nick foles philadelphia eaglesThe Atlanta Falcons (11-6) visit Lincoln Financial Field to play the NFC’s No.1 seeded Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) on the first NFL game of this weekend’s Divisional Round.

The Falcons travel to Philadelphia in a very confident mood, not only because of their 26-13 road victory last week against the Los Angeles Rams but also because they have been playing outstanding football for more than a month and are finally looking like the team that won the NFC last year.

Their defense has raised its game and is on fire so if the Eagles want to win they also must step up their game on offense significantly because if they continue to play like they did at the end of the regular season they will not survive to move on to the NFC Championship.

Of course, for the Eagles that won’t be easy since they are missing Carson Wentz, the quarterback that led them to an 11-2 record and finished second in the NFL in touchdowns (33) despite missing the final three games of the season.

In his place, Nick Foles has taken command of the offense. He’s been somewhat inconsistent, but despite that, the Eagles went 2-1 with him as a starter.

An inconsistent offense won’t be good enough to survive against Atlanta’s fast and aggressive defense that is excellent on the backend and coverage.

Furthermore, the Eagles offensive line needs to protect Foles because the Falcons have 30 sacks in their 11 wins and just nine sacks in their six losses. If the Eagles can protect their quarterback they will take a big step toward helping Foles deliver a win, the big question is whether they can find a way to do that.

The Eagles will need to slow down the game by running the ball, converting on third down, having long drives, and controlling the time of possession to keep Atlanta’s offense off the field. If they do that they will avoid giving Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the rest of that potent offense too many opportunities.

The Eagles need to perhaps use the same formula they used in November 2016 when they defeated the Falcons 24-15. They must open holes for LeGarrette Blount, Jay Ajayi and the rest of their running backs so they can roam free and help the team finish with over 35 carries yards and more than 200 yards on the ground.

The Eagles defense will also have to step up because although the Falcons this season are not the No. 1 offense, like last season, they still have most of the same components that helped them reach the Super Bowl.

At receiver, the phenomenal Julio Jones proved last week he’s always dangerous as he finished with 94 yards and a touchdown. Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper are also a constant threat that Ryan constantly throws to if given enough time.

Their running game is also explosive and if the Eagles defense hesitates they can scamper off and have a field day to help keep Foles and the rest of the Eagles offense off the field.

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are not only dangerous rushers, but also good catching passes from Ryan in the backfield and then finding holes to turn the plays into big gains.

This game is too close to call and the result will depend on a big part on which Nick Foles shows up. If Foles is not at the top of the game don’t expect the Eagles to win despite playing at home.

The Falcons are too explosive, and they match well with the Eagles defense, so Philadelphia will need to put points on the board if they want to defeat the defending NFC Champions.








Leave a Reply

Live Support