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14 January 2018, 05:42 | Henrietta Morgan
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The sideline erupted in pandemonium.
If anyone thought Doug Pederson would try to shelter Nick Foles in the Eagles playoff game against the Falcons on Saturday, the coach's play call on the game's first snap showed he wasn't going to coddle his backup quarterback. The Eagles will host the championship game at Lincoln Financial Field next Sunday against the victor of the New Orleans Saints-Minnesota Vikings divisional game on Sunday. They are hosting it for the first time since January 2005. They will play the victor of today's New Orleans-Minnesota game.
Elliott connected on a 53-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, closing the Eagles' deficit to 10-9. We didn't execute it and they did. Completing that final pass to Jones, completing what would have been a game-winning drive and dramatic comeback against a formidable Eagles defense, would have elevated him in the eyes of those who question whether he's truly among the game's elite. Basically a game of field goals late in the game, except for one safety that the Eagles' defense caused.
The offense did just enough, with Nick Foles actually outplaying Ryan.
Foles finished 23 for 30 for 246 yards, good for a quarterback rating of 100.1. "But we made too many mistakes". The drive started after Keanu Neal recovered a fumble from Eagles running back Jay Ajayi. So many things were going through the minds of the Eagles defenders, but thanks to plenty of preparation, they knew exactly what was coming their way. Two plays later, Foles scooped up a botched handoff and was downed at the 1. He called a timeout to further consider his decision before sending his field goal unit onto the field. On fourth and goal from the one, Pederson elected to kick the field goal and Elliot's third of the game extended the lead to 15-10.
The win was secured when Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's pass to wide receiver Julio Jones fell incomplete in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line with 58 seconds remaining. Julio Jones was Julio Jones for Atlanta, catching nine passes for 101 yards.
Atlanta was the NFL's highest-scoring team last season, but its lowest production was in a 24-15 defeat to the Eagles.
It didn't take long for Kellyanne Conway to receive backlash after her tweet about the Eagle's victory.
On their final drive, it was the Falcons' top offensive weapons who made play after play.
The Falcons' once-potent offense was held scoreless in the second half. The score was set up by the Eagles' second turnover as Bryan Braman touched the ball following a punt, putting Atlanta at the Philadelphia 18-yard-line to start the possession.
"When they called that sprint out, everybody knew it".
Foles went 10-12 on play action passes for 86 yards and a passer rating of 96.5. The Eagles ran the ball effectively the entire drive and appeared to have scored on their 13th play. Then came the Eagles' second costly blunder.
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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 offence. Ajayi racked up 50 yards in the first half, but only had 4 yards on 7 second-half carries. Jeffery found open pockets to help move the chains.
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