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Sport 2018 NFC divisional playoffs: Three takeaways from Eagles' win over Falcons

04:07  14 january  2018
04:07  14 january  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

Devonta Freeman played end of season with MCL and PCL sprains

  Devonta Freeman played end of season with MCL and PCL sprains Devonta Freeman was playing through some injuries towards the end of the Atlanta Falcons’ season, the running back revealed after the team’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday night. ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reported Saturday evening that Freeman played through MCL and PCL sprains in his right knee towards the end of the season.Freeman rushed for just seven yards on 10 carries in the 15-10 loss to the Eagles, though he did have a receiving touchdown for the second straight week. Including the playoffs, Freeman did not rush for more than 3.7 yards per carry in the team’s final four games.

The Eagles shut down Atlanta's potent offense and earned a berth in next Sunday's NFC championship game with a 15-10 win over the Falcons .

Sport 2018 AFC divisional playoffs : Three takeaways from Patriots' win over Titans. The Eagles shut down Atlanta's potent offense and earned a berth in next Sunday's NFC championship game with a 15-10 win over the Falcons .

a baseball player holding a bat: Nick Foles© (Getty Images) Nick Foles The Philadelphia offense was not impressive, but the Eagles defense was.

The Eagles shut down Atlanta's potent offense and earned a berth in next Sunday's NFC championship game with a 15-10 win over the Falcons in Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Falcons (11-7) were actually favored to knock off the NFC's top seed, because the Eagles offense has sputtered since starting quarterback Carson Wentz tore his ACL in a Week 14 win over the Rams.

Atlanta's eighth-ranked offense that averaged nearly 365 yards per game was held to 281 yards Saturday.

2018 AFC divisional playoffs: Three takeaways from Patriots' win over Titans

  2018 AFC divisional playoffs: Three takeaways from Patriots' win over Titans After the Titans grabbed an early lead, the Patriots took control and cruised to a 35-14 win to clinch a spot in the AFC championship game.That punch "pissed off" Roper, who then made quick work of his overmatched opponent.

Three takeaways from the Eagles ' win over the Falcons . 1. Eagles coach Doug Pederson had the perfect game plan — Despite a shaky start that included running back Jay Ajayi fumbling on his first carry and two poorly thrown passes by Nick Foles

Falcons - Eagles playoff matchup analysis. CBS Sports 1:47. Atlanta (11-6) advances to play at Philadelphia in next weekend's NFC divisional round. MORE: Three takeaways from Titans' win over Chiefs. Related slideshow: 2018 NFL playoffs (Provided by photo services).

"That's a really good Atlanta team we beat and everybody's excited," Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox told NBC Sports. "We got a big team win.

"We'll be ready for next week."

With the win, the Eagles (14-3) will host next week's NFC title game against either the Saints or Vikings, who play Sunday at Minnesota's U.S. Bank Stadium.

Three takeaways from the Eagles' win over the Falcons

1. Eagles coach Doug Pederson had the perfect game plan — Despite a shaky start that included running back Jay Ajayi fumbling on his first carry and two poorly thrown passes by Nick Foles, the Eagles settled down and implemented Pederson's superb game plan. Foles, whose struggles over the final two weeks of the regular season were a big reason the Eagles were home underdogs, finished 23 of 30 for 246 yards with completions to eight different players. He completed just one pass thrown beyond 15 yards as Pederson used a variety of short throws to build his quarterback's confidence.

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The Eagles shut down Atlanta's potent offense and earned a berth in next Sunday's NFC championship game with a 15-10 win over the Falcons .

The Eagles shut down Atlanta's potent offense and earned a berth in next Sunday's NFC championship game with a 15-10 win over the Falcons .

From there, the Eagles receivers did a great job of getting yards after the catch. Alshon Jeffery was the top receiver with four catches for 61 yards while rookie running back Corey Clement led the team with five receptions for 31 yards. Ajayi, who ran for 54 yards, caught three passes for 44 yards. Foles did get lucky as the Eagles got a field goal to make it a 10-9 Falcons lead before halftime thanks to a fortunate deflection. A Foles pass went off the knee of a leaping Keanu Neal and the ball caromed back to Eagles receiver Torrey Smith.

"We just kept believing in each other. That was it. Our team never wavered," Foles told NBC Sports. "Defense did an amazing job. Special teams.

"That's been the story this year. We all stuck together and believed we could move the ball."

Bad news continues for NFL, as Divisional Playoffs ratings fall from previous years

  Bad news continues for NFL, as Divisional Playoffs ratings fall from previous years Despite some fun games, last weekend’s NFL Divisional Playoffs did not draw the kind of ratings NBC, CBS, and Fox were looking for. According to Sports Media Watch, all four games were down substantially in overnight ratings from the comparable window last January, and several of them hit their lowest mark in years. Saturday afternoon’s Read more The post Bad news continues for NFL, as Divisional Playoffs ratings fall from previous years appeared first on Awful Announcing. Related slideshow: Best of the NFL playoffs (Provided by photo services) 1/24 SLIDES © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters Miracle manMinnesota's Stefon Diggs celebrates in the end zone after scoring on an i

MORE: 2018 NFC divisional playoffs : Three takeaways from Eagles ' win over Falcons . The Patriots are now 8-0 this season when Lewis records more than 100 yards from scrimmage.

Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium was analogous to the film with the Titans playing the role of Conklin while the Patriots were "The Grim Reaper." Three takeaways from the Patriots' win over the Titans.

2. Matt Ryan did not scan the field well — The Eagles sacked Ryan three times, but even when the Falcons quarterback had time, he was locked in on either Julio Jones or Mohamed Sanu. When the Falcons reached the Super Bowl last season, they did so largely because Ryan did an incredible job of spreading the ball around. He failed to find his second read on Saturday as 21 of his 36 pass attempts were to either Jones or Sanu. Jones finished with nine catches for 101 yards on 16 targets while Sanu had three receptions for 50 yards on five targets.

Ryan's final pass, on a fourth-and-goal from the 2, was incomplete as he tried to force it to Jones in the corner of the end zone.

Taylor Gabriel, who had two catches for 4 yards, was the only other Falcons receiver with more than one target. Ryan's best pass may have been an improvisational throw as the Falcons capitalized on an Eagles turnover to take a 10-6 lead in the second quarter.

A muffed punt, which bounced off the feet of at least two Eagles players, led to a Falcons touchdown. Ryan did his best Brett Favre impression to spin away from pressure before lobbing a short pass to a crossing Devonta Freeman for a 6-yard score.

Bad news continues for NFL, as Divisional Playoffs ratings fall from previous years

  Bad news continues for NFL, as Divisional Playoffs ratings fall from previous years Despite some fun games, last weekend’s NFL Divisional Playoffs did not draw the kind of ratings NBC, CBS, and Fox were looking for. According to Sports Media Watch, all four games were down substantially in overnight ratings from the comparable window last January, and several of them hit their lowest mark in years. Saturday afternoon’s Read more The post Bad news continues for NFL, as Divisional Playoffs ratings fall from previous years appeared first on Awful Announcing. Related slideshow: Best of the NFL playoffs (Provided by photo services) 1/24 SLIDES © Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters Miracle manMinnesota's Stefon Diggs celebrates in the end zone after scoring on an i

2018 NFC divisional playoffs : Three takeaways from Eagles ' win over Falcons | 2018 NFC Divisional Playoffs : Three things to watch in Saints-Vikings. While Minnesota's chance of staying at home for the entire postseason was dashed when the Falcons failed to knock off the Eagles , the

MORE: 2018 NFC divisional playoffs : Three takeaways from Eagles ' win over Falcons | 2018 NFC divisional playoffs : Vikings react to 'unbelievable' win over Saints. — Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has caught seven touchdowns against the Vikings in his career.

Ryan was the 2016 NFL MVP because he made plays like that, but he was not nearly as productive in 2017 and was hamstrung by play calling and the Eagles defense Saturday.

3. The Saints-Vikings winner will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl — While Foles did not turn the ball over Saturday, he also did not throw a touchdown pass and did little to instill much confidence in the Eagles offense. Philadelphia's defense is among the league's best, but the Vikings have the NFL's top defense and the Saints defense ranks third with 20 interceptions.

Whether it's the Vikings or Saints who win Sunday, the Eagles defense might be on the field too much and the game could get away from the Eagles despite the benefit of homefield advantage.

Related slideshow: NFL postseason (Provided by photo services)

Another Eagles fan arrested for allegedly punching police horse .
For the second time in just over a week, a Philadelphia Eagles fan was arrested on Sunday for punching a police horse outside Lincoln Financial Field. While police reported no arrests from the celebrations that took place in the streets after the Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings, there were a few people taken into custody before kickoff. One of them was Andrew Tornetta, who was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and related charges. According to a police report obtained by Darryl Slater of NJ.com, Tornetta is accused of punching a police horse.

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