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liny195
21.09.2018, 08:15
Fly Eagles Fly.

With the wind and against it.

With Nick Foles engineering several long drives http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/markus-wheaton-jersey , Jake Elliott converting three field goals, and the defense getting stingy in the tightest spot, Philadelphia moved into the NFC championship game with a 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

Foles directed brilliant marches of 74 and 80 yards in the second half – one into the whipping wind, the other with it – and Elliott atoned for missing an extra point by converting from 53 yards at the end of the second quarter, 37 and 21 in the second half. Then the Eagles (14-3) held when Atlanta (11-7) got to the 9-yard line with a first down, and to the 2 on fourth down.

When Matt Ryan’s final pass sailed over Julio Jones’ head in the end zone , Philly could celebrate its first playoff victory since the 2008 season.

Next Sunday, the Eagles will host either Minnesota or New Orleans for the conference crown. The Eagles last made the Super Bowl in the 2004 season, losing to New England.

”I mean, we just kept believing in each other,” said Foles, who became the starter when Carson Wentz, a leading MVP contender, injured his knee in December. ”That was it. Our team never wavered, defense did an amazing job, special teams – that’s just been the story this year is that we just all stuck together…”

The Falcons, of course Bruce Smith Jersey (http://www.buffalobillsteamonline.com/bruce-smith-jersey) , memorably blew a 28-3 second-half lead to the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl. They will not get the opportunity to atone for it, though Ryan got them close at the end.

Despite being underdogs as the No. 1 seed, the Eagles showed plenty of moxie.

”Just keep on disrespecting and we’re going to keep proving people wrong,” receiver Alshon Jeffery said.

A masterful 74-yard, 12-play drive on which Foles threw for 70 yards led to Elliott’s 37-yard kick into the wind that made it 12-10. The Eagles then put together their best drive, an 80-yarder covering 14 plays, yet again faltered close to the end zone. Elliott added a 21-yarder with 6:02 remaining after coach Doug Pederson briefly considered going for it on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 3.

”It was tricky out there, really gusty,” Elliott said.

Then, as the fans in the Linc held their breath, the Eagles held deep in their territory.

”Man, just stay calm,” said defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who was a force all day. ”We always talk about that. We’ve been in those situations during the regular season, so we kind of know how to handle those situations, not try to make a play but let the play come to us.”

And the road to the Super Bowl remains through Philly.

WINDY DECISIONS

Falcons coach Dan Quinn could have opted to take the wind in the fourth quarter after deferring on the opening coin toss. Instead, he took the ball to start the second half Kevin White Jersey (http://www.chicagobearsteamonline.com/kevin-white-jersey) , but it was the Eagles who got the only points of the third period.

And in the end, Atlanta had to deal with the currents on that final drive, which did include a 20-yard completion to Jones on fourth-and-6.

”It was a tough game for us tonight,” Quinn said, ”and as we go through, we will go back and assess everything we have done.”

ERROR-FILLED HALF

Mistakes hurt the Eagles in the opening half. Jay Ajayi’s fumble and a misplayed punt that bounced off Bryan Braman led to all 10 Atlanta points.

Things began nicely for Philadelphia when safety Brian Poole was tagged with pass interference on a deep pass by Foles that was held up by the wind. But Ajayi fumbled on the next play with Keanu Neal recovering.

Atlanta efficiently mixed runs and passes to drive to Matt Bryant’s 33-yard field goal for an early lead.

Philadelphia got the run game going with Ajayi in the opening period. Then, with the wind in the next quarter, the Eagles kept the Falcons so off-balance Atlanta took two timeouts in three plays.

Receiver Nelson Agholor’s 21-yard run got the ball to the 3, and Foles botched a handoff to Corey Clement. But the quarterback quickly dived on the loose ball and was ruled to have scored. Replay showed otherwise.

Pederson showed no hesitation going for it, and Blount surged in from the 1. Elliott’s missed extra point left it 6-3.

Soon after came Matt Bosher’s punt that took a wicked bounce and hit Braman while he was blocking. From the Philly 18, the Falcons benefited from two penalties before Ryan scrambled from pressure and found Devonta Freeman for a 6-yard TD and a 10-3 lead.

With 46 seconds left in the half, the hosts got lucky. Foles’ errant pass ricocheted off Neal’s hands to Torrey Smith for 20 yards. Jeffery made a long stretch to haul in another throw with 1 second remaining, and Elliott’s 53-yard field goal just made it over the crossbar.

”It was great for momentum,” Foles said. ”Jake did an awesome job of kicking that for us.”

QB NUMBERS

Foles finished a very efficient outing by going 23 of 30 for 246 yards.

