The Philadelphia Eagles key to Victory the Running Game?

The Philadelphia Eagles key to Victory the Running Game?

Ricardo Allen forced Ajayi to fumble on the next play and Matt Ryan drove the Falcons 59 yards into field-goal range.

The story is much different in the night game Saturday. Eagles finished with second-most points (463) in team history. The Falcons will be seeing one of the best defences in the National Football League as Philadelphia ranked fourth in yards allowed, first against the run and fourth in scoring (18.4 ppg).

In a game where Philadelphia's offence has every chance of misfiring without Wentz, their defence will once again need to be at its best to stop Julio Jones and co.

The defense used that edge to subdue a potent Atlanta attack and muscle the Eagles past the Falcons, 15-10, and into the NFC Championship game.

Atlanta allowed 17.5 points per game over the final six games and then shut down the league's highest-scoring offense in a 26-13 win at the Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card game.

But kicker Jake Elliott atoned at the end of the half.

The celebration fit into the narrative the Eagles have been writing for themselves over the past month or so. In the second quarter the Eagles broke through with the game's first touchdown - but missed the extra point.

"The biggest thing in our locker room is that we believe in one another and that showed", Foles said. He engineered an 11-play, 59-yard drive that concluded with a Matt Bryant 33-yard field goal.

The Eagles, who are 14-3 at home over the last two seasons, outgained Atlanta 334-281.

Foles said he has used the past two weeks-the Eagles have not played since the final game of the regular season December 31-to conduct a thorough evaluation in the run-up to the matchup with the Falcons.

The Falcons first TD was set up by a freak turnover as the ball brushed against the leg of third-string defensive end Bryan Braman as he was blocking on the punt return unit. It was the template of what the Eagles needed to do to win. Still, the sequence was rife with mistakes.

Under-the-radar potential X factor: Keanu Neal, Vic Beasley, Deion Jones, Desmond Trufant and Grady Jarrett get most of the love on that Atlanta defense, but watch for No. 2 corner Robert Alford.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson said that number is somewhat deceptive. A botched handoff between Foles and Corey Clement nearly blew it, but Foles did leap on the loose ball at the Atlanta one-yard line to retain possession. Ryan must give the Falcons an early lead and make the Eagles one-dimensional as quick as possible. Foles' terrible overthrow should have easily been picked, but Neal mistimed the ball and it caromed off his knee and right into the hands of Eagles receiver Torrey Smith for a fluky 20-yard gain.

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