Julio Jones on fourth-down pass: 'I can make those plays'


The storylines surrounding this one were cemented well before kickoff: The No. 1 seed isn't favored, despite being at home and owning a 13-3 regular season mark. Instead of going for it, they chose the safe route and three more points. They turned the Chargers game into a home game for the Eagles out in L.A., and showed up in big numbers against the Rams and Giants on the road as well.

Rather than play down to expectations, they appeared determined to prove the doubters and the oddsmakers wrong-and they did.

"It was great for momentum", Foles said. "We got back to that", Pederson said after Philadelphia's Divisional round victory.

While Foles did not turn the ball over on Saturday, he also did not throw a touchdown pass and did little to instil much confidence in Philadelphia's offence. Turnovers were. The Eagles put four balls on the ground, losing two.

Falcons go coldQuarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons and teammates react against the Philadelphia Eagles. A botched hand-off early in the second quarter led to another fumble. "The defense said all week long they're not gonna let us lose the game, and they didn't".

It was initially ruled a touchdown, but the call was overturned upon review.

While Eagles backup-turned-starter Nick Foles dominated the headlines this past week, it was Philadelphia's defense and running game that helped ensure the win. Foles' terrible 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. Jay Ajayi's fumble and a misplayed punt that bounced off Bryan Braman led to 10 Atlanta points. But in the end, he was every bit as efficient as he needed to be to propel the Eagles to the NFL Championship Game next weekend.

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But on fourth and goal from the two-yard line, Julio Jones slipped. He wasn't open. Ryan whipped his head back around to Jones and tossed the ball up where only the acrobatic receiver could go up and get it.

"The whole time, as a defense, we're defending the goal line", said Mills. "We're certainly disappointed that we didn't go further and get the job done, but next year's a different year". You guys are scared right now. It just didn't work out and that's disappointing.

The Eagles frankly were lucky to only be trailing 10-9 at halftime.

All the concern over Foles ended up being for nothing, partly because he played well and partly because of the play calling.

Quickly, E-A-G-L-E-S was being chanted throughout as fans reveled in their teams' first NFC Championship game appearance since 2009, making it one step closer to that ever elusive first Super Bowl Championship.

Before Sunday's game, Pederson had been watching film of Foles's time with Chip Kelly in hopes of recapturing the magic Foles possessed back in 2013, and despite not putting up eye-popping numbers, Foles responded by executed a game plan built around his strengths.

It was the first playoff win for Philadelphia since the 2008 season, and they will host either Minnesota or New Orleans for the conference title next Sunday. Despite how Foles played, it will not be surprising if the Eagles end up being underdogs again next week.