Falcons 10-6 Eagles, 0:54 2nd quarter
Well, the Falcons didn’t need to use their one timeout … because they quickly went three-and-out. They’ll put it away to the Eagles from the 50 with less than a minute left in the half.
Falcons 10-6 Eagles, 2:08 2nd quarter
Bad miss by Foles to end the Philly drive. Facing 3rd-and-5 at the 46, he overthrew a wide open Trey Burton who had broken free deep near the left sideline. Eagles punt and Atlanta takes over at their 25 with 2:08, the 2-minute warning and one timeout.
Falcons 10-6 Eagles, 3:10 2nd quarter
On 3rd-and-3 from their own 37, Foles hits Corey Clement out of the backfield to pick up a much-needed first down. The Eagles can now try to end the half with a score or at least without giving the ball back to Atlanta with much time on the clock.
Falcons 10-6 Eagles, 5:41 2nd quarter
Great bit of athleticism by Matt Ryan on 3rd down, dancing through some pressure, to hit Devonta Freeman over the middle for a touchdown. Atlanta’s 10 points are off Philadelphia turnovers.
Eagles 6-3 Falcons, 6:35 2nd quarter
Atlanta doing nothing with the ball since getting it off the muff, but the Eagles D is keeping it alive with penalties. Atlanta now has 1st-and-goal at the 8.
Eagles 6-3 Falcons, 7:31 2nd quarter
Falcons punted it away from the Eagles’ 48. The punt went into a heavy wind and then bounced backwards, hitting an Eagles player and then bouncing to the Falcons. Atlanta takes over deep in Philly territory at the 18 with a new set of downs.
Eagles 6-3 Falcons, 9:00 2nd quarter
Atlanta is quickly up to midfield on a long reception to Sanu. Sanu now has 2 catches for 41 yards tonight.
Ryan then went deep to Julio Jones, but badly underthrew it and Jones had to play defensive back. The swirling wind has made both of today’s deep pass attempts look ugly. We probably won’t see more.
Here’s an e-mail from reader Simon:
Evening DJ. What I know about American football you could write on the back of a very small [cigarette] packet, but I agree that the eagle has the edge over the falcon. The big question remains, though – lion or tiger? And let’s not even get into cheese v. chocolate.
Since this is a football liveblog, I’m going to say Lions vs. Tigers would end in a tie. Because in football, the Lions and Bengals never win anything.
Eagles 6-3 Falcons, 10:28 2nd quarter
The Foles score was overturned and the Eagles went for it on 4th-and-goal at the 1 … and LeGarrette Blount scored on a run around the right side.
Eagles then miss the extra point.
That was a 14-play scoring drive for the Eagles after doing close to nothing offensively in the game leading up to that.
The Eagles fumbled the handoff on 3rd-and-goal and Nick Foles jumped on it and kind of bounced into the end zone. But replay shows he was touched short of the goal line. The call on the field was TD, but this will likely be overturned.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 11:50 2nd quarter
Nice play call on 3rd and 3. Receiver Nelson Agholor takes a counter handoff down the left sideline to the Atlanta 4.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 13:29 2nd quarter
Foles hits on back-to-back passes — to Torrey Smith and Corey Clement — and now the Eagles have a 1st down at the Atlanta 31.
Atlanta’s McKinley has returned to action, by the way.
Jay Ajayi doing work now. Three consecutive runs and a now a reception get the ball to midfield. Eagles will open the second quarter with a 2nd-and-1 at their own 48 as their offense (Ajayi) shows life for the first time today.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 1:30 1st quarter
Eagles get a 1st down out to the 24 on a nice, shifty run by Jay Ajayi. Looks like Doug Pederson hasn’t benched him after the first drive fumble.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 2:31 1st quarter
Falcons go for it on 4th-and-2 just into Eagles territory, but fail to complete a short pass to Freeman. However, they snapped it with :00 on the play clock and are flagged for delay of game. Big break for Atlanta because the Eagles get the ball now at the 14 (after Atlanta’s punt) instead of at midfield.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 4:23 1st quarter
Opening their drive at the 10 after Philly’s punt, Matt Ryan fires a strike across the middle to give Atlanta a first down at the 25. Then Ryan goes to Julio Jones on an out route down the left sideline and the Falcons are out to midfield on two plays. Ryan is 6-for-7 for 73 yards so far.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 5:26 1st quarter
Nick Foles gets sacked at the 42 on 3rd-and-7. Eagles will have to punt it away. That’s the good news for the Falcons. The bad news is that defensive end Tak McKinley is down injured.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 6:40 1st quarter
On 1st-and-10 36, LeGarrett Blount drops the fumble and chases it backwards 7 yards to recover. 2nd-and-17 now.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 8:18 1st quarter
Eagles move the ball again on a defensive pass interference. They’re out to the 46 now after a penalty on 3rd and 10. Foles has thrown the ball four times now (twice officially), and has yet to have a ball land in a receiver’s hands.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 8:45 1st quarter
Third play of the game for the Eagles: Ajayi stopped for zero yards at the 25.
