Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Foles outplays Ryan, and Eagles hold off Falcons for playoff win

Foles outplays Ryan, and Eagles hold off Falcons for playoff win

Despite coming into the game as 3-point underdogs, SportsLine's Stephen Oh explained that Philadelphia was still clinging to a win probability of 51 percent, which was contingent on one thing: Foles playing like a replacement-level quarterback.

Here's Stefen Wisniewski tossing Falcons safety Ricardo Allen like a rag doll, and then following that up with a second block on safety Keanu Neal. "And all week they were getting told how the Falcons were going to come in and kill them".

The Eagles lost Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles and Jordan Hicks - arguably four of the most important players on the team.

On their final drive, it was the Falcons' top offensive weapons who made play after play.

On the eye test, Foles' performance did not match his stat line, particularly in the first half.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson's message to Nick Foles this week was "just be Nick". Foles' errant pass ricocheted to Torrey Smith for a 20-yard reception. "You know what? I will gladly take two more ugly wins and then we can have a lovely parade". Foles' very bad overthrow should have easily been picked, but Neal mistimed the ball and it caromed off his knee and right into the hands of Eagles receiver Torrey Smith for a fluky 20-yard gain. The Eagles then put together their best drive, moving 80 yards in 14 plays, yet faltered close to the end zone. Thanks to social media, we can take a look and relive the jubilation of yesterday's win. The Eagles would get a defensive pass interference call in their favor, putting the ball in Falcons territory. And the Eagles defense was the reason, even overcoming early blunders from the offense and special teams. So with precious seconds ticking off the clock in the final stages of Saturday's NFC divisional round game, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan tried to make a statement of his own. Jay Ajayi's fumble and a misplayed punt that bounced off Bryan Braman led to 10 Atlanta points. Ajayi racked up 50 yards in the first half, but only had 4 yards on 7 second-half carries. He was 18 of 33 for 267 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Atlanta had one last crack and appeared to be threatening when Ryan found Julio Jones on fourth down and six to keep their last drive alive. The veteran always played hard for the Birds and it was nice to see him get some redemption after making a potentially fatal mistake. "We've been in those situations during the regular season, so we kind of know how to handle those situations, not try to make a play but let the play come to us". After #Kellyanne Conway sent out a tweet in support the Eagles, those who oppose the administration wasted no time firing back [VIDEO]. The Eagles, meanwhile, will host either the Vikings or Saints next Sunday in the NFC Championship game.

They'll meet the victor between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.

Elliott missed an extra point earlier in the quarter.

It took up much of the post-game conversation because, as many of them admitted, Matty Ice-to-Julio is something they'd take as a game-winning attempt 100 times out of 100.

Yet the Falcons still kept helping them. The Eagles last made the Super Bowl in the 2004 season, losing to New England.

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