NFL Divisional Weekend: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES vs ATLANTA FALCONS
NFL DIVISIONAL WEEKEND MATCH UP
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES vs ATLANTA FALCONS
(Saturday January 13th, 2018 4:35 pm EST NBC)
The red hot Atlanta Falcons travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles. Philly is coming off the bye and they hope to see better play out of Quarterback Nick Foles, as stated by coach Doug Pederson “the time off was used to take a closer look into what Nick does well”. They will certainly need more than they’ve gotten from him the last few weeks of the season especially with this Falcons team coming in riding high after a 13 point win over the Rams in LA in the Wild card round. The game wasn’t as close as the score suggest. Atlanta’s special teams and some timely throws by reigning MVP Matt Ryan left the Rams dazed and confused as they headed into the off season earlier than they expected.
Philadelphia had a top 5 ranked rushing offense during the regular season and if they hope to land in Minnesota for the SuperBowl they are gonna need that running game to show up. Atlanta’s defense behind LB Deion Jones has improved over the year. Last week they harassed Jared Goff and tackled MVP candidate Todd Gurley which has been proven to be a tall task. The Clash between these two teams will be an interesting and intriguing one to watch.
With the temperature expected to be around 45 degrees the cold isn’t going to be as big a factor as I initially thought, however, rain and wind could effect the passing attacks. Atlanta’s Wild card game totaled 39 points and I dont expect there to be many more points in this one.
The game will be a simple one, the team that’s able to get the run going will control things. Given the fact that Nick Foles isn’t a great passer you can expect Atlanta to keep 8 guys in the box to stop Ajayi, Blount and Clement and force him to beat them through the air. Freeman and Coleman will have more running lanes due the possibility of Matt Ryan carving the secondary up. I believe Freeman will have good runs early forcing Jim Schwartz to bring the safety down and thats when Julio Jones will become a huge factor.
Foles won’t be as woeful as he’s been in recent weeks but he will still make some mistakes. Look for Deion Jones or Keanu Neal to make a play in this one to tilt the momentum and give The Falcons the edge. In the end the loss of QB Carson Wentz will prove to be too much and the #1 seed Eagles are one and done, while the #6 seeded Atlanta Falcons head to the NFC Championship game for the 2nd consecutive year.
FALCONS 20 – EAGLES 14