Eagles ready to let the dogs out Sunday at the Linc

The Philadelphia Eagles' NFC championship game against Minnesota on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field is shaping up to be a "Dog Day Afternoon." Since the opening kickoff is scheduled for 6:40 p.m., make that early evening. The Eagles are listed as 3.5-point underdogs against the Vikings. The team is encouraging fans to follow the lead of tackle Lane Johnson and defensive end Chris Long and wear dog masks to the game. "Doggone it, you better believe dog masks will be allowed at (Lincoln Financial Field) this weekend," the Eagles tweeted Monday. "Just make sure to take them off when you go through security." Johnson and Long wore German shepherd masks Saturday after the Eagles defeated Atlanta 15-10 in an NFC divisional-round playoff game. The Eagles were the first No. 1 seed to be underdogs in a home playoff game since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. Johnson told PennLive.com on Saturday they bought the masks on Amazon. "We were talking at lunch one day, and we thought it'd be a cool idea, really funny," Johnson said. "We were the underdogs. I don't know if that's what an underdog looks like, though." Fans who want the same mask for Sunday's game may be out of luck, however. According to Amazon.com, the CreepyParty Novelty Halloween Party Latex mask Animal Dog Head Mask German shepherd (Silent), which sells for $39.99, is not available until at least Jan. 22, one day after the game. They will either need to pick another breed or perhaps visit a local costume store. And they might want to bring an extra one for Eagles coach Doug Pederson. Close 1 of 181 Buy Now Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney McLeod sacks Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the second half of an NFL football NFC divisional playoff game Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Philadelphia. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) Curtis Compton Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Buy Now Philadelphia Eagles' Continue Reading

Eagles earn trip to NFC championship game with win over Falcons

PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles are headed to the NFC championship game. They earned it with a thrilling, 15-10 victory over Atlanta in a divisional-round game at raucous Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday. As a result of the win, their first playoff triumph since the 2008 season, the Eagles will play the winner of Sunday's New Orleans-Minnesota game in the conference championship game at the Linc next Sunday at 6:30 p.m. The winner will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl in Minneapolis on Feb. 4. The Eagles advanced to the NFC Championship for the first time since the 2008 season when they lost to Arizona. The Eagles kept their season alive with a dramatic defensive stand at the end of regulation against the Falcons. Atlanta faces a fourth-and-two situation from the Eagles' 2-yard line. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan lofted a pass toward wide receiver Julio Jones in the back of the end zone, but Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills forced an incompletion. That touched off a wild celebration on the field and in the stands at the Linc. Fans roared while Mills, safety Malcolm Jenkins and others rejoiced on the field. The defensive stand preceded a pair of impressive drives by the Eagles' offense that enabled them to overcome a 10-9 halftime deficit via field goals by place-kicker Jake Elliott. Quarterback Nick Foles led the drives with key completions. He finished 23-for-30 for 246 yards. Close 1 of 148 Buy Now Philadelphia Eagles' LeGarrette Blount celebrates after a touchdown during the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez) Michael Perez Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Buy Now Atlanta Falcons' Matt Bryant walks to the field before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Matt Continue Reading

