Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles

ATL
10
PHI
15
FINAL
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Atlanta were unable to convert on a last-ditch effort as the Eagles advance to the NFC championship game with a 15-10 win over the Falcons Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.

2:02 | January 13, 2018 | Atlanta Falcons, Football, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles

Game Information
Location: Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 69,596

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Fly Eagles Fly.

With the wind and against it.

With Nick Foles engineering several long drives, Jake Elliott converting three field goals, and the defense getting stingy in the tightest spot, Philadelphia moved into the NFC championship game with a 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

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. Then the Eagles (14-3) held when Atlanta (11-7) got to the 9-yard line with a first down, and to the 2 on fourth down.

When Matt Ryan's final pass sailed over Julio Jones' head in the end zone , Philly could celebrate its first playoff victory since the 2008 season.

Next Sunday, the Eagles will host either Minnesota or New Orleans for the conference crown. The Eagles last made the Super Bowl in the 2004 season, losing to New England.

"I mean, we just kept believing in each other," said Foles, who became the starter when Carson Wentz, a leading MVP contender, injured his knee in December. "That was it. Our team never wavered, defense did an amazing job, special teams - that's just been the story this year is that we just all stuck together..."

The Falcons, of course, memorably blew a 28-3 second-half lead to the Patriots in last year's Super Bowl. They will not get the opportunity to atone for it, though Ryan got them close at the end.

Despite being underdogs as the No. 1 seed, the Eagles showed plenty of moxie.

"Just keep on disrespecting and we're going to keep proving people wrong," receiver Alshon Jeffery said.

A masterful 74-yard, 12-play drive on which Foles threw for 70 yards led to Elliott's 37-yard kick into the wind that made it 12-10. The Eagles then put together their best drive, an 80-yarder covering 14 plays, yet again faltered close to the end zone. Elliott added a 21-yarder with 6:02 remaining after coach Doug Pederson briefly considered going for it on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 3.

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

Then, as the fans in the Linc held their breath, the Eagles held deep in their territory.

"Man, just stay calm," said defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who was a force all day. "We always talk about that. 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."

And the road to the Super Bowl remains through Philly.

WINDY DECISIONS

Falcons coach Dan Quinn could have opted to take the wind in the fourth quarter after deferring on the opening coin toss. Instead, he took the ball to start the second half, but it was the Eagles who got the only points of the third period.

And in the end, Atlanta had to deal with the currents on that final drive, which did include a 20-yard completion to Jones on fourth-and-6.

"It was a tough game for us tonight," Quinn said, "and as we go through, we will go back and assess everything we have done."

ERROR-FILLED HALF

Mistakes hurt the Eagles in the opening half. Jay Ajayi's fumble and a misplayed punt that bounced off Bryan Braman led to all 10 Atlanta points.

Things began nicely for Philadelphia when safety Brian Poole was tagged with pass interference on a deep pass by Foles that was held up by the wind. But Ajayi fumbled on the next play with Keanu Neal recovering.

Atlanta efficiently mixed runs and passes to drive to Matt Bryant's 33-yard field goal for an early lead.

Philadelphia got the run game going with Ajayi in the opening period. Then, with the wind in the next quarter, the Eagles kept the Falcons so off-balance Atlanta took two timeouts in three plays.

Receiver Nelson Agholor's 21-yard run got the ball to the 3, and Foles botched a handoff to Corey Clement. But the quarterback quickly dived on the loose ball and was ruled to have scored. Replay showed otherwise.

Pederson showed no hesitation going for it, and Blount surged in from the 1. Elliott's missed extra point left it 6-3.

Soon after came Matt Bosher's punt that took a wicked bounce and hit Braman while he was blocking. From the Philly 18, the Falcons benefited from two penalties before Ryan scrambled from pressure and found Devonta Freeman for a 6-yard TD and a 10-3 lead.

With 46 seconds left in the half, the hosts got lucky. Foles' errant pass ricocheted off Neal's hands to Torrey Smith for 20 yards. Jeffery made a long stretch to haul in another throw with 1 second remaining, and Elliott's 53-yard field goal just made it over the crossbar.

"It was great for momentum," Foles said. "Jake did an awesome job of kicking that for us."

QB NUMBERS

Foles finished a very efficient outing by going 23 of 30 for 246 yards.

Ryan was 22 of 36 for 210 yards on a difficult day to throw. Jones had nine receptions for 101 yards.

UP NEXT

Philadelphia will host either Minnesota or New Orleans next Sunday night for the NFC title.

