By ROB MAADDI
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Monday, January 15, 2018
PHILADELPHIA -- Nick Foles was steady, Jake Elliott had a big leg and the defence made one final stop.
The underdog Philadelphia Eagles are heading to the NFC championship game after a 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday. They'll play host to the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday.
Despite going 13-3 to earn the No. 1 seed, the Eagles entered the game as 3-point underdogs against the sixthseeded Falcons (11-7). They used it as motivation and now it's onto the next one as they continue their pursuit of the franchise's first Super Bowl title.
"If we believe the outsiders, we will be all messed up," Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said. "We went out and proved we can be the real winning team."
Matt Ryan's final pass sailed through Julio Jones's arms in the corner of the end zone as Jalen Mills had tight coverage on fourth down from the two-yard line to secure Philadelphia's win. It was another disappointing finish for the Falcons, who blew a 25-point lead against the Patriots in last year's Super Bowl.
"The reason I play this game is to win a championship," Ryan said. "That's why we put all of the hard work we put in. When you don't get that result, it's difficult."
Foles outplayed Ryan, bouncing back from a pair of subpar games with an efficient performance. He completed 77 per cent of his passes (23 of 30) for 246 yards, no touchdowns and no turnovers.