Eagles hold off Falcons to advance to NFC Championship Game

The Philadelphia Eagles are headed to the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles held off the Atlanta Falcons, 15-10, at home in a divisional game on Saturday. A late goal line stand with just over a minute to play gave the Eagles the win.With just over six minutes to play, the Falcons mounted a long drive that left them at the Eagles' 2-yard line on fourth-and-goal. But Matt Ryan's attempted pass to Julio Jones fell incomplete.  Eagles quarterback Nick Foles finished 23-of-30 for 246 yards. Ryan went 22-of-36 for 210 yards and one touchdown. The Eagles defense posted a shutout in the second half. It was the Eagles first playoff win since a 23-11 divisional win over the New York Giants in 2009. That was the last time the Eagles advanced to the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles will play either the Minnesota Vikings or New Orleans at home in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday. Here's a look at each score during the game. Eagles, 15, Falcons 10: Another Jake Elliott, field goal, this one from just 21-yards out and with 6:02 left in the game. Eagles marched down the field with an impressive 14-play, 80-yard drive but couldn't get in the end zone. Eagles 12, Falcons 10: The Eagles retook the lead on a 37-yard field goal by Jake Elliott with just 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter. It capped off a 12-play, 74-yard drive that included four first downs. HALFTIME — Falcons 10, Eagles 9: On the final play on the first half, Jake Elliott nailed a 53-yard field goal to narrow the deficit for the Eagles. The score was set up by two plays: An amazing deflected 20-yard catch by Torrey Smith and a 15-yard reception by Alshon Jeffery. Falcons 10, Eagles 6: On third-and-goal, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan avoided a sack and tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to running back Devonta Freeman with 5:41 left in the second quarter. The Falcons took advantage after recovering a fumble on a punt Continue Reading

Weinberg previews, predicts Eagles-Falcons playoff game

Records: Falcons 11-6; Eagles 13-3 Line: Falcons by 3 points Over/under: 41 points TV announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya (NBC) Forecast (National Weather Service): Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain with a slight chance of freezing rain in the morning, then partly sunny in the afternoon. Much cooler with highs in the upper 30s. Temperature falling into the upper 20s in the afternoon. Northwest windsaround 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent. Partly cloudy in the evening, then clearing. Much colder with lows around 14. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. My pick (season record: 12-4): Eagles end their playoff slump. Eagles 20, Falcons 17  Last time met: The Eagles relied on their defense to earn a 24-15 victory over the Falcons last season on Nov. 13, 2016 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles held the Falcons to just one touchdown and three field goals by Matt Bryant. Eagles running back Ryan Mathews rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Eagles' best-case scenario: The Eagles win their first playoff game since the 2008 season. Quarterback Nick Foles throws two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Running back Jay Ajayi rushes for 100 yards. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws two interceptions. Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is a non-factor. Close 1 of 99 Los Angeles Rams cheerleaders perform against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Rick Scuteri Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders perform during an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers won the game 31-24. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini) Jeff Haynes Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Continue Reading

QB Nate Sudfeld enjoys solid NFL debut: Eagles notebook

PHILADELPHIA — Eagles quarterback Nate Sudfeld made the most of his opportunity Sunday. He completed 19 of 23 passes for 134 yards and brought the relatively few fans who showed up at Lincoln Financial Field to their feet with a 22-yard scramble during a 6-0 loss to Dallas. Sudfeld made his regular-season NFL debut in place of starter Nick Foles in the second quarter and played well. "I had no idea I was going to play today," Sudfeld said. "They just said, 'Nick, be ready to play the whole game' and 'Nate, be ready in case we want to put you in.' I was ready to go at all times." He took over in the first series of the second quarter and completed his first three passes. He also had a 17-yarder to wide receiver Mack Hollins on a third-and-13 nullified by a holding penalty on left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai. Dropped passes, penalties and poor field position prevented the Eagles from mounting any serious offensive threats, however. Close 1 of 114 Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Foles reacts as he walks off the field after throwing an interception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez) Michael Perez Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Philadelphia Eagles' Kenjon Barner chases a loose punt during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez) Michael Perez Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount cheers during the second half of their 19-10 win over Oakland on Monday night in Philadelphia. The Eagles (13-2) are 7-0 at Lincoln Financial Field this year heading into the regular-season finale Sunday against the 8-7 Dallas Cowboys. Michael Perez / associated press Facebook Twitter Email Print Save Continue Reading

