Eagles Prevail in Battle of the Birds

-Zack Marseglia

 

The Falcons will not have a shot at redeeming last years historic Super Bowl collapse. Courtesy of a balanced offensive attack and a stingy defense, the Eagles did just enough to hold off the Falcons. Atlanta jumped out to a 3-0 lead after Jay Ajayi fumbled on his first carry of the afternoon. The Eagles offense would respond two possessions later, punching it in from the 2 yard line on fourth and goal. Jake Elliot would miss the extra point, giving Philadelphia the 6-3 lead. On the next possession, the Eagles held an explosive Atlanta offense to 27 yards, however it was miscues on the Eagles that opened the door for Atlanta to take control of the game. On the punt, the ball ricocheted off of two Eagles, setting up Atlanta in the Red Zone. The turnover led to a 4 play, 18 yard drive, capped off by a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Devonta Freeman. A Jake Elliot field goal cut the Falcons lead to 10-9 just before halftime. After the break, the Eagles defense broke down every Atlanta drive, shutting them out in the second half. The half opened with three consecutive punts, before Philadelphia finally broke through with a Jake Elliot field goal, and it would be all they would need. The Falcons offense sputtered and stalled in every crucial situation. After another field goal from Philly, the 15-10 lead forced Atlanta to go for 6 late in the game. One final drive for the Falcons saw them take it inside the 10 with 1:30 left to play. On 4th and goal from the two, Matt Ryan went right for Julio, and the ball fell to the turf. The Eagles held on for a 15-10 win, and will advance to the NFC Championship game, where they will play the Saints or Vikings.

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