The battle of the birds will go down this weekend in Philadelphia. Will the Philadelphia Eagles or Atlanta Falcons advance to the NFC championship?
The Atlanta Falcons showed their playoff experience last week. They beat the upstart Los Angeles Rams 26-13 on the road. Now they travel to Philadelphia to challenge the NFC’s top seed. The Falcons and Eagles will square off in the NFC Divisional Round for a chance to go to the NFC Championship.
This game between the two teams is an odd one. The Falcons are favored against the number one seed Eagles. This marks the first time in NFL history that the road team is favored in the divisional round.
Much of that spread is due to the fact that the Eagles will be without starting quarterback, and MVP candidate, Carson Wentz. The loss of Wentz hurts. He had this offense moving at top speed. The balanced Eagles attack was one of the NFL’s best. It also played into their defenses hand which excels at getting after the quarterback.
Unlike the Eagles, the Falcons are healthy and surging. Throughout the end of the regular season everyone knew that if Atlanta got into the playoffs they were going to be dangerous. Outside of their offensive coordinator there is not much different on this team. The team closely resembles the squad that had a 21-3 lead in the Super Bowl only a season ago.
Line: Falcons (-2.5)
The Atlanta Falcons looked impressive in their game against the Rams. Los Angeles was the league’s top scoring offense and the Falcons defense held them to 13 points. Their defense is young and fast. Atlanta could give Philadelphia fits. They are 2.5 points favorites on the road (according to OddShark.com)
The Eagles ended the season losing their last game 6-0 to the Dallas Cowboys even with their starers in. Nick Foles took over for Carson Wentz for the team’s last three games. He impressed against the Giants in his first start. The following two made him look like what he is, a career backup.
Philadelphia has all the talent in the world to pull the upset. The Falcons, however, are playing their best when it matters. The Eagles secondary can be exposed, especially by a talent like Julio Jones. It would take an exceptional outing from Foles for the Eagles to cover and win.
Pick: Falcons 27, Eagles 23