Looking Ahead to the NFL’s NFC Divisional Round: Falcons vs. Eagles Preview

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 18: Quarterback Matt Ryan
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 18: Quarterback Matt Ryan /

The Atlanta Falcons are now one step closer to avenging last year’s Super Bowl defeat.

With this past weekend’s triumph over the Los Angeles Rams, the Atlanta Falcons are now one step closer to avenging last year’s Super Bowl defeat. In fact, it would be hard to find a more motivated team than the Falcons currently competing in the playoffs.

Luckily for Atlanta fans, the show Matty Ice put on this past weekend has given us plenty to look forward to. Up next is the Philadelphia Eagles. What can Atlanta fans expect this weekend as the Falcons travel to Philadelphia to take on the No. 1 seeded Eagles?

NFC Divisional Round – Saturday, January 13th

  • When: 4:35 pm ET
  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field
  • TV: Fox
  • Stream: Fox Sports Go, NFL Game Pass
  • NFL Betting Odds:
    • Falcons -3 (-105) 41 (-110)         -153
    • Eagles +3 (-115) 41 (-110)         +134

At the end of the day, this is without a doubt one of the best matchups of the season. On one hand, you have the red hot Atlanta Falcons, who posted a 3-1 record through the final four games of the season to earn a spot in the playoffs. Additionally, the Falcons are coming off a huge playoff upset.

In fact, not enough can be said about that win. Atlanta didn’t just beat the Rams, they ravaged them. The final score of 26-13 doesn’t suggest a manhandling, but that’s just what the Falcons’ defense had to do. Holding the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense to under 14 points is massive, and it’s something the Falcons will be looking to do once again this Saturday. Luckily for them, they’ll be going up against a backup quarterback.

The backup is really the focus of this weekend’s matchups. NFL betting sites have come out and pegged Atlanta as a favorite, and there’s no sense beating around the bush. The only reason Atlanta is favored is because Wentz isn’t in the starting lineup. But there are still some NFL pundits who believe that the Eagles are the better team overall. Is that really the case?

Falcons vs. Eagles by the Books

Unequivocally, the Eagles have the better regular season offensive numbers. Philadelphia finished the year ranked 3rd in scoring, 7th in total offense, 13th in passing and 3rd in rushing overall. That’s pretty impressive but the Falcons aren’t that far behind.

Specifically, Atlanta finished the regular season ranked 15th overall in points per game, 8th in total offense, 8th in passing (which is better than Philly fared) and 13th overall on the ground. Clearly, Philly has the upper hand in this category.

However, the Eagles had Wentz under center for most of the year. And there’s no doubt that Wentz played a big role in their offensive success, both through the air and on the ground. Considering what the Falcons did to the Rams this past weekend, they should be able to shutout a backup quarterback this Saturday.

Next: Are the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl-Bound?

Unfortunately, Philly also has a statistical advantage on defense. The Eagles finished the year ranked 4th in points allowed, 4th in yards allowed, 17th against the pass and No. 1 against the run. Comparatively, Atlanta finished 8th in terms of points allowed, 9th in total defense, 12th against the pass and 9th against the run. Those numbers give Philly the upper hand. But hopefully, the added week of rest has done more to cripple that defense, rather than aid.