Eagles back up top-seed billing, hold off Falcons


And after the Falcons attempted four straight pass plays at the end of the game instead of handing off to Tevin Coleman who had been strong, Dan Quinn and the Falcons certainly had to answer questions about Sarkisian when it was all said and done.

With a goal line stand, the road to Super Bowl 52 runs through Philadelphia.

Falcons' Offense: Atlanta QB Matt Ryan was efficient last week against the Rams, finishing with 200-plus yards completing 21-of-30 throws.

The Eagles (13-3) secured a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

It wasn't an ideal start for the Eagles, who had a bye last week during the wildcard round, as they looked to take down a side who were in the Super Bowl a year ago.

The Eagles then went 15-10 ahead with another Elliott field goal in the fourth, crucially taking almost eight minutes off the clock with a 14-play, 80-yard drive. The Falcons converted a 4th-and-6 with a 20-yard pass from Ryan to Jones, but the Eagles wouldn't let them score on the drive. If Nick Foles throws the ball 45 times for Philly, an Atlanta win is guaranteed. This will be exposed by the Falcons offense this week.

"We knew Julio was going to rack up some yards and was going to get some catches (nine for 101 yards), but we needed to keep him in front of us". He added 44 yards on three catches including a monumental 32-yard pickup, the longest reception for Philadelphia, on a third down during the Eagles' opening drive of the fourth quarter that led to the game's final points.

Juan Martin del Potro too strong for Denis Shapovalov at Auckland Classic
The 29-year-old del Potro , an ex-US Open champion and the 2009 Classic victor , will face another ex-champion in Ferrer. The Australian Open , the first grand slam of the year, runs from January 15-28.

After halftime, the Eagles struggled to get things going, with Jay Ajayi coming up short on a third-down run.

They were fortunate to get out of the first half down, 10-9. The win was the Falcons sixth in their past eight games.

Then Pederson, showing off his aggressiveness, went for it on fourth-and-goal and LeGarrette Blount, thanks to good blocks from Brandon Brooks and Trey Burton, gave the Eagles a 6-3 lead. That was right after Foles had to fall on a fumble the play before, a pretty fortunate turn of events.

Elliott missed the extra point when his kick cannoned back off the upright to groans from the home crowd.

- Since the start of Week 15, the Eagles are averaging 17.7 points and 258.9 yards of offense per game, which rank as the 12th and fourth-worst, respectively, in the National Football League over that time. It would be Atlanta that would open the scoring however, with Matt Bryant capping an 11-play, 59-yard drive with a 33-yard field goal with 9:08 remaining in the first quarter.

The Falcons looked poised to roll early, after an Ajayi fumble gave them a quick three-point lead. Ajayi had 49 rush yards on seven first-quarter carries, but the Eagles' run game stalled after that, netting 47 yards the remainder of the game.