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Philadelphia Eagles advance to NFC Championship, despite being underdogs

14 Janvier 2018

"Whoever wins, wins. It's going to be a great game". Julio Jones was mostly kept in check in this game, but caught a critical pass on fourth and eleven to keep the Falcons alive. The 26-13 win for the reigning Super Bowl runner-ups next weekend at the Linc. The Eagles are 8-1 at home against the Falcons in the regular season and playoffs over the past nine games dating to Veterans Stadium. Next week, they will host an NFC Championship game for the first time since 2005. Reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan of Atlanta throws for 203 yards on 21-of-34 passing and one touchdown. After that, the Falcons offense got quiet until the end of the fourth quarter.

So while the defense was vastly improved, particularly in the pass rush, the Falcons fell flat with the ball far too many times.

Ricardo Allen forced Ajayi to fumble on the next play and Matt Ryan drove the Falcons 59 yards into field-goal range. Ryan threw for 218 yards and a touchdown.

"The whole time, as a defense, we're defending the goal line", said Mills.

Coleman, usually the backup, had 79 yards on 10 carries, with a long of 23. It was the Eagles' longest run in the postseason since Correll Buckhalter's 27-yard gain against Minnesota in the 2008 playoffs. They have now forced at least one turnover in six straight away games after failing to force a single one in their previous three. Ajayi, a midseason acquisition, carried for 54 yards over all.

Then, midway through the second quarter, the Falcons took advantage of another Eagles mistake when linebacker LaRoy Reynolds recovered a muffed punt return on the Eagles 18-yard line. The Falcons gave up another drive, propelled by a flukey interception-turned-completion by the Foles. Foles, who fumbled on the play prior to Blount's score, completed four of his five passes on the drive but the Eagles did much of their damage through the use of backs Blount and Jay Ajayi. "We didn't get the job done, but 100 out of 100 we're going to try to put the ball in those two guys' hands to try to go win it". Many will point to Nick Foles as the key to the game, but I would argue it's the Eagles running attack that could play a bigger role. They could very well do the opposite and make Foles the focal point of the office. Meanwhile, Eagles Jake Elliott missed an extra point on the ensuing possession. The kick capped a third quarter dominated by both defenses. That's (coach) Doug's (Pederson) message: "Be yourself, do the little things, make sure you're doing every little thing you can each and every day to put yourself in position so that when we play Saturday you know you did everything you could to put yourself right there in that moment where, hey, you can go play the best football of your life".

Philadelphia Eagles advance to NFC Championship, despite being underdogs