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NFC: Eagles ignore history
By wire services
Published January 21, 2005
Playing in the past three championship games gives the Eagles a significant edge in big-game experience. Losing all three puts all the pressure on Philadelphia to get to the Super Bowl for the first time in 24 years.
"We lost. It's time to move on," Eagles defensive tackle Corey Simon said Thursday. "Thinking about last year and the year before that will get you beat this week. We have to focus on this game."
The Falcons, meanwhile, have far less to lose. A year ago, they were 5-11. Now they're a victory away from the second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. The other was after the '98 season.
"We're just going to go up there and play loose and let it roll," Falcons coach Jim Mora said. "We don't feel any pressure. It's house money we're gambling with. So we're just going to go up there and fling it around and see if we can't stay on the field with them for a little while."
It will be freezing when the Eagles host the Falcons on Sunday afternoon, with forecasters calling for snow.
Last year, Carolina came to Philadelphia, ignored the elements and stunned the Eagles 14-3. Two years ago, the Bucs closed out Veterans Stadium with a 27-10 win, its first playoff victory in temperatures under 40 degrees. In 2002, the Eagles lost at St. Louis 29-24.
"It's unfortunate what happened to us the last three years, but it's just a different feeling this year," Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said. "We're a fresher team. We have guys that have been anticipating this opportunity."
INJURY REPORT: Falcons offensive tackle Todd Weiner and cornerback Kevin Mathis sat out practice for the second day in a row, leaving them questionable. Mora said both players "were a lot better," and is hopeful both will be able to practice today.