Sports

Eagles aware of historic underdog status against Falcons

Eagles aware of historic underdog status against Falcons

Nick Foles will start in his first playoff game since 2013.

After weeks of waiting, the Philadelphia Eagles will finally participate in their first playoff game on Saturday with the Atlanta Falcons coming to town for what should be an intense Divisional Round battle.

One of these teams will advance to be nearly assuredly underdogs in the NFC championship, but for now, both the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles have plenty of reasons to feel good about their upcoming game.

"A lot of it is just past experience as a player", Pederson said. "They have a real understanding of the scheme, and for a long time I've felt the way they feature the guys in the system really lends to playing really good run defense".

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Dominating up front will make it easier for the defensive backs to cover the likes of Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. But Foles himself isn't anxious in the least about going up against Atlanta's Cover 3 defense. The Seahawks have excelled at it for several years. What's the most important thing they need to do to pull off an upset? With the Patriots well-rested, Tom Brady and Co. shouldn't have any trouble taming a very average team that is incredibly lucky to be here.

That's pretty much Reese saying the talent is still there on offense for Atlanta, but the Eagles aren't afraid of it because it's not been clicking in 2017. He beat the Seahawks in 2015 with St. Louis.

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Makes sense, since coach Dan Quinn used to be Seattle's defensive coordinator. The Eagles love to run him on outside zone plays, especially to the left side. It's an aggressive style.

Can they pull out a win?

"They are not going to try to trick you or do anything to get in your head or anything like that".

"We're not here just to get here", Ryan told reporters.

The Falcons don't blitz much but still get pressure on quarterbacks. Eagles tied franchise record with 13 wins. Adrian Clayborn led the way with 9½ sacks, including six in one game against the Cowboys. During their nine-game win streak from Week 3 to 11, they averaged 161.9 rushing yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry.

Pederson wants Foles to be himself, he said. "You saw it against the Rams".

The team's protestations notwithstanding, the perception of the Birds as a shaky number one seed comes from the fact that Foles hasn't inspired a lot of confidence. "So, you'd expect them to have a good run defense, and they certainly do". He saw Wentz mature in a year's time into becoming an National Football League superstar. QB Nick Foles was 2-1 filling in for Carson Wentz. He heard about the Eagles of old, of the Andy Reid years, when annually making the playoffs seemed to be a given, and how Philadelphia momentarily was rocked by the fool's gold Chip Kelly was pedaling his first year when the Eagles won the NFC East and hosted the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs.


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