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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019
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The Eagles soar into the NFC Championship Game

Despite being number one seeds, Philadelphia were underdogs against Atlanta.

The Eagles defence had Matt Ryan under pressure all night.
The Eagles defence had Matt Ryan under pressure all night.
Image: Chris Szagola.PA Images

Atlanta Falcons 10 @ Philadelphia Eagles 15

THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES belied their underdog status to claim a place in the NFC Championship Game with a five-point win over the Atlanta Falcons.

The defending NFC champions came into the game as three-point favourites but failed to convert on fourth and goal with just over a minute remaining to hand the Eagles the win.

A cagey first quarter featured just one score, Matt Bryant’s 33-yard field goal following an 11-play drive by the Falcons.

Foles and the Eagles replied in the second quarter with the game’s first touchdown; LeGarrette Blount’s one-yard run capping a 14-play drive, but the extra point was missed to make the score 6-3 to Philadelphia.

Source: Michael Perez/PA Images

The Falcons answered with a touchdown of their own a few minutes later thanks, in large part, to some beneficial refereeing that kept their drive going before Devonta Freeman caught a six yard pass from Matt Ryan to restore Atlanta’s lead, 10-6.

With one second remaining in the first half, Philadelphia’s Jake Elliott made up for his missed extra point by slotting over a 53-yard field goal to send the sides in at the break with just one point between them, 10-9.

Neither side found the end zone in the third quarter, but Elliott once again nailed a kick, this time from 37 yards, to give the Eagles their first lead of the game. He added another three-pointer in the fourth to make it a five point game and his defence stood strong to secure the win.

Philly will now host the Vikings or Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

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Steve O'Rourke

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