One step closer.
The Eagles are back in the NFC Championship and all seems right with the world. Theytopped the Falcons on a defensive goal line stand on Saturday night to earn the 15-10 victory at home.
Listen to Merrill Reese’s call of that fourth and 2 play.
Nick Foles managed the game well and did what needed to do. He was 23-30 for 246 yards. However, it was the defense that was in the spotlight creating havoc and limiting Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons defense.
After the Eagles game, the Patriots mopped the floor with the Titans on Saturday night.
Then Sunday provided two exciting games with the Jaguars eliminating the Steelers and then this happened between the Saints and Vikings:
— NFL (@NFL) January 15, 2018
The stage is set, conference championship Sunday is less than one week ago.
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Kevin Kinkead’s takeaways are a weekly must-read:
The big takeaway from this one is really easy; the Eagles were FAR from perfect and still found a way to get it done. If you told me earlier this week that they would miss an extra point and finish with a -2 turnover differential, I would have chalked it up as a loss, no doubt. But they really buckled down and overcame a sloppy start, with Jay Ajayi recovering from his early fumble (and Doug Pederson giving him the opportunity to do so). The defense played lights out all night long, holding the Falcons to just 10 points, all of which were scored off two turnovers.
Re-live the game through our game thread, which I updated, and was admittedly negative in for the most part.
Also, take a look at out CB staff predictions for the game to compare how we did. (HINT: Bob and I are just too good at this.)
After the game, the Eagles it was lit in the locker room, even Jeffrey Lurie was dancing.
But that wasn’t the biggest post-game storyline, it was this:
Lane Johnson. pic.twitter.com/ytq2seSppX
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) January 14, 2018
The team embraced the underdog role and the mask was the icing on the cake. Want to get in on the party, it is available on Amazon.
After the craziness subsided, Doug Pederson spoke and as always was excellent.
Now, the focus turns to the Vikings as this storyline is unfolding:
Random: Nick Foles was traded from @Eagles to @RamsNFL for Sam Bradford, who was traded to @Vikings, where he started in front of Case Keenum before injury. Now Foles back in Philly to play both of them in NFC Championship.
— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) January 15, 2018
And the dog masks (shirts? maybe…) will be out in full force again on Sunday:
Vikings -3.5 at Eagles
— RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) January 15, 2018
The Minnesota faithful seem confident, no?
Vikings fans started a "WE WANT PHILLY" chant
"I'm not saying that, I'm not saying that" 😂 pic.twitter.com/4xA1gVH57T
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 15, 2018
Eagles fans should feel confident though as well, especially in the coaching staff. MMQB’s Robert Klemko:
Reich installed a healthy mix of power running and run-pass option plays that put Foles in comfortable situations and helped Wentz’s replacement overcome some first-half yips, and his effective gadget plays for WR Nelson Agholor were the cherry on top. Schwartz mixed appropriately timed linebacker and nickel blitz pressure with an effective four-man rush and a focus on limiting Falcons WR Julio Jones’s opportunities, keeping Matt Ryan on the run for much of the day. To win without Wentz, the trio of Pederson, Reich and Schwartz had to put on a clinic, and they did.
Klemko’s co-hort Jenny Vrentas lumped praise on the head coach specifically:
Some parts of the game plan were simple, and others were delightfully unexpected. The Eagles used some of the run plays that had worked best for them all season and gotten them to their 13-3 record, players said, but they also added new wrinkles. Like that 21-yard run by receiver Nelson Agholor, who was lined up as a wingback outside the right tackle. Foles faked a toss to the right to the tailback, Jay Ajayi, while Agholor came across the formation to the left, taking the handoff and following Lane Johnson, who pulled in that same direction. That set up a one-yard touchdown run by LeGarrette Blount, who followed blocks by a pulling guard, Brandon Brooks, and tight end Trey Burton, to get around the edge into the end zone.
This game was so big the headlines were just made inside the stadium as the parking lot was full of action, especially when Joel Embiid is involved:
Embiid shoves an Eagles fan to the ground during tailgate: pic.twitter.com/d5T7CysB1f
— RTGIFS (@RTGIFS) January 15, 2018
In Embiid’s defense, the guy deserved it. He pushed off.
Also, outside the Linc, an Eagles fan made himself famous on NFL Network.
The countdown to the NFC Championship game is on with Nick Foles who is making history:
Nick Foles will be the 11th quarterback since 1998 to start in the playoffs with 3-or-fewer starts in the regular season of that playoff year. Previous 10 QBs had a combined 0-10 record.
People have asked so, here is the list of the 0-10 QBs: pic.twitter.com/4yPritiAdZ
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 13, 2018
Now to much less important stuff because let’s be honest, we all are fully engulfed by with the Eagles as long as this playoff run lasts.
BUT, Markelle Fultz can kinda, sorta, not really shoot again. Kinkead saw it and has more notes from the Sixers practice.
The team resumes action today with its usual MLK Day matinee with a 1pm tip-off against the Raptors at home.
Patriots DC Matt Patricia is reportedly expected to be the next Lions head coach.
Kevin Sumlin is the new head football coach at Arizona.
A guy was arrested for threatening to kill Steelers players and fans at the playoff game:
As reported by San Antonio’s KSAT-TV, a local man sent a message to Pittsburgh TV station KDKA which included threats to kill several Steelers players, fans at Heinz Field, and himself. KSAT got a copy of the note from Yuttana Choochongkol, 30, as part of an arrest affadavit, which reads as follows:
“This Sunday’s playoff game in Pittsburgh is going to be like no other. Why? Because it’s going to be my last day on this pathetic planet. So why not take some innocent lives with me? The Steelers game will be packed, and that’s when I plan on killing Steelers football players and fans before taking my own pitiful life. After all, what does a person that is going to commit suicide have to lose? Absolutely nothing. So why not take out some million dollar Steelers players before me? Sounds like a good idea. Hahahahahah”
Dennis Rodman was arrested for DUI over the weekend.
Kyle Lowry is giving a cool $1 million to Villanova for new locker rooms.
So we are throwing punches in court storms now? This is why we can’t have nice things:
A West Virginia player threw a punch at a fan after the Texas Tech crowd stormed the court pic.twitter.com/rVfA0J2uRv
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 14, 2018
Bill O’Brien got a new contract extension with the Texans.
Oh, and the Flyers’ bye week ends and they play on Tuesday at 7pm against the Rangers.
In non-sports news…
A car flew 60 feet in the air and landed in the second story of a building.
Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct.
People in Hawaii on Saturday received a false alarm alert that a missile was coming.