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

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Eagles
09:04 Matt Bryant 33 yd FG 3 0

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Eagles
10:28 LeGarrette Blount 1 yd run (missed kick) 3 6
05:41 Devonta Freeman 6 yd pass from Matt Ryan (Matt Bryant kick) 10 6
00:00 Jake Elliott 53 yd FG 10 9

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Eagles
00:11 Jake Elliott 37 yd FG 10 12

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Falcons Eagles
06:02 Jake Elliott 21 yd FG 10 15

Team Stats
  Atlanta Philadelphia
1st Downs 19 22
Total Yards 281 334
Passing 195 238
Passing Completions/Attempts 22-36 23-30
Yards/Pass 5.0 7.7
Rushing 86 96
Rushing Attempts 20 32
Yards/Rush 4.3 3.0
Turnovers 0 2
Fumbles Lost 0 2
Interceptions Thrown 0 0
Possession 27:54 32:06

Atlanta Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Matt Ryan 22 36 210 5.8 1 0

Philadelphia Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Nick Foles 23 30 246 8.2 0 0

Atlanta Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Tevin Coleman 10 79 7.9 0 23
Devonta Freeman 10 7 0.7 0 3

Philadelphia Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Jay Ajayi 15 54 3.6 0 11
Nelson Agholor 2 20 10.0 0 21
LeGarrette Blount 9 19 2.1 1 8
Corey Clement 1 5 5.0 0 5
Nick Foles 5 -2 -0.4 0 1

Atlanta Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Julio Jones 9 101 11.2 0 21
Mohamed Sanu 3 50 16.7 0 24
Devonta Freeman 5 26 5.2 1 13
Tevin Coleman 1 14 14.0 0 14
Levine Toilolo 1 12 12.0 0 12
Taylor Gabriel 2 4 2.0 0 7
Austin Hooper 1 3 3.0 0 3
Justin Hardy 0 0 0.0 0
Nick Williams 0 0 0.0 0
Terron Ward 0 0 0.0 0

Philadelphia Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Alshon Jeffery 4 61 15.2 0 21
Jay Ajayi 3 44 14.7 0 32
Torrey Smith 3 39 13.0 0 20
Zach Ertz 3 32 10.7 0 11
Corey Clement 5 31 6.2 0 11
Nelson Agholor 3 24 8.0 0 10
Mack Hollins 1 9 9.0 0 9
Brent Celek 1 6 6.0 0 6
Trey Burton 0 0 0.0 0

Atlanta Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Robert Alford 7 1 0 0
De'Vondre Campbell 6 0 0 0
Keanu Neal 5 1 0 0
Ricardo Allen 4 0 0 0
Desmond Trufant 4 0 0 0
Vic Beasley Jr. 3 0 0 0
Brooks Reed 3 0 0 0
Takkarist McKinley 2 0 1 8
Kemal Ishmael 2 0 0 0
Grady Jarrett 2 0 0 0
Deion Jones 2 1 0 0
Dontari Poe 2 0 0 0
Brian Poole 2 1 0 0
Ahtyba Rubin 2 0 0 0
Adrian Clayborn 1 0 0 0
Duke Riley 1 0 0 0
Derrick Shelby 1 0 0 0
LaRoy Reynolds 0 0 0 0

Philadelphia Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Rodney McLeod 7 0 1 10
Ronald Darby 7 0 0 0
Malcolm Jenkins 6 2 0 0
Fletcher Cox 5 2 1 3
Mychal Kendricks 4 0 0 0
Nigel Bradham 3 1 1 2
Vinny Curry 2 1 0 0
Dannell Ellerbe 2 0 0 0
Brandon Graham 2 0 0 0
Corey Graham 1 0 0 0
Jalen Mills 1 0 0 0
Beau Allen 0 0 0 0
Kenjon Barner 0 0 0 0
Derek Barnett 0 0 0 0
Najee Goode 0 0 0 0
Timmy Jernigan 0 1 0 0
Chris Long 0 1 0 0
Stefen Wisniewski 0 0 0 0

Atlanta Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Philadelphia Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Atlanta Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Andre Roberts 2 31 15.5 0 23

Philadelphia Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Kenjon Barner 1 26 26.0 0 26
Corey Clement 1 22 22.0 0 22

Atlanta Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
No punt return stats.

Philadelphia Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Bryan Braman 1 0 0.0 0 0

Atlanta Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Matt Bryant 1 1 100.0 33

Philadelphia Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Jake Elliott 3 3 100.0 53

Atlanta Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Matt Bosher 6 203 40

Philadelphia Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Donnie Jones 3 123 54