The Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots have reached the National Football League championship game, Super Bowl XXXIX.
The Philadelphia Eagles are making their first trip to the Super Bowl in 24 years, beating the visiting Atlanta Falcons, 27-10, in the National Conference championship game.
Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb completed 17 of 26 pass attempts Sunday for 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Chad Lewis. Wind and sub-freezing temperatures helped to chill the Falcons, who played most of their season inside domed stadiums. Atlanta had some success running. But Philadelphia's stingy defense kept Atlanta from making big passing plays.
McNabb said the game was also controlled by the offense and his teammates on the front line. "I do not think it was one play. I think it was the play of the offensive line. They did an excellent job of establishing the tempo early and all throughout the course of the game. They let the defenders know we were serious about what we were doing and this is our house," he said.
Philadelphia last appeared in the Super Bowl in 1981, when the team lost to the Oakland Raiders (27-10). The Eagles will face another tough team in two weeks, the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
New England had little trouble knocking out the top seeded Pittsburgh Steelers, 41-27, in the American Conference championship game. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady remains undefeated in his playoff career with eight straight postseason wins. He completed 14 of 21 pass attempts for 207 yards and two touchdowns. New England's balanced attack also produced two rushing scores. Brady says his team survived against Pittsburgh's top rated defense. "They played good tonight. I think this team just had great determination. Pittsburgh has a tremendous defense, and we did a great job protecting the ball. And I think that leads to victories," he said.
Super Bowl XXXIX will be in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6.