Foles quieted some of the critics on Saturday.
While the top-seeded Eagles never viewed themselves as underdogs, several factors converged Saturday for them to advance to the conference title game without Wentz: 1) their home-field advantage; 2) Foles avoiding a disastrous performance; 3) their defense dominating; and 4) their running game wearing down the Falcons.
And even without quarterback Carson Wentz.
On how much this loss hurt the team: "Well I can tell you, just regardless of change or team, just it hurts". An impeccably dressed bald man tapped him on the back and ...
Fresh on the heels of Georgia blowing a pair of 13-point leads to Alabama and getting burned in overtime of last week's national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, all of Atlanta's postseason miseries will be dredged up ad nauseam during the two-week buildup. After two first downs, Young and the 49ers couldn't make any more passes and was intercepted by William White again to end the game.
And on Saturday, he stood up to the challenge.
"It was tough, but the game was on the line, " Freeman said. That's what it's always been about. But the biggest thing about this it that it's sports, that's part of it.
"The biggest thing in our locker room is we believe in one another".
Before the season started, if you had mentioned Nelson Agholor's name to any Eagles' fan, they would show a face of disgust. "We've still got to play 60 minutes". "He had the whole world against him today, and he knew what was coming, but the way he prepared, especially during the bye week, we saw how serious he was, and he had great resolve".
Perhaps the Phillies are extremely confident in their football-playing neighbors in South Philly, but they neglected to formalize what they would give up in the event of a Falcons win.
After 17 games of proving themselves over and over - and under the most adverse circumstances anyone could imagine, the Philadelphia Eagles still haven't won everyone over. At that point, a backup QB is a curse, a disappointment.
That's because, after quarterback Nick Foles' terrible performance during the last two regular season games, I'm not exactly brimming with optimism and am wary of spreading skepticism, in case it's contagious. Bill Belichick's stop unit has an uneven history against such types (see: Newton, Cam and Watson, Deshaun).
"I feel like I played poorly", Ajayi said.
It wasn't a bad defensive showing for the Falcons, however, they let Nick Foles beat them down the stretch and failed to capitalize on multiple chances to put the game away, including a botched interception.
The Pats have been effusive in their praise of Mariota, though harbor scant doubt they will emerge on the long end of the scoreboard at Foxborough.
At times, Foles was fantastic.
Elliot would hit two more field goals from 37 and 21 yards out to give the Eagles a 15-10 lead. He connected on five passes of 10-plus yards during a third-quarter drive, three of which were to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Matt Ryan overthrew Julio Jones in the end zone, and the Eagles survived.
But at least he didn't go bust.
The Eagles rank as one of the league's best defences, conceding fewer rushing yards than any other team, with defensive tackles Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan clogging up the middle. He didn't make any mistakes. The beginning of the game will be huge for the Eagles. "We have belief in one another, and we knew we could win".
For his Philadelphia teammates, Foles delivered about what was expected.