Philadelphia's offense was not impressive, but the Eagles defense was as they overcame the Atlanta Falcons 15-10 in the NFL divisional round.
The Eagles shut down Atlanta's potent offense and earned a berth in next week's NFC championship game following Saturday's triumph at Lincoln Financial Field.
Atlanta (11-7) were actually favoured to knock off the NFC's top seed, because the Eagles offense has sputtered since starting quarterback Carson Wentz tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a week 14 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
However, Atlanta's eighth-ranked offense that averaged nearly 365 yards per game was held to 281 yards by the Eagles on Saturday.
"That's a really good Atlanta team we beat and everybody's excited," Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox told NBC Sports. "We got a big team win. We'll be ready for next week."
With the win, the Eagles (14-3) will host next week's NFC title game against either the New Orleans Saints or the Minnesota Vikings, who play on Sunday.
EAGLES COACH PEDERSON HAD PERFECT GAME PLAN
Despite a shaky start that included running back Jay Ajayi fumbling on his first carry and two poorly thrown passes by Nick Foles, the Eagles settled down and implemented Doug Pederson's superb game plan. Foles, whose struggles over the final two weeks of the regular season were a big reason the Eagles were home underdogs, finished 23 of 30 for 246 yards with completions to eight different players. He completed just one pass thrown beyond 15 yards as Pederson used a variety of short throws to build his quarterback's confidence.
From there, the Eagles receivers did a great job of getting yards after the catch. Alshon Jeffery was the top receiver with four catches for 61 yards while rookie running back Corey Clement led the team with five receptions for 31 yards. Ajayi, who ran for 54 yards, caught three passes for 44 yards. Foles did get lucky as the Eagles got a field goal to make it a 10-9 Falcons lead before half-time thanks to a fortunate deflection. A Foles pass went off the knee of a leaping Keanu Neal and the ball caromed back to Eagles receiver Torrey Smith.
"We just kept believing in each other. That was it. Our team never wavered," Foles told NBC Sports. "Defense did an amazing job. Special teams.
"That's been the story this year. We all stuck together and believed we could move the ball."
RYAN DID NOT SCAN THE FIELD WELL
The Eagles sacked Matt Ryan three times, but even when the Falcons quarterback had time, he was locked in on either Julio Jones or Mohamed Sanu. When the Falcons reached the Super Bowl last season, they did so largely because Ryan did an incredible job of spreading the ball around. He failed to find his second read on Saturday as 21 of his 36 pass attempts were to either Jones or Sanu. Jones finished with nine catches for 101 yards on 16 targets while Sanu had three receptions for 50 yards on five targets.
Ryan's final pass, on a fourth-and-goal from the two, was incomplete as he tried to force it to Jones in the corner of the end zone.
Taylor Gabriel, who had two catches for four yards, was the only other Falcons receiver with more than one target. Ryan's best pass may have been an improvisational throw as the Falcons capitalised on an Eagles turnover to take a 10-6 lead in the second quarter.
A muffed punt, which bounced off the feet of at least two Eagles players, led to a Falcons touchdown. Ryan did his best Brett Favre impression to spin away from pressure before lobbing a short pass to a crossing Devonta Freeman for a six-yard score.
Ryan was the 2016 NFL MVP because he made plays like that, but he was not nearly as productive in 2017 and was hamstrung by play calling and the Eagles defense on Saturday.
SAINTS-VIKINGS WINNER WILL REPRESENT NFC IN SUPER BOWL
While Foles did not turn the ball over on Saturday, he also did not throw a touchdown pass and did little to instil much confidence in Philadelphia's offense. The Eagles' defense is among the league's best, but the Vikings have the NFL's top defense and the Saints defense ranks third with 20 interceptions.
Whether it is the Vikings or the Saints, the Eagles defense might be on the field too much and the game could get away from Philadelphia despite the benefit of homefield advantage.
