do with how well the Eagles would do with Nick Foles under center. That's over nine years of futility.

Ricardo Allen forced Ajayi to fumble on the next play and Matt Ryan drove the 59 yards into field-goal range. The Eagles turned the ball over when Ajayi fumbled on the second play from scrimmage and again on that muffed punt.

With one second left on the clock, Elliott duly thumped over a 53-yarder to make it 10-9 at the break.

Foles overthrows Zach Ertz over the middle and the ball bounces off the knee of Falcons safety Keanu Neal before landing safely in the arms of Smith, who lunges forward to midfield. Elliotts missed extra point left it 6-3.

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One victory shy of the third Super Bowl berth in franchise history, the Eagles have adopted an "us against the world" mentality. We have to go out there and take when we know is ours. The Falcons were called for two questionable pass interference penalties in the first quarter. Ideal situation for the Falcons at their own 40 - and on the final play of the quarter, Devonta Freeman whiffed on a blitz pickup and let Ryan get dropped for a 10-yard loss. "I just think coming into next I need to play better". Credit Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas for building a roster with enough depth to withstand the injuries its sustained this year and Pederson for fostering a next-man-up culture. And the Eagles defense was the reason, even overcoming early blunders from the offense and special teams. The Eagles' defense dominated most of the second half.

Ajayi returned at the start of the second half.

Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns and 337 yards and New England cruised past Tennessee 35-14 on Saturday night to advance to their seventh successive conference title game.

Atlanta had one last crack and appeared to be threatening when Ryan found Julio Jones on fourth down and six to keep their last drive alive.

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In this matchup of birds of prey, what's a dog got to do with it?

In his three regular-season starts, Foles looked nothing like the Eagles quarterback who, in 2013, started 10 games and completed 64 percent of his throws with 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions, and a passer rating of 119.2. Between not running the ball more, weird calls on fourth down and the decline of the offense from its 30-plus points per game performance last season, it's hard not to point the finger at him. After #Kellyanne Conway sent out a tweet in support the Eagles, those who oppose the administration wasted no time firing back [VIDEO]. "But they had a lot of faith in their marquee receiver, and Jalen Mills made a big-time play - probably one of the biggest plays of the game". The Eagles did beat the Saints in 1993, 36-20, behind a 26-point fourth quarter from the Birds.

With the win Saturday, the Eagles moved onto the NFC championship game. They went to Super Bowl LI, but had trouble recapturing the offensive magic this season under new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. So perhaps there is a bit of destiny on the line if the Vikings can pull out a victory this afternoon.

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