Eagles clip Falcons to advance

Mask-wearing Eagles revel in underdog status

They went 2-1 with Nick Foles, losing a meaningless game in Week 17 after starters only played one quarter.

Players were barking like dogs, jumping up and down, the Eagles 66-year-old owner was break dancing and Lane Johnson and Chris Long were wearing dog masks. For the last couple of weeks, despite pulling out wins, the Atalanta quarterback has been protected by an offensive line with more holes in it than the plot of the last Indiana Jones movie. Everyone believes and that was shown on display tonight. The city could be buried under three feet of snow or, a fugitive could be on the loose, but football mentality doesn't waver. But the drive everybody remembers was the one capped by Anderson's Falcon dive into the end zone to put Atlanta up 14-0. "It doesn't affect me". If wins, it will play the NFC championship game on the road at the Saints or Vikings.

Let's check out the offense, defense and special teams units to see how they fared in this painful, season-ending defeat for the Falcons.

Even Celek acknowledges the weirdness.

"Y-off, 3-by-1. We all knew what was coming", Kendricks said, hooking a thumb toward Bradham.

The win over the defending NFC champs may cause some to take a second look at the Eagles.

"Nothing", Celek shot back.

That pretty much sums up the company line from inside the team's NovaCare Complex. "I left some plays out there". Maybe that was some sort of hint.

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From a pure match-up standpoint, Atlanta wants to run the ball; they make no bones about it. This should be taken like a slap in the face. I mean, the alternative would be to turn the other cheek.

"Man, just stay calm", said defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who was a force all day.

Force "Em to Throw It: The Falcons" defense was solid last weekend against a potent Rams' offense. Ajayi figured to be the workhorse for the Dolphins in 2017, however, due to head coach Adam Gase "trying to send a message to his players", the Dolphins traded Ajayi to the Eagles for a fourth-round pick.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles managed the game effectively by completing 23 of 30 passes for 246 yards. A replay reversed the call, marking Foles down at the 1, setting up Blount's touchdown on fourth down, though Elliott missed the extra point.

On the opening drive, Foles attempted to go deep down the field, throwing a short risky pass to Torey Smith. He labored to create or extend plays and lacked rhythm with receivers on throws to the outside, finishing the season with an ugly passer rating of 79.5. Ajayi sat out the final game of the regular season to rest and get ready for a heavy workload in the playoffs. It just happened to be in the red zone. We knew it was going to be a tough game.

"(Foles), that's our guy. We're going to do our job, make his job easier. They have been vocal about the disrespect they have been shown throughout the season and in the playoffs, being underdogs as the one seed at home adds fuel to that feeling.

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.

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