Eagles fans not impressed by dud of a game and are worried about playoffs

Readers react via email to the Philadelphia Eagles’ 6-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in the regular-season finale. More reactions are attached to this collection at PressofAC.com/sports. QB or not QB. That is the question. Defense and special teams played well. Encouraging. The drama at QB will tell the tale. I may be dreaming, but I believe the Eagles may have more of a chance with Sudfeld. It’s a huge reach — an untested rookie in the playoffs — but Foles’ decision making and inability to get the ball out or get out of the way bodes ill for success against whoever visits in two weeks. Conventional wisdom favors Foles, but I’d love to see the coach be outrageously bold and tap the rookie. Norm Chazin Galloway It stinks, I mean really stinks, that Carson Wentz got hurt. With him, the Eagles were the clear favorites to win the NFC. Nick Foles is not Wentz or even close to being the same player, but it still won’t be easy to come to the Linc and beat the Eagles. If the Eagles are to win in the playoffs, the defense and special teams both need to be great, and Doug Pederson needs to rely heavily on the run game. Let Foles manage the game but not have to win it. It won’t be easy, and they very well may not make the Super Bowl, but with home-field advantage and the bye week, they have a chance. Glenn Master Ventnor These last two games were like the stereotypical seasonal sweater: ugly. Still, a tremendous turnaround for the team from a mere year ago, when the Cowboys’ and Eagles’ fortunes were flipped. Pederson and Foles’ joint New Year’s resolution must be to restore the once-robust passing offense. While I planned to sip champagne New Year’s Eve, I doubt I’ll be drinking any come Feb. 4. Marc Tandan Hammonton What a waste of time to look at this game. Eagles fans, you will get to see one playoff game, and let’s leave it Continue Reading

Eagles win another tight one, surviving in final minute to beat Raiders

An interception by Ronald Darby with under a minute remaining in Monday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders gave the Philadelphia Eagles a chance to escape from their fourth straight epic struggle with a third straight win. That’s exactly what happened when Jake Elliott made a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining to break a 10-all tie and send them on their way to a 19-10 victory. They added a touchdown when Derek Barnett recovered a fumble and returned it all the way following a desperation series of laterals by the Raiders on the final play. With the win, the Eagles (13-2) locked up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, meaning they won’t have to travel again unless they advance to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. Nothing came easy for them in this game against an opponent that had been eliminated from playoff contention the day before. Quarterback Nick Foles was just 19 of 38 for 163 yards, a touchdown and an interception as the Eagles struggled to move the ball all evening. The game featured a boatload of slop from both teams, who combined for seven fumbles and seven total turnovers not including those on downs. Doesn’t matter that they were supposed to dominate, according to cornerback Jalen Mills. That they pulled out another close one just reaffirms what he began to believe back in September, after the team bounced back from a Week 2 loss in Kansas City with a come-from-behind victory over the New York Giants. “The Giants coming in here and having Jake kick that long field goal, just showing that we can fight back at all times, no matter what it is and come out with that win, you see this team fight through adversity early in the year, I just felt this team was going to be pretty good.” Elliott’s game-winner helped atone for missing a 33-yarder near the end of the first half. Though the ball looked like it was struck well, Elliott admitted to hitting it a little fat. “I just caught behind Continue Reading

Monday’s NFL: Eagles win, clinch No. 1 seed in NFC

Philadelphia – The road to the Super Bowl in the NFC goes through Philadelphia.Jake Elliott kicked a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds left, and the Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed for the NFC playoffs with a sloppy 19-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Monday night.The Eagles (13-2) went to the Super Bowl and lost 24-21 to New England the last time they had home-field advantage following the 2004 season.They’ll need the edge after a second straight poor performance. The defense struggled in a 34-29 win at the Giants last week. The offense was awful against the Raiders.“We played great team ball,” cornerback Patrick Robinson said. “The offense didn’t play as well as they have been, the defense had to step up.”Ronald Darby intercepted Derek Carr’s pass and ran it back 52 yards with 54 seconds left, but was ruled down by contact at the spot of the pick. Nick Foles then completed four straight passes for 21 yards. After an incomplete pass, Elliott nailed his kick right down the middle.“We have to pick up for each other,” Darby said.Derek Barnett returned a fumble 23 yards for a touchdown after picking up a lateral on Oakland’s final play from scrimmage.Coming off a 12-4 season, the Raiders (6-9) were a popular pick to challenge the Patriots for the AFC title. But they were eliminated from the playoff chase on Sunday.Still, playing for pride, Oakland nearly spoiled Philadelphia’s Christmas.“Defensive battle, hard-fought game, certainly had our chances,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “We ran it well, struggled throwing it. Defense played extremely well.”Making his second start since MVP candidate Carson Wentz tore his left ACL, Foles had a tough time on a windy night. He was 19 of 38 for 163 yards with one TD and one interception. He had four TD passes and no picks against New York.“I didn’t play good enough,” Foles said. “I have to play cleaner, Continue Reading

