May 23, 2018

Instant Analysis of Falcons' 15-10 divisional playoff loss vs. Eagles

14 January 2018, 02:16 | Henrietta Morgan

Instant Analysis of Falcons' 15-10 divisional playoff loss vs. Eagles

Instant Analysis of Falcons' 15-10 divisional playoff loss vs. Eagles

"It was tough, but the game was on the line, " Freeman said.

Of course, the Falcons' poorly executed (and poorly designed) 4th-and-goal play from the Philadelphia 2-yard line never had a chance. Hostetler replaced the injured Phil Simms in December 1990 and led the Giants through the playoffs to a Super Bowl XXV win against the favorite Buffalo Bills. "But before the overturn we had another run called". Perhaps most importantly, the Eagles held Atlanta, the league's No. 1 offense on third-down conversions at 44.7 percent, to 4-of-13 in that department.

"No one has given us a chance", Doug Pederson said.

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The Falcons have a few parallels with this year's Crimson Tide team.

But what that game may have done was give Falcons a bit of a "relaxer" somewhat as the pressure of not doing well in playoff games finally subsided and went to Minnesota in a classic NFC Championship tilt. Third down and the explosive part of it, that part was there. "We believe that we still have 21 other guys out there". It's disappointing to not get the outcome that you want. As a former defensive coordinator, I recognize that's a plan that people do employ. "We just fell a little bit short". "We had them in [injured tackle] Jason Peters' coat so after the win we could break them out". "We didn't execute it and they did, and that's the way the story is on that play". So with the Falcons two yards from the end zone on a fourth down in a five-point game, it was the do-or-die moment they desired. The quarterback was on the field with the Eagles on Saturday during warmups and on the sideline during the game, supporting his teammates and soaking in the atmosphere of his first (sort of) playoff game.

This match-up between the northern birds (Eagles) and the southern birds (Falcons) marks the first time in history that the No. 1 seed in the National Conference is an underdog on their home turf. I don't know what the number split would have been from the two halves.

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After the game, Lane Johnson and Chris Long ran into the locker room wearing rubber dog masks.

"In the first half I still felt good, we just made too many mistakes, ball being on the ground and what not". "Play them in the cold and we are going to bring it, because that is what I am squawking about". The running game by far exceeded all expectations.

Philadelphia lost the time-of-possession battle in both of their final two games of the season, and ran the ball 21 and 18 times, respectively. Everybody just do your job and nobody has to go out and make a special play. "So all phases we'll really access and look into". "It's easy to place blame all on the one person". "We always expected to win this game, and if we play our best it's not as close".

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Compounding the anxiety, across the field will be Atlanta QB Matt Ryan, a local product. "I think Nigel pulled him up, and he was just back there and he just kind of flicked it". "We've still got to go out and play, but just the attitude of the team and focused on the opponent this week". His ability and his toughness, it has exemplified all that he does. "If we believe the outsiders, we will be all messed up".

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