Falcons fall to Eagles 15-10, ending Atlanta's playoff run

6 best bets for the NFL Divisional Round playoff games

6 best bets for the NFL Divisional Round playoff games

The Falcons are going to have a painful, regret-filled offseason, one year after what, by the numbers, was the most painful, regret-filled offseason of the NFL's Super Bowl era.

With Nick Foles engineering several long drives, Jake Elliott converting three field goals, and the defense getting stingy in the tightest spot, Philadelphia moved into the NFC Championship Game with a 15-10 victory over the Falcons on Saturday.

If Philadelphia wins, it will host the New Orleans-Minnesota victor next Sunday. Despite that, they had an opportunity to win the game in the final minutes. They're back at Square 1, if not behind that.

It took up much of the post-game conversation because, as many of them admitted, Matty Ice-to-Julio is something they'd take as a game-winning attempt 100 times out of 100.

"The whole time, as a defense, we're defending the goal line", said Mills. "It just goes with the territory".

Wide receiver Nelson Agholor set up running back LeGarrette Blount's second-quarter TD with a 21-yard run off an inside counter. Nothing about it made sense at the time or afterward. But head coach Dan Quinn did not regret the choice to put the game in the hands of his top playmakers.

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Including that last one. The drive started at the Philadelphia 18-yard line because Eagles linebacker Bryan Braman made contact with the ball on an Atlanta punt, setting up the Falcons in prime field position.

Jones had nine receptions for 101 yards, and Ryan was 22-of-36 for 210 yards.

Only Mohamed Sanu and Matt Ryan flat-out said they liked the play-calling.

The season's end also meant the end of offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's first season. Against New Orleans or Minnesota, the Eagles are likely to be underdogs again next Sunday in the NFC Championship game.

The Eagles kicked a field goal during the final second of the half after an improbable sequence. And it would have Ryan, as the play's name gives away, sprint to his right, allowing the Eagles to focus on defending just one half of the end zone.

On the eye test, Foles' performance did not match his stat line, particularly in the first half.

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A slight chance of rain or freezing rain before noon, then a slight chance of rain. North northwest wind around 5 miles per hour becoming east in the afternoon.

RPOs aren't anyone's comfort zone and Foles wasn't anywhere near excellent, but Philadelphia succeeded in putting the quarterback in short down-and-distance situations. So perhaps there is a bit of destiny on the line if the Vikings can pull out a victory this afternoon.

That score came after the Eagles took a 12-10 lead on a 37-yard third quarter field goal by Elliott. Reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan of Atlanta throws for 203 yards on 21-of-34 passing and one touchdown.

It led to a three-and-out.

It's even more impossible when you essentially send just two pass catchers out on routes and have them stand in place, within yards of each other. But coach Doug Pederson catered better to Foles' caretaker ways, trusting everything around him to push through into the fourth quarter. "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".

"The guys are gonna motivate themselves based on what they've heard for the last month".

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