The Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons sure played a football game on Saturday, in that 60 minutes of the sport were played and a few minutes of them were actually interesting.
Thankfully, those interesting minutes came at the end, with the Falcons trying to go ahead in a 15-10 football game. That comeback effort included two long reviews to see whether catches were made, as well as a fourth down conversion after one of those catches was overturned by replay officials.
While the “what is a catch?” debate continues to baffle basically every person in football, what’s clear is that a Falcons comeback effort somehow fell short when Julio Jones couldn’t come up with a 4th-and-goal pass in the end zone.
Matt Ryan rolled to his right, drifted back to his left, and lofted a pass to Jones in the end zone that went through his hands. Jones actually slipped and fell, but stood up and tried to make a play on the ball. Much to the chagrin of Falcons fans, that didn’t happen, and the Eagles stayed alive in the postseason.
It’s a bit of a shocking result given how sure-handed Jones usually is, and how big he came through just moments earlier. But sometimes weird things happen on broken plays, and this was definitely a whole lot of broken on Saturday night.
Here’s another look at it from the end zone that really shows the chaos of the final meaningful moment in the game.
That final Falcons drive alone had two long reviews, one which overturned a Falcons first down and another that was clearly a Jones catch near the goal line. But that wasn’t even the end of the shenanigans. Atlanta had a slim chance of getting the ball back by forcing a punt or, better yet, causing the Eagles to bumble away a chance to close it out close to their goal line.
But an encroachment penalty helped the Eagles get a first down and put the game away. And after a week where the 6-seed Falcons were largely considered to be the favorite over the top seed in the NFC, the Eagles were eager to celebrate their underdog victory.
Probably going to be a lot of dog masks sold in Philadelphia this week. And a lot more playoff tickets, too.