Breakdown: The last time the Eagles and Falcons faced in the playoffs, Philadelphia beat Atlanta in the 2004 NFC Championship game to advance to Super Bowl XXXIX. Now, it seems that the majority of people are saying the Falcons will beat Philadelphia to advance to the NFC Championship in a couple Sundays. Well, well, well. How the turntables…
Just as our own Randy Gurzi wrote in a piece published a few weeks ago, the Falcons have been hardened by their circumstances. An up and down season may have been the best thing for Atlanta, given that they are familiar with their strengths and weaknesses now and know what they must accomplish in order to return to the Super Bowl.
Obviously, the Eagles without Carson Wentz means a less productive offense. Yes, they have Nick Foles, who has thrown seven touchdowns in a game before. However, after being shopped around to the Rams and Chiefs, his record-breaking days are limited, as we witnessed in Week 17 when he was benched in favor of Nate Sudfield. Atlanta’s top-10 defense will be ready for the questionable Philly offense.
Defensively for the Eagles, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has said that the expected Atlanta win adds fuel to the fire for the Eagles. All season, the Eagles defense has been good, but as we know since Week 17’s game against Carolina, the Falcons offense can now be trusted again. Power running by the Freeman/Coleman connection and careful ball control by Matt Ryan has put this offense into a rhythm.
The 13-3 Eagles aren’t to be taken lightly, but the Falcons look stronger than ever. I see them winning by at least two possessions.
Prediction: Atlanta 23, Philadelphia 10