Eagles win to unseat Falcons


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. The Falcons have not run the ball with almost the efficiency they did previous year on their way to the Super Bowl, but Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman remain a formidable tandem. But the Eagles held all night, sacking Matt Ryan three times and keeping the Falcons out of scoring position.

The Eagles (13-3) secured a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Philadelphia, which went into the matchup with the Falcon as underdog, will host either Minnesota or New Orleans for the conference championship and a chance to make the Super Bowl for the first time since 2004 season, when they lost to the New England Patriots.

The 86-yard drive took 14 plays and 6:44. Instead, he took the ball to start the second half, but it was the Eagles who got the only points of the third period. Not to mention, the Eagles looked anything but impressive to close out the season when looking at how poorly they played against the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, so it was easy to understand why so many football fans expected an early exit from Doug Pederson's team.

The Falcons had some trouble stopping the run at key moments throughout the game. The Falcons are just 2-6 against the spread in their last six road games versus the Eagles. Jones caught that TD among his nine grabs for 94 yards. He was sacked three times and under constant pressure. Foles finished the day having completed 23 of his 30 passes for 246 yards.

Jay Ajayi's fumble on his first carry quieted the crowd. The two-time Pro Bowler ran for just 7 yards on 10 carries, although Freeman did score the team's lone touchdown on a 6-yard reception from quarterback Matt Ryan.

The Eagles frankly were lucky to only be trailing 10-9 at halftime. Rams QB Jared Goff threw the ball 45 times, becoming predictable and allowing the athletic Falcons linebackers to make an impact on the game.

When asked about the play-calling down the stretch, the Falcons didn't say much.

But kicker Jake Elliott atoned at the end of the half. In the fourth, Atlanta's defense struggled to get off the field and the Eagles burned the clock. The field goal was set up when Foles' pass bounced off Falcons safety Keanu Neal's knee and was caught by wide receiver Torrey Smith for a 20-yard gain.

The game came down to a fourth-and-goal with a minute remaining at the Philadelphia 2-yard line.

Prediction: I trust the Falcons a lot more now that they demonstrated the mental toughness to win in the playoffs, despite what happened last February. The veteran quarterback felt the rush and let it rip down the field.