Three field goals from Jake Elliott and a solid defensive effort would secure 15-10 victory for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Atlanta Falcons. With the win Saturday, the Eagles moved onto the NFC championship game.
Going into the game as underdogs at the No.1 seed, Philadelphia (14-3) played aggressive and showed just how strong and reliable their defense is. The Eagles limited the Falcons defense to just 281 total yards, with the falcons going six-for-13 on third down.
What an amazing goal-line stand, Eagles are going to the NFC Championship!!! pic.twitter.com/tNkNLVCTqE— The Bitter Birds (@AdrianFedkiw) January 14, 2018
With just six minutes to play in the game, the sixth-seeded Atlanta Falcons (11-7) drove down the field to set up a first and goal on the Eagles nine-yard line. After failing to complete a pass on the first two downs, Matt Ryan completed a pass for seven yards to Julio Jones.
On fourth and goal, Ryan sailed a pass over Jones’ head in the back of the end zone to secure an Eagles victory. It is the first playoff victory for the Eagles since 2008.
Philadelphia get it done without Wentz
Leading up to the game, much of the conversation had to do with how well the Eagles would do with Nick Foles under center. Foles completed 23 passes on 30 attempts for 246 yards.
On the opening drive, Foles attempted to go deep down the field, throwing a short dangerous pass to Torey Smith. The Eagles would get a defensive pass interference call in their favor, putting the ball in Falcons territory. However, on the very next play, Jay Ajayi fumbled and it was recovered by the Falcons.
Atlanta capitalized on the turnover with a 33-yard field goal from Matt Bryant, giving the Falcons an early 3-0 lead.
In the second quarter, the Eagles scored a touchdown on a one yard run from LeGarrette Blunt. On the ensuing extra-point attempt, Elliott hit the left upright, missing the extra point attempt. Philadelphia took a 6-3 lead.
Following two penalties, the Falcons drove down the field and scored on a six-yard pass from Ryan to Devonta Freeman pushing the score to 10-6.
HOW?!?@M_Ryan02 somehow keeps the play alive and finds @devontafreeman for SIX. #InBrotherhood #NFLPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/Ku8YxzyBb2— NFL (@NFL) January 13, 2018
Just before the half was over, Elliot hit a 53-yard field goal to bring the Eagles within a point.
Elliot would hit two more field goals from 37 and 21 yards out to give the Eagles a 15-10 lead.
Falcons go cold
Ryan finished the game 22-for-36 for 210 yards. Ryan would be sacked three times by the Eagles defense, with a loss of 15 yards. Julio Jones was Julio Jones for Atlanta, catching nine passes for 101 yards.
Freeman struggled to make anything happen for the Falcons running game, rushing for just seven yards. Freeman’s biggest contribution came when he caught Matt Ryan’s loan touchdown pass of the game.
As a unit, the Falcons defense couldn’t prevent the Eagles offense from driving down the field. The Eagles accumulated 334 yards, sacking Foles just one time.
Philadelphia awaits the winner of the Minnesota Vikings versus New Orleans Saints.