Eagles win ugly game, clinch home field through playoffs

PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles could either look at this as a prelude to the disaster that awaits in the playoffs without quarterback Carson Wentz. Or they could lick their wounds and use the next three weeks until their first playoff game to figure out a way to make Nick Foles and the offense better.That's because Foles, by his own admission, "wasn't good enough."But Foles and the offense were bailed out by the defense as Ronald Darby's interception with 46 seconds left led to Jake Elliott's game-winning field goal with 22 seconds left as the Eagles held off the Oakland Raiders 19-10 on Monday.The final points came on Derek Barnett's fumble return for a touchdown after the Raiders tried desperation pitches as time ran out. That was the last of five turnovers forced by the Eagles in the second half.And as Malcolm Jenkins put it: "We needed all five to win the game."By winning, the Eagles (13-2) clinched the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, meaning they won't have to travel until the Super Bowl.But if they keep playing like this, they might not last very long in the postseason. And that was plain for everyone to see at Lincoln Financial Field as a smattering of boos could be heard in the second half.That's why Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith said he didn't even celebrate when Elliott's 48-yard field goal went through the uprights."I didn’t even react with excitement," Smith said. "I just took a deep breath and was like, ‘Thank you!’ We had like nine lives and we were able to get it done. That was a pretty stressful game."And that leaves several questions that will no doubt stress out Eagles fans until the team's first playoff game the weekend of Jan. 13-14. The Eagles end the regular season next Sunday with a meaningless game against the Dallas Cowboys.The first question, of course, is whether the Eagles can win in the playoffs with Foles. He certainly didn't inspire much confidence going 19-for-38 for 163 yards with a touchdown Continue Reading

From teasing to TD celebrations, Eagles keep having fun

PHILADELPHIA – When a team is 7-1 and has pretty much run away from its competition in the division like the Eagles have, it's pretty easy to act like you're having the time of your life.That's why Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills can joke about getting teased by teammate Malcolm Jenkins, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and defensive backs coach Cory Undlin all last week about not having any "return skills."And then Mills intercepted San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard along the sideline, ran upfield before deciding to cut across the middle. Then Mills pivoted up the middle and dove into the end zone, completing a 37-yard interception return.That gave the Eagles a 17-0 lead with 1:24 left in the half, and pretty much sent them on their way to a 33-10 win over the 49ers on Sunday.Why did Mills cut across the field?"Actually, I was about to go out of bounds," Mills said. "But then I thought about it. Malcolm, Coach Schwartz, Coach Undlin, they’d been grilling me all week, talking about how I had no return skills. That kind of went through my mind, so I cut it back and I had to get into the end zone, or I would not have stopped hearing that."I had to shut them up."And the hilarity ensued. It wasn't just on defense, either. These days, Eagles' touchdown celebrations from the wide receivers are getting nearly as much attention as the touchdowns themselves.That happened after wide receiver Alshon Jeffery scored on a 53-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Carson Wentz when he outleaped his defender, came down with the ball, then continued down the sideline.Jeffery was asked both about the catch and the twist on the usual celebration when the receiver who scores pantomimes hitting a home run with a pitcher (usually tight end Zach Ertz), a catcher and an umpire.Only this time, Ertz's pitch with the football hit Jeffery in the hip, and Jeffery pretended to charge the mound.Jeffery said that was his idea, and that he's the choreographer of those Continue Reading