Last-Minute Game-Winning Touchdown Slips Through Julio Jones' Hands

Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles

The sideline erupted in pandemonium.

While Philly was smarting this week with the Eagles getting points at home as the first underdog No. 1 seed to open the playoffs in National Football League history, the Falcons have been on a year-long mission to avenge blowing that 25-point lead in the Super Bowl to the Patriots.

Philadelphia, which went into the matchup with the Falcon as underdog, will host either Minnesota or New Orleans for the conference championship and a chance to make the Super Bowl for the first time since 2004 season, when they lost to the New England Patriots. They are hosting it for the first time since January 2005.

In games like these, it's tough to pinpoint one player that really stood out against the Eagles. We didn't execute it and they did.

Eagles' quarterback Nick Foles threw for 246 yards on a 23/30 completion/attempt ratio.

Matt Ryan was outplayed by Nick Foles. "Don't ruin this for us", one tweet read. Jay Ajayi rushed for 54 yards and had one fumble, with LeGarrette Blount rushing for a touchdown. On Saturday, the Eagles didn't need Foles to be all-world. He called a timeout to further consider his decision before sending his field goal unit onto the field.

The Eagles then went 15-10 ahead with another Elliott field goal in the fourth, crucially taking almost eight minutes off the clock with a 14-play, 80-yard drive.

Atlanta drove all the way to the two-yard line, but it wasn't enough. Ryan's pass to Jones on fourth-and-goal was incomplete, and the Philadelphia Eagles held on to win 15-10 to advance to the NFC Championship. Devonta Freeman caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to give the Falcons the edge at that point. What the Eagles have accomplished this season is really, really special.

The Eagles' first blunder came on their opening drive.

Here's Stefen Wisniewski tossing Falcons safety Ricardo Allen like a rag doll, and then following that up with a second block on safety Keanu Neal.

A few locker stalls down, Brandon Graham was pointing at various reporters, letting them know that he'd seen their predictions, paying no mind to whether or not said person actually had a said prediction in print.

The Eagles handed the ball to Ajayi on three consecutive plays and passed to him once to go 34 yards on the first four plays of the drive. The Eagles nearly scored when Foles picked up a third-down fumble on a botched play, but he was stopped at the 1-yard line. Then, with the wind in the next quarter, the Eagles kept the Falcons so off-balance Atlanta took two timeouts in three plays. Elliott missed the extra point, hitting the left upright. The kick capped a third quarter dominated by both defenses. "It came down to the last seconds". Braman was responsible for touching the punt the Falcons recovered inside the red zone, but later Braman blocked a punt that set up a field goal.

The game wasn't decided until the final seconds. But the ball bounced off the knee of the Falcons defender and into the hands of Torrey Smith for a 20-yard gain. After Philadelphia's first scoring drive, much of the Eagles' offense from there was built out of the run: run plays, run fakes, screens and everyone's favorite hot term, run-pass options. Ajayi racked up 50 yards in the first half, but only had 4 yards on 7 second-half carries. Foles was 5 of 6 for 70 yards on the drive, including a clutch 21-yard completion on third-and-8 to Alshon Jeffrey. Jeffery found open pockets to help move the chains.

The Falcons never led again, and the Eagles live for at least one more game.

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