While Philly was smarting this week with the Eagles getting points at home as the first underdog No. 1 seed to open the playoffs in National Football League history, the Falcons have been on a year-long mission to avenge blowing that 25-point lead in the Super Bowl to the Patriots. The quick throws and simple reads got the backup quarterback into a rhythm that he rode for the entire second half.
The unit will be a stable point for the Falcons going into the offseason. "That's what we thought was going to be the best play called for that time". The Falcons recovered and went on to kick a field goal to take the lead. Foles played well in his first five quarters and struggled in the next five.
That was the Falcons' mentality on a fourth-and-2 call with just over a minute remaining in a 10-15 divisional round game against the Eagles. It was the Eagles' longest run in the postseason since Correll Buckhalter's 27-yard gain against Minnesota in the 2008 playoffs. "We're just going to keep believing in one another and just keep fighting". Foles' very bad overthrow should have easily been picked, but Neal mistimed the ball and it caromed off his knee and right into the hands of Eagles receiver Torrey Smith for a fluky 20-yard gain.
In the second quarter, the Eagles scored a touchdown on a one yard run from LeGarrette Blunt.
When asked about the play-calling down the stretch, the Falcons didn't say much. The Eagles turned the ball over when Ajayi fumbled on the second play from scrimmage and again on that muffed punt.
The 86-yard drive took 14 plays and 6:44. That's a shared responsibility when we don't achieve at the level that we would really like to. The Eagles would get a defensive pass interference call in their favor, putting the ball in Falcons territory.
Atlanta's special teams' unit has been strong all season. The Eagles drove 37 yards in 46 seconds, thanks to a wild dropped interception by the Falcons' Keanu Neal. We weren't sustaining drives in the second half.
Tom Brady passed for three touchdowns and 337 yards and New England cruised past Tennessee 35-14 on Saturday night to advance to their seventh successive conference title game.
In this matchup of birds of prey, what's a dog got to do with it? There is no such thing as an ugly win at this point in the season.
Thanks to Foles doing just enough to get by on offense after completing 23 of 30 passes for 246 yards with no turnovers, Philadelphia was able to prove all of the doubters wrong by hanging on for the tough win against Atlanta to advance to the NFC Championship to face the victor of Sunday's game between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings.
But inside the ten, the Falcons bogged down; a completion just short of the goal line on third down was reviewed after an Eagles timeout, giving Atlanta time to set up the play they wanted.
The Eagles last played the Saints in the playoffs in 2013 when they lost to New Orleans, 26-24.
The Eagles now have won 16 straight games when leading after three quarters, even if their 12-10 at the time didn't feel so safe.
Yet the Falcons still kept helping them.