'Nick Foles is the man:' Eagles get huge playoff win over Atlanta

Ruben Ruiz
January 14, 2018

The Eagles shut down Atlanta's potent offense and earned a berth in next week's NFC championship game following Saturday's triumph at Lincoln Financial Field.

"I think Sark has done a great job of finding who we are week to week, specifically the last two weeks I think he's done a great job", Ryan said.

For at least one more week, Pederson hopes the fans will again play the role of 12th man as they did by creating a hostile environment for the Falcons.

Yet, no one will suggest the Eagles didn't deserve this one, and if they do, Pederson and Co. don't really care.

Foles directed brilliant marches of 74 and 80 yards in the second half - one into the whipping wind, the other with it - and Elliott atoned for missing an extra point by converting from 53 yards at the end of the second quarter, 37 and 21 in the second half. The Falcons had first-and-goal at the 9, and got to the 2 on fourth down before Ryan's pass to Julio Jones soared over his head in the end zone.

"A lot of us have played with Nick before", said Johnson, who was a rookie in 2013, when Foles came in for Vick and took the league by storm. "It just didn't work out and that's disappointing".

Atlanta's season ends after a wild-card berth and a win at Los Angeles before Saturday's defeat.

"I felt good all game", Foles said. In the games in which the Falcons rushed for 124 or more yards, including the playoffs, they went 8-1.

On third-and-goal at the Falcons 3, Agholor, coming around on the jet sweep, crashed into Foles. They grinded it through to make sure that we could own the ball. We were looking for that opportunity, that matchup on that specific play.

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"He did a really nice job executing the game plan how we and how I know Nick can". I just feel like we need to do what we do, run or pass. Ajayi finished the opening quarter 49 rushing yards and 58 yards from scrimmage which were the most he's ever had in the first quarter of a game. He was targeted 16 times.

With a goal line stand, the road to Super Bowl 52 runs through Philadelphia.

Atlanta's running game was spotty against the Eagles, too.

Atlanta's offense went from first in points per game under Kyle Shanahan in 2016 to 15th under Sarkisian in 2017.

All told, he hit eight different receivers and averaged 8.2 yards per completion, outplaying Atlanta's Matt Ryan, who went 22 for 36 for 210 yards and a score. In the first 30 minutes alone, they lost a fumble, muffed a punt, dropped a would-be interception and had a second pass they should have picked off (but they committed defensive pass interference on the play). Instead of going for it, they chose the safe route and three more points.

"It's hard when you get to the playoffs and you've put in all the work throughout the year", Ryan said. That's the life that you kind of live as a competitor.

It was a back and forth game.

"You always want to run the ball, take a lot of time off the clock", Freeman said.

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