Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons: Betting odds, TV info, storylines and more
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) celebrates with wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) after they connected on a touchdown pass against the New York Giants during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
PHILADELPHIA — After using the past two weeks to rest, rehab and ramp up preparations, the Philadelphia Eagles will return to the field Saturday to host the Atlanta Falcons in a divisional round playoff game.
It’s the Eagles’ first postseason contest in four years, and a win would place them in the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 2008 season.
Here’s all you need to know about the most important football game in South Philadelphia in a decade:
What: No. 6-seed Falcons (11-6) at No. 1-seed Eagles (13-3)
Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
When: Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET
Stream: NBC Sports stream
Announcers: AL Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Radio: WIP94.1 (Find the station in your area)
Live stats/updates: PennLive’s gameday page
Injury reports: Eagles linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) and Sidney Jones (hamstring) are questionable. The Falcons are at full strength.
The betting line, per Oddsshark: Atlanta (-3)
Gametime forecast: Sunny, 33 degrees, 0 percent chance of precipitation, 15 MPH winds.
1) With all disrespect
The Eagles lost MVP candidate quarterback Carson Wentz to an ACL tear in early December, and veteran backup Nick Foles looked shaky in his place the final two weeks of the season. Though the Birds held a grip on the NFC’s top spot for most of the year, the change at quarterback has left the team as the first No. 1 seed in NFL history to enter a game against a No. 6 seed as an underdog. And some Eagles are using the slights from experts in Las Vegas and media members as motivation. “We’ve been disrespected all year,” defensive tackle Fletcher Cox said.
2) Surging Falcons
After losing in the Super Bowl last season, the Falcons opened 2017 with a sluggish start but have since rebounded. Atlanta won six of its final eight regular-season games and upset the No. 3-seed Rams, 26-13, last weekend to earn a spot in the divisional round. A speedy defense and an offense littered with weapons — namely all-pro wideout Julio Jones — makes the Falcons’ roster one of the best in the NFL.
3) Focus on Foles
Foles, the 28-year-old backup who made a Pro Bowl with the Eagles in 2013, could face the defining moment of career Saturday. After throwing four touchdowns in his first start of the season Dec. 17, Foles struggled down the stretch, completing less than 47 percent of his passes and tossing one touchdown to two interceptions over the season’s final two games. Can he regain his footing and steer the Birds to their first home playoff win in 11 years?
- Jon Ritchie’s Eagles-Falcons primer
- Jay Ajayi’s been building to this moment
- Eagles have home field, but not an advantage
- Who were the major players in the last Eagles-Falcons playoff matchup
- Here’s what the world looked like when the Eagles last won a postseason game at the Linc
- Eagles coach says team’s shaken sting of Wentz injury
Philadelphia Eagles coverage on PennLive