18 de enero 2018
|Dortmund´s Durm suffers torn ankle ligaments|
|Chelsea send Nathan to Belenenses on loan|
|Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson|
|Gravel for breakfast but no worms on Dyche´s menu|
|Harden to return for the Rockets against the Timberwolves|
|Dybala is no Messi - Laudrup thinks comparisons are unfair|
|Jones insists weakened England can challenge for Six Nations hat-trick|
|McIlroy feeling ´a little different´ but happy with injury return|
|Dortmund leave Aubameyang out amid Arsenal links|
|Federer requested night match to avoid Melbourne scorcher|
|Koulibaly would stay at Napoli ´forever´|
|Mentor De Villiers hopes Proteas proteges ´remember that old guy´|
|Shenzhen to host WTA Finals|
|Neymar´s PSG contract has no release clause, lawyer claims|
|Robben relaxed over Bayern contract talks as other clubs circle|
|Henderson returns to Liverpool training|
|Football´s biggest release clauses - Pique joins Messi, Ronaldo and LaLiga´s big boys|
|Australia call for Carey, Hazlewood out of Gabba ODI|
|Defending champion Fleetwood upstages McIlroy, Johnson|
|No offers for Evans yet, says West Brom boss Pardew|
|Halep not feeling the pressure|
|Stafylidis seals Stoke switch|
|I was dying on court - Monfils questions decision to play in Melbourne heat|
|Birthday girl Kerber sets up Sharapova clash, misery for Muguruza|
|Federer marches on, Djokovic beats the heat but Wawrinka bows out|
|Worry about your own team - Dortmund slam Wenger´s Aubameyang pursuit|
|Fabulous Federer eases past Struff|
|Praet denies agreeing deal to join Juventus|
|No BBC for Real Madrid´s Leganes clash|
|Wawrinka discovers Tennys has game to go with the name|
|Heat hit historic low in defeat to Sixers|
|Stoke close to Stafylidis signing|
|Brisbane Roar 3 Perth Glory 2: Holman settles five-goal thriller|
|Gourvennec leaves Bordeaux after seventh defeat in eight games|
|Eight uncapped players make squad for England´s Six Nations opener|
|Stokes court date on same day as supposed England comeback|
|Pique agrees new long-term Barcelona contract|
|Wenger rules out Ozil sale as talks continue over Wilshere deal|
|Halep eases past struggling Bouchard|
|Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal close, says Wenger|
|Retiring veteran Benneteau dumps Goffin out|
|Meunier blasts ´disgraceful´ PSG fans after Neymar boos|
|Pique demands better at Camp Nou after Espanyol ´insults´|
|Djokovic outlasts Monfils in Melbourne heat|
|Wizards get in scuffle in blowout loss to Hornets|
|Schweinsteiger re-signs with Chicago Fire for 2018|
|Rockets´ Ariza, Green suspended|
|Sharapova happy with improvement|
|Muguruza stunned as upsets continue at Australian Open|
|Juve trying everything to sign Can, says Marotta|
|He´s scared of me – Ferrell reveals Federer fears|
|Konta crashes out in shock Aus Open defeat to lucky loser|
|Brady limited in practice due to hand injury|
|Sharapova overcomes Sevastova in Melbourne|
|Rooney convinced me to join Everton – Walcott|
|Simeone: Sevilla deserved their win|
|Conte calls for VAR improvements|
|Neymar not angered by PSG whistles - Silva|
|FA Cup Review: Wigan dump Bournemouth out, nine-man Chelsea scrape through|
|Banvit beat Bayreuth to stay top as Gaziantep end losing streak|
|England won´t block Jones from Lions role|
|Valverde rues Barca profligacy in Espanyol defeat|
17 de enero 2018
|Chelsea 1 Norwich City 1 (aet, 5-3 pens): Hazard and Caballero seal Blues progression|
|No generosity from Neymar as Cavani waits to make PSG history|
|Neymar sets Ligue 1 landmark with staggering individual display|
|Espanyol 1 Barcelona 0: Melendo ends unbeaten run|
|Paris Saint-Germain 8 Dijon 0: Neymar hits four as Cavani levels Ibrahimovic record|
|Atletico fan in ´serious condition´ after being stabbed before Sevilla game|
|Stokes ´can´t wait´ for England return after ECB clearance|
|Kawhi Leonard´s rehab shut down as quad problem lingers|