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NFL NFC and AFC Divisional Round preview and predictions

14 Enero 2018, 02:13 | Gerardo Tarin

NFL NFC and AFC Divisional Round preview and predictions

Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney Mc Leod sacks Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the second half of an NFL football NFC divisional playoff game Saturday Jan. 13 2018 in Philadelphia

They won 13 games and earned the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed. The best plan of attack is for Nick Foles to make a few nice passes early and make a Falcons defense that will be thinking run all day to back off the box and have to start thinking pass on more plays. The Falcons split with the Saints this year and lost 14-9 in a terrible offensive display at home to the Vikings this season.

As a unit, the Falcons defense couldn't prevent the Eagles offense from driving down the field.

The Falcons had some trouble stopping the run at key moments throughout the game. The Eagles ran the ball effectively the entire drive and appeared to have scored on their 13th play.

A 30-yard punt from Matt Bosher landed on the ground hit Eagle Bryan Braman and was recovered by the Falcons on the Eagles' 18 yardline.

A masterful 74-yard, 12-play drive on which Foles was 5 for 6 for 70 yards - the only incompletion was Jay Ajayi's drop - led to Elliott's 37-yard kick into the wind that made it 12-10.

It's always something special defeating a great team without their star player as an underdog.

Players took to Twitter after the game to thank fans, get more pumped and let people know they're no underdogs.

Matt Ryan (2) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) after the last time these two teams met. Wentz will be out with a torn ACL for this game. The Eagles would get a defensive pass interference call in their favor, putting the ball in Falcons territory. Ryan threw incomplete on first and second down, then connected with Jones to the 2 on third down, setting up the final play.

That pretty much sums up the company line from inside the team's NovaCare Complex.

The Eagles will host the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, January 21 at 6:40 PM ET.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, whom they still aren't totally sold on in Philly, was asked this week if he's confident his team has finally moved on from the Wentz injury. An offence that leaned heavily on the running game provided by Kamara and Ingram all season long was bottled up by the Carolina Panthers last weekend to the tune of just 41 rushing yards.

Wide receiver Nelson Agholor set up running back LeGarrette Blount's second-quarter TD with a 21-yard run off an inside counter. Ryan finished 22-for-36 for 210 yards, one touchdown and an 86.6 quarterback rating.

Julio Jones wasn't a scoring threat, but the defense was the main reason by far for keeping him out of the endzone. Jones is projected to finish with 91 yards on 8 receptions; he averages 0.5 TDs per sim, meaning he finds the end-zone in every other simulated matchup. He did have 44 yards receiving on three catches. Alshon Jeffery was clutch for the Birds, finishing with four receptions on 61 yards. After a pass interference on the first offensive play netted the Eagles 42 yards, Ajayi fumbled at the end of a six-yard carry to give Atlanta possession. Ryan would be sacked three times by the Eagles defense, with a loss of 15 yards.

From a pure match-up standpoint, Atlanta wants to run the ball; they make no bones about it.

Maybe even two more wins, which would bring this franchise its first Super Bowl championship, won't convince everyone.



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