Philadelphia, the NFC East division champions with a 13-and-3 regular season record, were home underdogs in Saturday's Divisional Playoff game - the first time in National Football League history a top-seed has been a home underdog in a Divisional Playoff.
Here's Stefen Wisniewski tossing Falcons safety Ricardo Allen like a rag doll, and then following that up with a second block on safety Keanu Neal.
"He's one of the toughest competitors I've ever been around", Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said, "and the reason I say that is I'm with him every day, and I know how much he puts in, the preparation, the mindset to go for it". The best players seem to separate themselves during the postseason and Cox was clearly the best player on the field yesterday. Foles played well in his first five quarters and struggled in the next five.
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. He's surpassed 4,000 passing yards each of the last seven years.
"We gonna eat that falcon", said one fan. Foles' bad overthrow should have easily been picked, but Neal mistimed the ball and it caromed off his knee and right into the hands of Eagles receiver Torrey Smith for a fluky 20-yard gain.
Wide receiver Nelson Agholor set up running back LeGarrette Blount's second-quarter TD with a 21-yard run off an inside counter. The Eagles turned the ball over when Ajayi fumbled on the second play from scrimmage and again on that muffed punt.
Foles ended up picking up his game in the second half and led the team on two long drives that ended with field goals. That's a shared responsibility when we don't achieve at the level that we would really like to. The Falcons were flagged for defensive pass interference on the play. Credit Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas for building a roster with enough depth to withstand the injuries its sustained this year and Pederson for fostering a next-man-up culture. The Eagles limited the Falcons defense to just 281 total yards, with the falcons going six-for-13 on third down.
Ajayi returned at the start of the second half. However, Atlanta's eighth-ranked offense that averaged almost 365 yards per game was held to 281 yards by the Eagles on Saturday. The veteran always played hard for the Birds and it was nice to see him get some redemption after making a potentially fatal mistake.
In his three regular-season starts, Foles looked nothing like the Eagles quarterback who, in 2013, started 10 games and completed 64 percent of his throws with 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions, and a passer rating of 119.2. Under his command, this Eagles defense has been transformed into an elite unit. The Birds also lost to New Orleans in 2007.
Elliott missed an extra point earlier in the quarter.
It's the first time the Eagles have advanced to the championship game since 2008. When the Falcons reached the Super Bowl last season, they did so largely because Ryan did an incredible job of spreading the ball around. So perhaps there is a bit of destiny on the line if the Vikings can pull out a victory this afternoon.