Philadelphia Eagles beat Atlanta, advance to NFC Championship Game


With the wind and against it.

With Nick Foles engineering some long drives, Jake Elliott converting three field goals and the defense getting stingy in the tightest spot, Philadelphia moved into the NFC Championship game with a 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

The Falcons had first-and-goal at the 9, and got to the 2 on fourth down before Ryan's pass to Julio Jones soared over his head in the end zone.

If Philadelphia wins, it will host the New Orleans-Minnesota victor next Sunday.

Prior to the season, Quinn spoke repeatedly about not knowing what his team truly learned from the Super Bowl implosion until it was faced with such pivotal moments again.

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He's 11-2 in 13 divisional-round games since 2002 and has completed 316 of 509 passes for 3,700 yards and 28 TDs in those games. The reality of the National Football League is what we did this week has nothing to do with what happens next week".

Foles, behind stellar play from the offensive line and excellent play calling from Pederson, finished with 246 yards on 23-of-30 passing (100.1 passer rating) and was sacked just once (and that came in the game's first 10 minutes). Special teams. That's just been the story of this year. They've haven't reached the Super Bowl since Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens and Co. lost to the New England Patriots 24-21 in February 2005. They will not get the opportunity to atone for it. In fact, the Eagles might achieve something that no No. 1 seed has done before, but no in a good way.

The Eagles then went 15-10 ahead with another Elliott field goal in the fourth, crucially taking almost eight minutes off the clock with a 14-play, 80-yard drive.

"It was tricky out there, really gusty", Elliott said.

"Man, just stay calm", said defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who was a force all day. I can't wait, baby, we're excited! They will still need to play a top-notch game to come out on top. Take what happened late in the second quarter.

In the end, however, it wouldn't be enough for the Falcons, who were limited to 130 total yards in the second half by a determined Birds defense.

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"I'm used to it now", Ryan said during Wednesday's livestreamed press conference at the Falcons' practice facility in Georgia.

As bad as Foles was for the Eagles in the first half, the Birds also didn't have much luck. Jay Ajayi's fumble and a misplayed punt that bounced off Bryan Braman led to all 10 Atlanta points. That aside, I personally don't have high hopes for Jeffery in the playoffs with Nick Foles. But Ajayi fumbled on the next play with Keanu Neal recovering. Tennessee opened the scoring on Marcus Mariotas 15-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis, who made a one-handed catch in the end zone.

Ajayi has gained 408 of his 872 total rushing yards this season while wearing an Eagles' jersey.

A cagey first quarter featured just one score, Matt Bryant's 33-yard field goal following an 11-play drive by the Falcons. But the quarterback quickly dived on the loose ball and was ruled to have scored.

"Since that point Carson went down, nobody has given us a chance", coach Doug Pederson said.

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Elliott missed the extra point when his kick cannoned back off the upright to groans from the home crowd. The mistake set Atlnata up inside the Eagles 20-yardline and after a pair of costly penalties against the home team, Matt Ryan found Devonta Freeman on a third town touchdown toss (and 10-6 lead).