Ryan was 22 of 36 for 210 yards on a difficult day to throw. Jones had nine receptions for 101 yards.

UP NEXT

Philadelphia will host either Minnesota or New Orleans next Sunday night for the NFC title.

Atlanta’s season ends after a wild-card berth and a win at Los Angeles before Saturday’s defeat.




Here’s a look at what’s happening around the majors today:

HIGH HEAT

It’s expected to be a hot box at many ballparks, with game-time temperatures likely to climb over 100 degrees in Texas for White Sox-Rangers, near triple digits in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Yankee Stadium Jake Ryan Jersey (http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/jake-ryan-jersey) , and into the mid-90s in Chicago and Cincinnati. On Saturday, three Twins left early with heat illness at Wrigley Field.

”Drink more water, try to stay by the fan. I try to keep a towel by my side and make sure I catch my breath,” White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson said. ”It’s a mind thing. You can’t think too much about it. If you do, it’ll eat you up.”

Angels manager Mike Scioscia saw starter Tyler Skaggs wilt after five innings in Baltimore. Scioscia was already anticipating another steamy afternoon.

”These guys will be hydrating tonight and I know Deck McGuire, the starter, was hydrating all day just in anticipation of the heat,” he said.

Said Orioles skipper Buck Showalter: ”There’s a big bulletin board the guys see every day reminding them of the things they need to do to hydrate properly. … We’re taking a lot of precautions.”

RIVALRY NIGHT

The Red Sox and Yankees play in prime time, with stars David Price (9-5, 3.66 ERA) and Luis Severino (12-2, 2.10) on the mound. New York entered Saturday a major league-best 19-5 against left-handed starting pitchers, and its .820 OPS against lefties was best in the majors. The left-handed Price has been tough lately, though, going 7-1 with a 2.72 ERA in nine starts since being diagnosed with a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome that caused him to miss a scheduled turn against the Yankees in early May.

POWER PITCHER

The biggest bat off Cincinnati’s bench might be in the bullpen. No, really. Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen has homered in three straight at-bats after connecting for a pinch-hit grand slam Saturday in a 12-3 victory over Milwaukee. He also went deep Friday during Milwaukee’s 8-2 win. ”We treat him as a position player. We covered him in scouting meetings. We’re going to have to make some adjustments,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. The last major league pitcher to homer in three consecutive at-bats was Colorado’s Mike Hampton in 2001. For the season, Lorenzen is 4 for 6 with three homers and six RBIs. His fifth career homer was the second grand slam by a Reds pitcher in a week – starter Anthony DeSclafani also hit one against the Chicago Cubs.

STINGY STUFF

The surging Rays (41-41) send left-hander Blake Snell (10-4 Troy Aikman Jersey (http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/troy-aikman-jersey) , 2.31 ERA) to the mound against Charlie Morton (10-1, 2.54) and the World Series champion Astros in the finale of a four-game series. Snell didn’t give up a hit until the seventh inning of an 11-0 win over Washington on Monday night. Tampa Bay has limited opponents to two runs or fewer in five straight games, and seven out of eight during a tough stretch against the Yankees, Nationals and Astros. Morton has won three straight starts and hasn’t permitted an earned run in his last two. Houston first baseman Yuli Gurriel (paternity leave) is expected back in the lineup.

CANADIAN CURRENCY

Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ (10-3, 3.62 ERA) faces the skidding Tigers on Canada Day in Toronto. An expected trade target as the July 31 deadline approaches, Happ has won six straight decisions and is unbeaten in eight outings. Detroit has lost 11 games in a row overall – and 12 of 14 in Toronto. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have won 10 of 11 at home.

BAY AREA BOOM

Jed Lowie and the Oakland Athletics (46-38) try for their seventh straight victory when they host AL Central-leading Cleveland. The surprising A’s have won 12 of 14 overall. They’ve also taken seven in a row against Cleveland, and nine of the last 10 meetings in Oakland.

SUMMER WINS

Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester (10-2, 2.18 ERA) hopes to start a new month the same way he ended the last one. After going 5-0 with a 1.13 ERA in five June starts, Lester pitches against Lance Lynn (5-6, 4.81) and the Minnesota Twins in the finale of the three-game interleague series.

WESTWARD NO

The Baltimore Orioles are 0-15 against AL West opponents this year after losing to the Angels 6-2 on Saturday. The O’s have dropped seven in a row overall, 17 of 18 at Camden Yards and own the worst record in the majors at 23-59. They’ll try again when Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.20 ERA) pitches at home against Los Angeles righty Deck McGuire, who makes his third major league start. Gausman has lost his last four decisions and hasn’t completed seven innings in any of his past eight starts.



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