Eagles hold off Falcons to reach NFC title game

Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey here lining up as Nick Foles approaches center made a 15-yard catch to set up Jake Elliott’s 53-yard field goal as time expired in the first half Saturday

Eagles hold off Falcons to reach NFC title game

But unlike in 2014, when Foles was the starter all season, his redemption in 2018 as the maligned fill-in for Carson Wentz was spectacular in relation.

The Eagles had a chance to add to their lead in the second quarter when the defense forced the Falcons to punt.

They got it. Thanks to a stingy defensive performance and two second-half field goals from Jake Eliot-and a fourth-down goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter-the Eagles held on to beat the Falcons 15-10, which means they'll host the NFC Championship Game next Sunday. Ajayi finished the opening quarter 49 rushing yards and 58 yards from scrimmage which were the most he's ever had in the first quarter of a game. But maybe what they didn't say is more telling than what they did.

That success running the football set up one of the things Foles has excelled at in his NFL career: play action. For almost the entire game, the home-standing, top-seeded Eagles were trying to give the Falcons a win, and the Falcons stubbornly refused to take it.

Eagles' quarterback Nick Foles threw for 246 yards on a 23/30 completion/attempt ratio.

Brandon Bolden scored on a two-yard rush and Rob Gronkowski caught a four-yard pass from Brady, with Davis getting an 11-yard consolation touchdown with two minutes left to play. "So, obviously, they felt some type of way about that and they showed up today". But from there the Eagles, and Foles, performed better.

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Prior to their playoff win over the Falcons, the Eagles hadn't won a playoff game since the 2008 season.

"At the end of the day, it was him learning us and us learning him".

Keep calling them underdogs.

The sixth-seeded Atlanta Falcons entered Saturday's divisional-round game in Philadelphia as three-point favorites. "I just think coming into next I need to play better".

"Nick is Nick", Pederson said of Foles.

"It certainly motivates me", he said. The Falcons picked up the fumble at the 18-yard line, and the Eagles offense never could take the field.

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LeGarrette Blount, who won it with New England previous year, followed an Atlanta field goal with a one-yard touchdown run on fourth down to make it 6-3 Eagles in the second quarter.

Neither offense, however, looked playoff-ready through the first two quarters.

Despite being the No. 1 seed, the Eagles were underdogs because of quarterback Carson Wentz's absence.

Ryan was hardly dominant, going 22-of-36 for 210 yards and one touchdown.

For the second time in the first half, Atlanta turned the turnover into points.

The final drive was alive in part from a big catch by Jones on fourth-and-six from Atlanta's 42-yard line with 3:30 to play. Atlanta safety Keanu Neal recovered, and the Eagles missed an early opportunity. "Someone's gotta make a play, it's gonna happen", said fan Teresa Finegan. "I left some plays out there". Philadelphia had to call upon its defense to preserve the lead, with Matt Ryan's fourth-and-goal pass to Julio Jones with just more than one minute remaining falling incomplete. "And like I say in this room, we're not anxious about all that". "We kept working, kept grinding, had faith in one another".

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