Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Lane Johnson and defensive end Chris Long took the "underdog" notion a step further, donning canine masks following the Eagles' 15-10 victory over the favored Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons high-powered offense was held in check throughout the game, scoring only after Eagles mistakes that gave them excellent field position. "We have to keep them out of the end zone".
"It was hard for us not to hear it", Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. That's how we feel.
Thanks to Foles doing just enough to get by on offense after completing 23 of 30 passes for 246 yards with no turnovers, Philadelphia was able to prove all of the doubters wrong by hanging on for the tough win against Atlanta to advance to the NFC Championship to face the victor of Sunday's game between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings. They got back into it in the second quarter when the Eagles capped a drive with LaGarrete Blount's two-yard run to take the lead.
They'll need to do the same next week against the victor of Sunday's NFC Divisional Round game, either the New Orleans Saints or Minnesota Vikings.
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Backup quarterback Nick Foles was 23 of 30 for 246 yards and managed the offense nicely. He did have 44 yards receiving on three catches. Foles did get lucky as the Eagles got a field goal to make it a 10-9 Falcons lead before half-time thanks to a fortunate deflection.
"I mean, we just kept believing in each other", said Foles, who became the starting quarterback when Carson Wentz, a leading league MVP contender, injured his knee in December. "That was it. Our team never wavered", Foles told NBC Sports. "The defense did an unbelievable job". Special teams. That's been the story this year. We believe in him and he believes in us and that's our approach. Then, sometime after Matt Ryan's final pass attempt of the season to Julio Jones fell harmlessly to the turf, time expired.
The NFL divisional round kicks off with the Philadelphia Eagles playing host to the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia on Sunday morning. Julio Jones was Julio Jones for Atlanta, catching nine passes for 101 yards. Devonta Freeman finished with 10 carries for seven yards, as the Falcons failed to sustain momentum. The punt return was touched by an Eagle and Atlanta recovered.
Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie showed off his incredible "dad" dance moves in the locker room straight after the game.
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. Philadelphia had a bye last week, and they haven't played a postseason game since 2014.