Eagles stifle Falcons to reach NFC championship game

The Falcons seemed to regain their form of last season during their 26-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams in a wild card game last week

The Falcons seemed to regain their form of last season during their 26-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams in a wild card game last week

The Eagles have completely embraced the role of the underdog and they'll be underdogs again on Sunday night as they look to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2004.

The Falcons slow progress to the endzone had diehard Eagles fans cheering on a challenge on a pass completion, shouting when the Falcons made first downs, and roared when at 4th and goal the Eagles defense swooped in to prevent what could have been a game-winning touchdown for their opponents.

As the seconds ticked down and the Eagles knew that they had advanced to the NFC championship game, Jason Peters reached into his coat pocket, pulled out a dog mask and handed it to Lane Johnson.

Whoever wins between the Vikings and Saints, it feels like they'd be the favorites in a matchup against the Eagles. From 2002 through 2009, Philadelphia lived and died by the five different times the Eagles played in the NFC Championship games.

Speaking of MVP quarterbacks, Foles may have started off sloppy but he did manage to finish the game 23/30 for 246 yards.

And you know what that means?

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"We just kept believing in each other".

The Eagles had used a dominant rushing attack on a long drive to take the lead earlier in the 2nd quarter. Still, oddsmakers and pundits picked the defending NFC champion Falcons to win.

Despite playing against a Philadelphia Eagles team that's starting a backup quarterback, Matt Ryan and co. couldn't get the job done. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Eagles are 4-0 as home underdogs during the postseason in the Super Bowl era.

"We were able to recognize that (the play) pretty much before they even came out of the huddle."
Then, with the wind in the next quarter, the Eagles kept the Falcons so off-balance Atlanta took two timeouts in three plays. Elliott added a 21-yarder with 6:02 remaining after coach Doug Pederson briefly considered going for it on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 3. "At this point in the season, it really don't matter; it's anybody's game".

"Any time you get to this point of the season, you do want more because you're on the doorstep of being one of those elite football teams", Pederson said. Ryan's touchdown pass to Freeman looked like part shovel pass and part shot put as he bounced up on one leg and heaved it across his body into the end zone. Falcons linebacker LaRoy Reynolds was working his way over to the play, but Eagles tight end Trey Burton leveled him with a block. The Falcons, who led the league at 33.8 points per a game a year ago en route to the Super Bowl, finished the 2017 season averaging just 22.1 points per game.

Receiver Nelson Agholor's 21-yard run got the ball to the 3, and Foles botched a handoff to Corey Clement. Keenum had one last try, and a miracle 61-yard touchdown heave to Stefon Diggs pinched a ticket to Philly.

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