Eagles overcome wind, Falcons for National Football League playoff victory

Aubrey Yates
January 14, 2018

"We have belief in one another, and we knew we could win".

A short Jake Elliott field goal gave the Eagles a 15-10 lead with about six minutes remaining.

Nick Foles played well in the second half, and the Philadelphia Eagles' defense held off the Atlanta Falcons in the waning moments to advance to the NFC title game following a 15-10 victory. "Just find a way, whether it's pressure on the quarterback or stop the run or whatever was going to happen, just find a way to get it done".

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.

If wins, it will host the New Orleans-Minnesota victor next Sunday.

The Eagles are flying for another week.

The Eagles held the Falcons to 281 yards, more than 80 below their season average, and 12 points below their season scoring average.

Which made the celebration even more sweet Saturday.

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One victory shy of the third Super Bowl berth in franchise history, the Eagles have adopted an "us against the world" mentality. There were many inside Lincoln Financial Field who would have gladly suited up a one-legged Wentz than a perfectly healthy Foles. He's certainly a drop-off from Wentz, but he's also capable of spectacular performances. On Saturday, the Eagles didn't need Foles to be all-world.

"It was a tough game for us tonight", Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said, "and as we go through, we will go back and assess everything we have done". The Eagles would settle for anything better than what Foles had been to this point.

"Part of our success this season has been the balance, balance of run and pass". Put another way: The Falcons needed a near-flawless game plan, especially with Foles playing the way he did.

"Nick did a great job, man".

The emotional release was palpable, as players took time to celebrate their achievements and reflect on the fact that they are just one win away from going to the Super Bowl.

The Eagles defense managed the Falcons offense in the second half just as perfectly, shutting them out and opening the way for the offense to straighten itself out.

The divisional playoffs kick off Saturday with a doubleheader starting in where the Eagles (13-3) are the first No. 1 seed to enter their first postseason game as an underdog against the. They didn't have Foles force things to Alshon Jeffery until their top wide receiver got open for a big play to set up a huge field goal before halftime. Jay Ajayi rushed for 54 yards and had one fumble, with LeGarrette Blount rushing for a touchdown. Foles played well in his first five quarters and struggled in the next five. They seemed to gain momentum when they forced an Atlanta punt, but a gaffe by special teams gave Atlanta the ball back at the Philly 18.

Riley Cooper had a hand in the signature play of the game in each of the last two Eagles playoff losses.

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