Philadelphia Eagles fueled by historic slight going into playoff matchup with Falcons

Aubrey Yates
January 14, 2018

Lane Johnson walked off the field wearing a dog mask while teammates barked after the Philadelphia Eagles squeaked out an upset to move within one victory of the Super Bowl.

But after triumphing as the first ever No. 1 overall seed staked as an underdog in National Football League history, the locker room was the place to be. The Falcons also gifted the Eagles 63 yards worth of pass interference calls of their own. Who do the Eagles need to contain or stay away from?

Maybe even two more wins, which would bring this franchise its first Super Bowl championship, won't convince everyone. Although the Eagles have taken a step back without their MVP, those who have followed the team all year know that this game is far from over for the underdogs.

The two teams exchanged punts before Foles engineered an 86-yard, 14-play drive for an Eagles touchdown. But Philly got three field goals from Jake Elliott and a touchdown run from LeGarrette Blount.

The Eagles defense stepped up in all the right ways, limited the Falcons' offense to only 10 points, allowing 281 total yards on 59 plays.

The game wasn't decided until the final seconds. But that was as close to what the Eagles faced on Saturday as it got, and that isn't very close.

On the run game between both games: "I thought the same thing".

Jay Ajayi finished with 54 yards with 15 carries, and a few trick plays gave Nelson Agholor 20 yards on two carries, but the one was for a loss, so we'll just count the 21 yard gain.

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"I wanted to be the one to make the play, to be honest", he said. Pressing so much and anxious about so many things. "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".

"Certainly in those situations you want to go to your best players", Ryan explained. He completed 77 per cent of his passes (23 of 30) for 246 yards, no touchdowns and no turnovers. Look for him to be targeted early and often as his redemption season continues.

Ajayi returned at the start of the second half. However, six of his sacks came in one game versus the Cowboys. "You're in a competitive game".

The Eagles did say all the right things, not just last week but for three weeks before that. Prior to 1998, the Falcons went 0-3 in divisional playoffs, losing in 1978 and 1980 to the Dallas Cowboys (with the latter being probably the biggest heartbreak to Falcons fans until last year) and then in 1991 against the powerful Washington Redskins.

The Eagles will be playing with a chip on their shoulders. "That's our goal. He'll make the plays when he makes them".

Atlanta still has an offense that includes some of the best weapons at receiver, running back and quarterback in the NFL.

It wasn't enough that they lost their kicker (Caleb Sturgis), All-Pro left tackle (Jason Peters), most dynamic running back (Darren Sproles), future Pro Bowl middle linebacker (Jordan Hicks) top special-teamer (Chris Maragos) and, finally, their All-Pro quarterback (Carson Wentz) to season-ending injuries and kept winning every single game that mattered on their way to the top playoff seed in the NFC.

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