It won't be an easy game, but I expect the Eagles to come out on top 24-20 and face the victor of the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings on January 21st. The Eagles, who he once left in frustration only to return to in a lesser role, defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 15-10, to advance to the NFC Championship game next Sunday, which they'll host.
"No one has given us a chance", Doug Pederson said. "But in our locker room, we believe in one another". We don't care what anybody else says. Sure. Will they? I have no idea. But their utter shock that the defending NFC champions would be favored in a game against a team with Quarterback No. 2 was a strategic defense technique.
Not unbeatable, necessarily, but definitely unbreakable.
The Eagles rank as one of the league's best defences, conceding fewer rushing yards than any other team, with defensive tackles Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan clogging up the middle. Tough game for us tonight and as we go through and go back, we'll assess everything that we've done. That's just the way this team is wired. On second down, Ryan hit Julio Jones to bring the ball to the 2.
King Henry. Some Tennessee fans have been calling for Derrick Henry to get the starting running back job for a while but the Titans' hand was forced by the injury to DeMarco Murray in week 15. So - naturally - the Phillies and Braves were each more than eager to put some real stakes behind their rooting interest in their neighboring football teams. You read that right, six sacks in one game.
Fellow cornerback Ronald Darby was jealous.
But Foles, who was roundly questioned leading into this game, did enough. "You're in a rhythm, you're in the zone, and you're just seeing your progressions. It's like something out of a movie". The Falcons gave up another drive, propelled by a flukey interception-turned-completion by the Foles.
The Falcons had a long drive that came up just short at the end of the game. "We were pretty confident they'd move the pocket on that type of play We recognized the formation as soon as they lined up and were able to take away the first two reads on the sprint out, and he tossed it up into coverage, and we move on". The red zone efficiency and point production plummeted, too. "We couldn't let them in".
All Foles (23-for-30, 246 yards, 100.1 passer rating) did in this game was quietly outperform his Atlanta counterpart, Matt Ryan (22-for-36, 210 yards, 1 TD, 86.6 passer rating). Elliott missed the extra point, though, so it was only a three-point margin. "And all week they were getting told how the Falcons were going to come in and kill them". Yet it might just be the recipe that can help deliver the Eagles their first championship since 1960. Their preparation throughout the season is what got them through when the challenge did rise up before them.
Why should Saturday's game have been any different?
No amount of rain, snow, sleet or wind is going to guarantee that Atlanta won't beat the Eagles, who will obviously be relying on Nick Foles to play in whatever conditions the Falcons will also face.
They were headed for this all along.