Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Eagles open as historic home underdogs to Falcons

Eagles open as historic home underdogs to Falcons

The Eagles are the NFC's top seed and were the darlings of the league until Carson Wentz was lost to injury.

Sports books have Atlanta as a three-point favorite over Philadelphia.

This year's divisional playoff game marks the fourth time the Falcons and the Eagles have played in the postseason.

Even more, when playing at Lincoln Financial Field during this same timespan, Atlanta is 0-4 against Philadelphia.

When they take the field for Saturday's divisional round game against Atlanta, the Philadelphia Eagles will do something no other No. 1 seed ever has done before - begin the National Football League playoffs as an underdog. The Eagles' defensive line will need to put some pressure on Matt Ryan to protect their secondary from some possible mismatches on the back end.

Cornerback Bobby Taylor gave the Eagles an early lead by intercepting Vick and returning it 39 yards for a touchdown.

Oct 1 2017 Carson CA USA Philadelphia Eagles running back Le Garrette Blount is defended by Los Angeles Chargers strong safety Jahleel Addae during the first quarter at Stub Hub Center. Mandatory Credit Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Credit Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Eight months after meeting in the 2004 NFC championship game, the teams met again at the Georgia Dome and the Falcons earned a 14-10 victory.

2003 Postseason - The Eagles defeated the Falcons, 20-6, in the 2002 NFC Divisional Playoff game at Veterans Stadium.

If Carson Wentz were healthy, the spread would obviously be much different. Nick Foles has played one playoff game, outdoors at the Linc, and had a passer rating of 105.0, two touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes. As safety Rodney McLeod explained, Philadelphia had a plan to contain Atlanta's wide array of talented skill-position players and executed it for much of the game.

The Falcons ended the season ranked ninth in total defense (318), 12th in pass defense (214), 9th in rush defense (104) and limited their opponents to almost 20 points per game.

The Eagles' defense stifled the Falcons' running game previous year, holding the team to 48 yard rushing on 13 attempts.


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