No, Foles didn't set the world on fire like he did back in 2013, when the former Arizona Wildcats quarterback came from near-obscurity - at least outside of Tucson - to salvage the Eagles' season.
The offense did just enough, with Nick Foles actually outplaying Ryan. It was another disappointing finish for the Falcons, who blew a 25-point lead against the Patriots in last year's Super Bowl.
Early on in the game, Foles looked shaky.
"That's one of the areas we are dialed in from the beginning of the season to where how we make sure those aren't field goals and they turn into touchdowns", coach Dan Quinn said. Their game plan better be to come out and show everyone why they are the number one seed, not just because Wentz was under center, but because the whole team played together and did their job. Or maybe Long had one of his own. Still, oddsmakers and pundits picked the defending NFC champion Falcons to win.
Given Atlanta's road-favorite role and the fact Philadelphia is shorthanded, neither side is expected to look to take foolish chances, with conservative offensive philosophies likely to hold sway. Winning in Philadelphia is no easy task. Heading into the game, many fans, including Falcon fans felt like this was 1980 all over and that Atlanta would just fall because well, it was Atlanta. The electricity in the stadium will be off the charts. The Falcons gave up another drive, propelled by a flukey interception-turned-completion by the Foles.
"This was the most intense game I ever been to in my life,"said Terry O'Brien of Glassboro". New Orleans is only 2-7 ATS in its last nine games against Minnesota, but Drew Brees leads a No. 4-ranked offense that is complemented by a much more dynamic rushing attack than the one he had during a loss to the Vikings in Week 1 of this season.
Can the Eagles beat Atlanta? In the fourth, Atlanta's defense struggled to get off the field and the Eagles burned the clock. The front seven pushed the pocket to make Ryan uncomfortable, and Mills played physical coverage on Jones, leaving Atlanta's MVP signal-caller with nowhere to throw. The City of Philadelphia obviously believes. It was fair fun at the expense of those who declared a 13-3 team to be a home underdog. Listening to the national media outlets and the so-called football experts, we stand little chance to win the game. They have been vocal about the disrespect they have been shown throughout the season and in the playoffs, being underdogs as the one seed at home adds fuel to that feeling.
Ryan was back with the team for Wednesday's practice. Fletcher Cox has been vocal about proving the naysayers wrong.
Which made the celebration even more sweet Saturday. I'll tell you one thing: I absolutely can not wait.
Ryan finished the game 22-for-36 for 210 yards.
Saturday begins our march to the Super Bowl.
"I think everybody perceives us as being the weakest and that is fine", Johnson told ESPN leading up to the game. Let the mantra begin: "Philadelphia against the World".
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