Falcons 3-0 Eagles, 9:05 1st quarter
Matt Bryant hits from 33 yards and the Falcons are able to score on their first possession. We’ll see how the Eagles offense responds. So far they’ve have two plays: a horrible pass and a fumble. Can’t do worse? I guess?
Eagles 0-0 Falcons, 9:08 1st quarter
The Eagle defense stiffens on 3rd and 8 at the 15. Matt Ryan throws incomplete to Taylor Gabriel across the middle. Even if he had caught it, Gabriel was hit short of the first down.
Eagles 0-0 Falcons, 11:03 1st quarter
Falcons picking up big chunks of yardage via the run. Tevin Coleman goes 12 yards on 1st down to give the Falcons their fourth first down. Atlanta is now down to the Eagle 17.
Eagles 0-0 Falcons, 12:30 1st quarter
Facing 3rd and 5, Matt Ryan waited out the rush and hit Mohamed Sanu across the middle to convert. Atlanta has a 1st down at the Philly 40.
After the Foles’ duck/pass interference, Jay Ajayi fumbles on the next play and the Falcons have the ball at their own 36.
We may have seen the end of the rumored uptick in Ajayi carries.
Eagles 0-0 Falcons, 14:46 1st quarter
Foles goes deep on the first play … underthrows it by about 10 yards … but the ball is so far off that the Falcons DB ran right through the Eagles receiver and is called for pass interference.
Huge break for Eagles. They are now down to the Atlanta 38.
Eagles kick returner Corey Clement takes it out to the 25, and we’re underway!
Nick Foles has appeared in 49 games in his career, 39 of them starts, and has never faced the Falcons. All the more reason why trying to predict the outcome of this game is hopeless.
One thing to look for today is to see how the Eagles utilize running back Jay Ajayi. Acquired midseason from the Dolphins, Ajayi has yet to carry the ball more than 15 times in a game.
But there is some speculation that head coach Doug Pederson is planning to unleash him as the feature back now in the playoffs.
While much of the talk entering this game has been about Foles and how much he hurts the Eagles’ chances, the Falcons have been peaking.
Since the start of December, they’ve played six games and – five against playoff teams – and went 4-2 with wins over the Saints, Panthers and Rams. Philadelphia would probably be favored if Wentz was healthy, but not be much.
If you’re looking for in-depth football analysis, this specific item is not that. A zookeeper at the Philadelphia Zoo says an eagle would defeat a falcon in a fight. Via The 700 Level:
“The eagles probably have the advantage over the falcons due to their size and power. The falcons are very fast and very agile but I would say the eagles definitely have that advantage,” Skochinsky said.
The Falcons are the 6th seed playing on the road against the No. 1 seed Eagles … and yet are 2 1/2-point favorites.
The reason, of course, is Nick Foles. When Carson Wentz went down to a knee injury a month ago, Foles initially played well but then began playing more like, well … what most expect of Nick Foles. But anything can happen in the playoffs. Just as the Falcons.*
*Yes, a 28-3 reference.
Welcome to the liveblog for the divisional round playoff game for Falcons vs. Eagles!
Please feel free to participate by contacting me via e-mail or via Twitter at @DJGalloEtc.
DJ will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s the latest news on the potential for a London franchise:
The NFL’s international development manager believes the league’s “11-year tease” with London will lead to a permanent franchise, potentially as soon as 2021.
Speaking at the announcement of this year’s three NFL games in London, Mark Waller, the league’s executive vice-president, said the economic case had been proven and it was now only a case of persuading any relocating team it would not be at a competitive disadvantage.
Having staged 21 games in London since 2011, Waller told Press Association Sport there was “no decrease in the enthusiasm for London” among the league’s 32 team owners and “they all know the numbers stack up”. The next task is finding solutions to any concerns a London-based team’s players and staff might have about issues such as accommodation, travel, tax status and schools.
Click here for the full article: