Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Seeded Eagles make history, open as home underdogs vs. sixth-seeded Falcons

Seeded Eagles make history, open as home underdogs vs. sixth-seeded Falcons

Matt Ryan's final pass sailed through Julio Jones' arms in the corner of the end zone as Jalen Mills had tight coverage on fourth down from the 2 to secure Philadelphia's win.

Atlanta managed only 10 first-half points, both coming off Philadelphia turnovers, and lost 15-10 to the Eagles on Saturday. Disappointed that such a promising season ended abruptly, but not surprised. Sarkisian was hired after Kyle Shanahan went to San Francisco to be their head coach.

Losing Wentz, an MVP candidate, was the biggest blow during a season in which several standout players were hurt. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers have had a soap opera-like season, but they are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games at this stage of the playoffs.

The Falcons drove for what could have been a game-winning drive at game's end, but an Eagles defense that had not allowed a single point all season in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter stood tall. "That was it. Our team never wavered, defense did an unbelievable job, special teams — thats just been the story this year is that we just all stuck together". "Was there plays that knocked us out?" Now, all of a sudden, we're not good enough?

Jones said the play-call was meant to take advantage of the one-on-one match-up on defense.

"That's how I know him, quite honestly", Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said of Ryan's demeanor. That was right after Foles had to fall on a fumble the play before, a pretty fortunate turn of events. But maybe what they didn't say is more telling than what they did.

"I was really considering that, going for it", said the coach. "You work all year to put yourself in the situation that we've done to get the home-field advantage, you get that first-round bye, and the whole week before people say we're the underdogs". This writer believes oddsmakers are overreacting a bit here to Atlanta's win and Foles' last two games. The Eagles ran the ball effectively the entire drive and appeared to have scored on their 13th play. "I played my part and played my role and gave as much energy and helped out the team as much as I could".

Foles outplayed Ryan, bouncing back from a pair of subpar games with an efficient performance. I feel like I could have executed a lot better. But even after the controversy at the end, Quinn was complimentary of the first-year National Football League coordinator. The home team has also covered in four of the last five meetings between these two teams. That's a shared responsibility when we don't achieve at the level that we would really like to.

"Honestly, we don't even care [who we play, ]" Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham said when asked whether he'd rather face the Minnesota Vikings or New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

Like this: