I gave my preview and prediction on the podcast...
and I am sticking with it.
I am not blowing smoke, I truly believe the Eagles will win this game. I am 14-2 (11-4-1 ATS) picking the Eagles this season, with the only losses coming from the LA Chargers and Seattle games. I have also picked against the Eagles more than most.
This will be a very tough game and should be close throughout. But as long as the Eagles don't turn the ball over and Nick Foles doesn't completely shit himself, the Eagles will be moving onto the NFC championship game.
The loss of Wentz proves to be too much to overcome. Nick Foles and the offensive play a sloppy game and it's too much to ask the defense to hold the Falcons to two scores. It's a close one, but the season ends Saturday.
Everyone knows it by now, Eagles are the first 1 seed to play as underdogs in the divisional round of the playoffs. That is a level of disrespect I’ve never seen before for a 13-3 team. Yes they lost THE MVP in Wentz, but the defense is legit. With a playoff crowd behind the Eagles, I think the defense comes away with a score which will be the key to victory. Philadelphia has to keep the Falcons under 24 points to win and I believe they will. Home Birds over Dirty Birds. The Eagles return to the NFC Championship!
I feel like we haven't played a game in ages. The last game we played I have been trying to erase from my memory because the offense looked awful, especially Nicky Foles. the good news is, Dougie P and co. have had plenty of time to prepare.
I think the biggest key for the Eagles is for the d line to dominate and keep Matty Ice from getting into any kind of rhythm. I don't care what anyone says- Julio Jones is uncover-able. I'm fine with him catching the ball, they just need to keep him out of the end zone. For the Eagles it's no secret the run game is going to be the primary source of offense. I'd love to see Ajayi get the lion share of the carries and then bring Blount in by the goal line and Clement in passing situations. All I need Foles to do is manage the game and not try to be a hero. Dink-and-dunk all the way down the field with a balanced run game and have long sustaining drives that wear down their defense and keep their offense off of the field. I think this is going to be a dog fight and an ugly game, but it doesn't need it to be pretty as long as the Eagles get the W.
If Carson was still under center this line might have been Eagles -9.5 maybe more, dammit I miss him!
This game is going to be a difficult one. All the talk leading up to this game from fans, sports talk radio, and even Mouthpiece has been positive and optimistic. Unfortunately I am not buying into I️t. The Falcons come into this game as the first 6 seeded divisional round favorite. Although I️t does give bulletin board material, let’s be honest it’s the playoffs, you don’t need it for a playoff game. The Falcons will get out to an early lead, but the Eagles D will keep them in this game. Unfortunately they will wear down late in the game as the offense is unable to stay on the field and extend drives. Doug will abandon the run as his pal Andy Reid does. This is going to be a year of “what if’s” for Philly fans.
The Eagles will come out firing to start this game. They finally decide to give Jay Ajayi the ball 22+ times, and get rewarded with a touchdown. The Eagles capitalize off of two turnovers, but both drives end up in field goals. Matt Bryant and Mohamed Sanu account for all of the Falcons points, in a low scoring nail-biter.
If anyone loves an underdog it’s Philadelphia. I keep seeing comparisons to Rocky Balboa. As much as I love rocky, this is not that kind of story. Apollo Creed was Goliath and Rocky was David. The Falcons are by no means Goliath and the Eagles are by no means David.
Offensively, the Falcons get the edge. Matt Ryan is better than foles. Julio better than Jeffrey. Freeman better than Blount and Ajayi. Defensively, do I need to remind you the Eagles have an awesome defense? And the number one rushing defense? Advantage Eagles.
So we go to the x-factor. The game is at Lincoln Financial Field. Outdoors. Not in a dome. Matt Ryan sucks in the Linc. The Falcons were better last year offensively and the Eagles held them to 15 points. Glock has been saying it all week and I agree, WIN UGLY. I expect the Eagles to pound the ball with a combination of Blount and Ajayi. I expect Foles to manage the game and not turn the ball over. And when that happens, there is no reason the Eagles can’t win this thing. Look for a late game interception from the hands of Matt Ryan to seal the victory and trip to NFC Championship for Philadelphia.
PS: the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in the super bowl