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 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.
After Saturday's game, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie joined in a wild celebration in the locker room. Tackle Lane Johnson and defensive end Chris Long jokingly donned dog masks in reference to the Eagles entering the game as 3-point underdogs to the Falcons.
"Everything rushes through your mind in moments like this, but the biggest emotion for me was being with the team, the guys, just the resiliency of this football team," coach Doug Pederson said. "Our backs against the wall, people discounting us, not giving us much credit, whatever it may be. But one thing about this team that I love so much is that they battle to the end."
They really did battle to the end against the Falcons.
The Eagles kept their season alive with a dramatic defensive stand at the end of regulation.
Atlanta faced 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 cornerback Jalen Mills forced an incompletion.
"I figured they'd be coming at me based on the formation and everything," Mills said. "I just tried to get physical with (Jones), because I know that's what type of player he is. I got my hand up and tried to make a play."
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.