EA­GLES CLAW PAST FAL­CONS IN NFL PLAY­OFFS

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Sports - Barry Wil­ner As­so­ci­ated Press

Ea­gles run­ning back Corey Cle­ment, who was a star at Wis­con­sin, helps lead Philadel­phia past Atlanta, 15-10, in an NFC Di­vi­sional play­off game on Satur­day.

PHILADEL­PHIA - Fly Ea­gles Fly. With the wind and against it. With Nick Foles en­gi­neer­ing sev­eral long drives, 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 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, 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 an 80yard drive cov­er­ing 14 plays, yet again fal­tered close to the end zone. El­liott added a 21-yarder with 6:02 re­main­ing af­ter coach Doug Ped­er­son con­sid­ered go­ing for it on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 3.

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

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