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Battle of the Birds: Eagles Fly Higher Than Falcons

Battle of the Birds: Eagles Fly Higher Than Falcons

With one second remaining in the first half, Philadelphia's Jake Elliott made up for his missed extra point by slotting over a 53-yard field goal to send the sides in at the break with just one point between them, 10-9.

Drew Brees had driven the Saints in position for Wil Lutz's go-ahead 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds remaining, punctuating a steely rally from a 17-point deficit that stood until 1:16 was left in the third quarter.

The much-maligned Nick Foles did enough to win, with a major assist from the Eagles' defense.

A Matt Ryan pass for Julio Jones sailed through the hands of the leaping receiver in the end zone with 58 seconds left. They will play the victor of Sunday's Minnesota Vikings-New Orleans Saints game next Sunday. "That was it. Our team never wavered, defense did an unbelievable job, special teams - that's just been the story this year is that we just all stuck together". "We were able to reward them with another opportunity next Sunday".

The Falcons (11-7) were actually favored to knock off the NFC's top seed, because the Eagles offense has sputtered since starting quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL in a Week 14 win over the Rams. "We're going to keep proving people wrong".

Then, in the fourth, the defense held again and the Eagles offense went on a 14-play drive that took more than eight minutes off the clock.

"It was tricky out there, really gusty", Elliott said.

Most damaging for Atlanta was how it came up empty deep in Eagles territory on its final drive.

"Yeah, I don't know", Jones said. "We always talk about that". But Eagles fans are feeling anything but secure going into the game.

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Everyone's already breaking down the Atlanta Falcons' final drive. There's a chance that the Falcons were just a tough matchup though, so he could bounce back against next week's opponent.

The Eagles turned up the pressure on him in the second half.

Afterward, Jenkins explained that the Falcons' personnel package - they used two runnings backs on that fourth-down snap - also hinted at the play call. The Eagles drove 37 yards in 46 seconds, thanks to a wild dropped interception by the Falcons' Keanu Neal. Still, the Eagles' offensive line did an outstanding job moving the Falcons' defensive linemen off the ball in the run game, and made some really good blocks down the field in the screen game.

Philadelphia got the run game going with Ajayi in the opening period. But an alert-Foles scooped the ball up and dove for the end zone. But the quarterback quickly dived on the loose ball and was ruled to have scored. That's when Elliott, the Eagles' first-year kicker, came out to nail the 63-yarder.

Soon after came Matt Bosher's punt that took a wicked bounce and hit Braman while he was blocking. Philadelphia took a 6-3 lead.

Atlanta capitalized on the turnover with a 33-yard field goal from Matt Bryant, giving the Falcons an early 3-0 lead.

"It was great for momentum", Foles said.

Foles completed 23 of 30 passes for 246 yards and a 100.1 passer rating. The front seven pushed the pocket to make Ryan uncomfortable, and Mills played physical coverage on Jones, leaving Atlanta's MVP signal-caller with nowhere to throw. Jones had nine catches for 101 yards, but Ryan couldn't connect with him when it mattered most. But in the end, he was every bit as efficient as he needed to be to propel the Eagles to the NFL Championship Game next weekend.


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