INCONSISTENT OFFENSE: These weren't the Falcons who lit up the scoreboard on their way to winning the NFC championship past year. The game that Foles was set up inside the 25 twice he had four touchdowns and actually looked good.
The Eagles may be the top seed in the NFC and have home-field advantage in next Sunday's conference title game after beating the Falcons, but this team feels slighted by each prognosticator, pundit and panelist who has come out in the past few weeks to declare them finished. It's as good as this team has looked all season long. "We kept working, kept grinding, had faith in one another".
That was exemplified against the Eagles (14-3), who like the Falcons sputtered in the red zone. Somehow, the Eagles were able to add a 53-yard field goal with one second left to trail 10-9 at the half.
Since being traded from the Miami Dolphins, Jay Ajayi has become the team's primary ball-carrier and is expected to get plenty more in Sunday's encounter, in an effort to lessen the workload of Foles. He's going to kick himself for that play for years. "You know, obviously rolled to the right and had an opportunity to Julio". It just didn't work out and that's disappointing. In nine National Football League seasons as a coordinator, with the Jets and Rams, the former UF backup quarterbacks units ranked as a top-10 scoring offense once. "At this point in the season, it really don't matter; it's anybody's game". Then came the Eagles' second costly blunder. They've been out to prove they're more than just their quarterback.
With the Eagles defense on top in the second half, Atlanta struggled to generate forward momentum. "Was there plays that knocked us out?"
Despite going 13-3 to earn the No. 1 seed, the Eagles entered the game as 3-point underdogs against the sixth-seeded Falcons (11-7).
"I think we heard it loud enough from enough people", safety Malcolm Jenkins said.
But he couldn't get free downfield, except for a 20-yard reception on fourth down on the final drive.
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.
Foles threw 23-for-30 for 246 yards. After losing a fumble on the opening drive, Ajayi was a workhorse early on, racking up 58 of Philly's first 60 yards including 49 on the ground in the first quarter. If Foles can take care of the ball and make some big plays on the third down, the Eagles can still go a long way.
Now, the Falcons must cope with a much earlier and almost as dramatic defeat as what they sustained last February. Right now, Nick Foles might be all they got. "You've seen it time and time again whether it be communication, delay of games, time outs being taken, and it's a credit to our fans". There's a lot of back and forth. When you get in those situations, you want the ball in your hands.