Eagles takeaways: Atlanta's season comes to end on final drive


The Eagles defense remained strong in the fourth quarter, forcing a punt after the Falcons started a drive on their own 40-yard line following a kickoff out of bounds. Philadelphia's Super Bowl hopes took a major hit when Wentz was lost for the season.

Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the Falcons offense will need to be sharp against defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and the Eagles' No. 4-ranked defense.

It was the first home playoff victory for the Eagles in more than 11 years.

The Eagles then went 15-10 ahead with another Elliott field goal in the fourth, crucially taking almost eight minutes off the clock with a 14-play, 80-yard drive. That turned a 10-9 halftime deficit into a 15-10 Eagles lead, but it clearly left the door open. Elliott added a 21-yard kick with 6 minutes 2 seconds remaining after Coach Doug Pederson briefly considered going for it on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 3.

The Falcons, last year's NFC champions, had trouble getting off the field in the second half.

The Philadelphia Eagles were the best team in the regular season against the run. They have now forced at least one turnover in six straight away games after failing to force a single one in their previous three. So close to a Super Bowl victory a year ago, the devastating loss appears to have had a carryover effect for Atlanta, as they've underachieved all season. Jones is projected to finish with 91 yards on 8 receptions; he averages 0.5 TDs per sim, meaning he finds the end-zone in every other simulated matchup. He was sacked three times and under constant pressure.

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Again, Foles was not sharp in the first half, but this throw was so bad it surprised the Falcons defense, and the deflection landed right in Torrey Smith's lap, giving the Eagles a chance to complete one more pass to Alshon Jeffery to get into field goal range, where Jake Elliott nailed a 53-yarder as the first half expired.

Wide receiver Nelson Agholor set up running back LeGarrette Blount's second-quarter TD with a 21-yard run off an inside counter.

JAY TRAIN: Ajayi shook off the fumble and ran well until he inexplicably went to the bench for a long stretch.

They were fortunate to get out of the first half down, 10-9.

When asked about the play-calling down the stretch, the Falcons didn't say much. Well, if he were playing against the Falcons, one oddsmaker speculated, the Eagles would be 6.5 point favorites. That decisive 21-yard kick capped an 80-yard, 14 play drive that took almost eight minutes off the clock. The Falcons advanced through the wild card round with a convincing 26-13 win on the road against the Los Angeles Rams. Ajayi had 49 rush yards on seven first-quarter carries, but the Eagles' run game stalled after that, netting 47 yards the remainder of the game.