They did. The Eagles pressured quarterback Matt Ryan on a sprint out and cornerback Jalen Mills covered Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones in the end zone and kept him from making a catch to clinch the Eagles' 15-10 win Saturday, sending the Eagles into the NFC Championship Game a week from today at Lincoln Financial Field. The win sends the Eagles to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 2009.
As the final minutes fell, Eagles fans could not get over the critical final moments as they watched with anticipation. They switched to a two-back formation.
The Falcons progressed to the Eagles' two-yard line but could not break through on fourth and goal - a pass to Jones slipped through his hands as Philadelphia took the game.
"Since Carson (Eagles first string quarterback and MVP candidate Carson Wentz) went down, nobody gave us a chance", coach Doug Pederson said, referring to the oddsmakers, who installed the Eagles as 2.5 point underdogs, and most media pundits.
"Certainly in those situations you want to go to your best players", Ryan explained. "It just goes with the territory". However, the only touchdown the Eagles had was through running back LeGarrette Blout who had 9 carries for only 19 yards. Nothing about it made sense at the time or afterward. Here's our question: How else was McLeod supposed to make a play on the ball?
Including that last one.
Even with the Eagles knowing what was coming, the Falcons still made it close.
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Dinwiddie almost recorded his first career triple-double, totaling 10 assists and matching a career best with nine rebounds. Only two other teammates managed to join him in double figures, as Tyreke Evans and James Ennis each tallied 12.
Pass rush on Matt Ryan forced errant pass, he said. Quinn was asked if he was confident Ryan and Jones could execute the play.
A majority of that went by the wayside on Saturday when Pederson chose to stop calling the game like he had Carson Wentz under center.
Sure, the rest of the game plays out differently if the score is different, but pretending a swing like that doesn't bite you somewhere in the end is foolish.
On the eye test, Foles' performance did not match his stat line, particularly in the first half. During a tweet on January 13, Kellyanne Conway celebrated the playoff win of her favorite National Football League team the Philadelphia Eagles, much to the chagrin [VIDEO] of her critics.
As the final 40 seconds of the game ticked down with the Eagles in possession, their 15-10 victory was cemented. So perhaps there is a bit of destiny on the line if the Vikings can pull out a victory this afternoon.
When the Eagles took the lead 12-10 late in the third quarter, they followed by kicking off out of bounds. Six plays later, Ryan hit Devonta Freeman from six yards out, and Atlanta led 10-6.
It led to a three-and-out. He completed 77 per cent of his passes (23 of 30) for 246 yards, no touchdowns and no turnovers. "Since that point, no one's given us a chance", Eagles coach Doug Pederson coach, referring to the QB's December 10 ACL tear. "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".