On Saturday, the Eagles didn't need Foles to be all-world.
Now Cooper can go back to "only" being known as a racist, as opposed to the guy who helped cost the Eagles their last two playoff games. That's over nine years of futility. They controlled the ball for 37:35, including 13:07 in the third quarter, which started with the Falcons getting the ball and going on a 16-play, 76-yard drive that ended in a Matt Bryant field goal. Matt Ryan is not that player, though, and a rollout like this simply shrinks the field to an impossible degree. But Ajayi fumbled on the next play with Keanu Neal recovering.
The Eagles defense managed the Falcons offense in the second half just as perfectly, shutting them out and opening the way for the offense to straighten itself out. Elliotts missed extra point left it 6-3.
The Falcons still had a chance to negate it all at the end, even saving themselves by following a Mohamed Sanu catch that was overturned on replay, with a huge fourth-down Jones catch. "We went out and proved we can be the real winning team". The Falcons were flagged for defensive pass interference on the play.
Following two penalties, the Falcons drove down the field and scored on a six-yard pass from Ryan to Devonta Freeman pushing the score to 10-6. "But falling short sometimes is the best motivation to keep pushing forward and trying to yearn to become a better player, to become a better team, and I've never shied away from that". 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.
Atlanta was the NFL's highest-scoring team last season, but its lowest production was in a 24-15 defeat to the Eagles.
The Eagles had a chance to add to their lead in the second quarter when the defense forced the Falcons to punt. We weren't sustaining drives in the second half. There were glimpses, yes, like in Week 15 when he was 24 of 38 for 237 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in a 34-29 win over a hapless Giants outfit.
In this matchup of birds of prey, what's a dog got to do with it?
It looked like that score would hold up until halftime until Foles connected with Alshon Jeffrey with one second remaining at the Atlanta 35 and Elliott boomed a 53-yard field goal, the longest in Eagles postseason history to make it 10-9 at the break. Schwartz has really stepped up his game lately and seems to be pushing all the right buttons in the past couple games.
The Eagles defense had their backs against the wall. The Eagles will host the championship game at Lincoln Financial Field next Sunday against the victor of the New Orleans Saints-Minnesota Vikings divisional game on Sunday. The Eagles did beat the Saints in 1993, 36-20, behind a 26-point fourth quarter from the Birds.
Yet the Falcons still kept helping them.