NFL GAME RECAP

Eagles hold off Falcons, advance to NFC title game

Sports Xchange

January 13, 2018 at 7:07 pm.

Jan 13, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott (4) kicks a field goal at the end of the first half against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field. Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 13, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott (4) kicks a field goal at the end of the first half against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Divisional playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field. Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

PHILADELPHIA — Jake Elliott kicked three field goals, LeGarrette Blount rushed for a 1-yard touchdown and the Philadelphia Eagles held on for a 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC divisional playoffs Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.

The win was secured when Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s pass fell incomplete in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line with 58 seconds remaining.

The top-seeded Eagles (14-3) won their first playoff game since the 2008 season and will host the New Orleans Saints or the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game Jan. 21.

Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles was effective, going 23-of-30 passing for 246 yards.

Ryan, who led the Falcons to the Super Bowl a season ago, was 22 of 36 for 210 yards and a touchdown.

Elliott’s third field goal of the game, a 21-yarder, put the Eagles up 15-10 with 6:02 left. Philadelphia’s 14-play, 80-yard drive stalled at the 3 and instead of going for it on fourth-and-1, they opted for the field goal.

The Eagles took a 12-10 lead with 15 seconds left in the third quarter when Elliott hit a 37-yard field goal to complete a 12-play, 74-yard drive.

Elliott booted a 53-yard field goal as time expired to bring Philadelphia within 10-9 at halftime.

Devonta Freeman hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Ryan for a 10-6 advantage with 5:41 left in the second quarter. The score was set up by the Eagles’ second turnover as Bryan Braman touched the ball following a punt, putting Atlanta at the Philadelphia 18-yard-line to start the drive.

Blount’s 1-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal gave the Eagles the lead, but Elliott’s extra-point try hit the upright and bounced out. The 14-play, 86-yard drive put the Eagles ahead 6-3 with 10:28 left in the second quarter.

Philadelphia caught a break on the previous play when Foles recovered a botched handoff. He was originally ruled to have scored, but replays confirmed Foles was down at the 1.

The Falcons took advantage of an early fumble by running back Jay Ajayi and turned it into a 3-0 lead when Matt Bryant kicked a 33-yard field goal with 9:08 remaining in the first quarter. The 11-play, 59-yard drive stalled at the 16.

NOTES: Eagles CB Sidney Jones was inactive. He made his debut in the regular-season finale, a 6-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys after missing the majority of the season with an Achilles injury. … Falcons QB Matt Ryan still hasn’t completed a game this season with at least three touchdown passes. … Eagles QB Carson Wentz, an MVP candidate, was on the sideline. Wentz missed the final two-and-a-half games with a torn ACL. … No running back for the Falcons has eclipsed 100 yards rushing all season after Tevin Coleman rushed for 79 of Atlanta’s 86 yards Saturday. … The Eagles are 8-1 at home against the Falcons in the regular season and playoffs over the past nine games dating to Veterans Stadium. … Eagles RB Wendell Smallwood was left out of the rotation and listed as inactive.