Philadelphia Eagles Show Why It Takes A Team, Not Individuals To Win In Playoffs
The Philadelphia Eagles went into Saturday’s night matchup against the Atlanta Falcons hoping that Nick Foles was wearing his best Halloween mask of Carson Wentz. Early on, he must’ve forgotten it in the locker room because Foles looked like a rookie in his first NFL game. However, once he settled down, he showed why many Eagles fans believe he can lead them to the promise land.
But this wasn’t a game that Foles had to win. All he had to do was not lose it. While the spotlight has been on Wentz and the offense, it’s been the Eagles defense that has been the real driving force this season. How many teams can go into the playoffs with one of the top-ranked offenses while also sporting the top-ranked run defense? The Falcons are led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones but it’s the rushing attack of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman who keeps those chains moving.
If the Eagles were able to shut them down, then Ryan and Jones would basically be forced to press this issue. For much of the game, the Eagles secondary held Jones in check. Freeman (10 carries, 7 yards) and Coleman (10 carries, 79 yards) made a few big plays but the defense held tight and they were the reason the Eagles advanced, not Foles.
The pressure was on Foles, but he’s been here before.
The gameplan was to run, run, and run some more to wear the Falcons defense down. Mind you, this is the same Falcons team who just a season ago represented the NFC in the Super Bowl. Just last week, they went to Los Angeles and upset the 11-win Rams on their home turf. So yes, the Falcons were a threat to come into Philly and do the same to an Eagles team without their MVP caliber quarterback at the helm.
The Philadelphia Eagles Proved They Are Bigger Than One Name
Speaking of MVP quarterbacks, Foles may have started off sloppy but he did manage to finish the game 23/30 for 246 yards. There were no touchdown passes but when the Eagles offense needed to move the chains, it was Foles leading the receivers with pin-point passing. Wentz may be gone, however, for one playoff game, it looked as if he was still under center.
Doug Pederson coached one heck of a game. There were moments where a little of that Andy Reid came out but Pederson adjusted his stance and put the team in position to not lose the game. The defense made a few mistakes as they let Jones slip free on a crucial 4th down play in the 4th quarter, but they held tight in one of the most thrilling goal line stances in playoff history. It wasn’t just one member of the defense who saved the day, it was a total team effort.
Moving on, the Eagles will need another stellar performance from everyone to advance to the Super Bowl. But if their game against the Atlanta Falcons was any indication, the Philadelphia Eagles are up for the challenge.