Publish Date: 01/12/2018
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
Date and Time: Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at 4:35 PM
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Michele Tafoya
The Eagles enter this game as the underdog even though they are the number one seed playing the number six seed. The main reason for that would have to be the injury a few weeks ago to Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz. Backup Nick Foles has been a starter in the playoffs before and has proven at times to be a good NFL Quarterback, but make no mistake about it, he is not Carson Wentz. The Falcons offense has yet to really click this season and that is why this game is a toss up.
The Falcons have struggled on offense all year and in their wild card win in Los Angeles they were still struggling, as they had to settle for multiple field goals. If that happens again, they will not escape Philadelphia with a win. The Eagles defensive line will cause the Falcons all kinds of problems, just as they Rams defensive front did last week. So the key is if the Eagles can pressure Matt Ryan. If they can, look for the Falcons to have problems scoring this weekend.
The Falcons have a quick, athletic defense but if the Eagles can run the ball and wear down the Falcons defense, Foles could have a big day. The key for the Eagles is to make sure that their third-down plays are third and five or less because the Falcons have had trouble in some games getting off the field on third down. Of course a good running game makes life easier for Nick Foles and can help to open up the Eagles offense.
The Falcons have more team speed than maybe any team in the NFL and the Eagles will have to play disciplined football to be able to contain the Falcons offense. The Eagles have a strong defense and the key will be the Eagles’ ability to gang tackle and limit the Falcons’ explosive play making abilities.
Prediction: This game will be decided the way most games are and that’s in the trenches. I think the Eagles are slightly better in the trenches than the Falcons are. The Eagles defense will pressure Matt Ryan and, at the end of the day, that will be the deciding factor in this game.
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