Alshon Jeffery projected as Eagles' top receiving target against Falcons

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Matt Ryan has another shot at a happy homecoming.

The Washington Post notes the Falcons are a 2.5-point favorite over the Eagles, making Philadelphia the first No. 1 seed to be an underdog in the divisional round since 1970. "I guess I got lucky", he said. It looks like they are playing their best ball at the right time. "The one nice part is there will be a lot of familiar faces, friendly faces after the game, which is always nice".

"I think having this time to self-scout. you realize, 'Hey, just go out there and play, '" he reflected as reported by Tim McManus on The Eagles are in the top five for 3rd down defense, takeaways, and turnover differential. Atlanta played at Lincoln Financial Field last season and lost.

For Foles, that most likely means focusing on film from the 2013 season, when he burst onto the scene as an ideal fit with Coach Chip Kelly's offense in Philadelphia. He is also just the fifth quarterback since 1999 to record a touchdown pass and reception in the same game. He's certainly a dropoff from Wentz, but he's also capable of spectacular performances. He had four TDs in his first start in Week 15.

Coach Doug Pederson has tried to remain upbeat about Philadelphia's ability to win without Wentz, and told reporters that getting a chance to go over film of Foles's more successful stints in the past had given the team a blueprint for success. And he will be under center on Saturday against the Falcons.

"That's huge", said tight end Levine Toilolo. We definitely work on that every week.

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In the last meeting of the two teams in the playoffs, it was cold (17 degrees at kickoff) and there was a bunch a snow for the NFC Championship Game in 2005. Eagles fans are hoping they get the good Foles and not the bad Foles, but they are preparing for a lot of bad Foles. It's been the big, powerful teams that have given the Falcons trouble this year.

Last season under defensive coordinator Richard Smith, the Falcons were the 27th best defense in the National Football League, giving up 25 points per game.

Ryan says he has become more comfortable with Sarkisian, especially the last two weeks in wins over Carolina and the Rams.

"We're not here just to get here", Ryan said. Jones caught that TD among his nine grabs for 94 yards. The second-year pro is confident he can contain Jones again. Jones lined up off the line on the left side, ran a crossing route behind the line of scrimmage and wheeled out to catch a ideal touch pass by Ryan. "I don't like it, but I think it's a good motivator". That's great, but who have they played?

Only two other teams had multiple players accomplish the feat. The Falcons are led by Devonta Freeman, who had 865 yards rushing and seven TDs. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, the man who was so crucial to the way they steamrolled through their competition this season will not be able to contribute in the postseason. Atlanta had won the previous three meetings.

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