January 06, 2018

Eagles will face Falcons in divisional round of the playoffs

Eagles NFL
010618MattRyan James Lang/USA TODAY Sports

Carson Wentz and the Eagles beat the Falcons 24-15 in 2016. This year they'll have to beat them with Nick Foles.

The Philadelphia Eagles got what most of their fan base wished for, which was an Atlanta Falcons win over the Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card round of the playoffs. That result means that the Eagles' first opponent in the divisional round will be the Falcons next Saturday at 4:35 p.m.

The Falcons entered the playoffs as the No. 6 seed in the NFC, after finishing the regular season at 10-6. With the Eagles securing the No. 1 seed, they also earned the right to face the lowest remaining seed left after the first round of the playoffs.

The last time the Eagles faced the Falcons was in Week 10 of the 2016 season when the Eagles won 24-15. In 2016, the Falcons were the highest-scoring team in the NFL, and their 15-point output was by far their worst game offensively of the season. 

In 2017, the Falcons' offense regressed considerably, scoring-wise. In 2016, they scored 540 points. In 2017, they scored just 353 points, a difference of 187 points, or 11.7 points per game. Still, they remain a formidable opponent with dangerous weapons on offense, notably 2016 MVP Matt Ryan, WRs Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu, as well as RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. 

The Falcons-Rams result also eliminates the No. 3 seed Rams, the top-scoring team in the NFL this season. There was no way the Eagles were going to face the Rams in the divisional round, but their loss ensures that they will not face the Eagles in a potential NFC Championship Game either.

The initial line for the Falcons-Eagles matchup is Falcons -2.5, meaning that the No. 1 seed Eagles are home underdogs to a No. 6 seed.

The No. 2 seed Minnesota Vikings will play the winner of Sunday's matchup between the No. 5 seed Carolina Panthers and the No. 4 seed New Orleans Saints.


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