Eagles finally return to playoff picture

Philadelphia Eagles safety Rodney Mc Leod sacks Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan during the second half of an NFL football NFC divisional playoff game Saturday Jan. 13 2018 in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, the NFC East division champions with a 13-and-3 regular season record, were home underdogs in Saturday's Divisional Playoff game - the first time in National Football League history a top-seed has been a home underdog in a Divisional Playoff. It was the template of what the Eagles needed to do to win.

Why is Philly getting no respect? Starting his fourth game since Carson Wentz went down with a knee injury in week 14, Foles completed two third-down passes on the drive. In the fourth, Atlanta's defense struggled to get off the field and the Eagles burned the clock.

The Falcons, of course, memorably blew a 28-3 second-half lead to the Patriots in last year's Super Bowl. Philly hosts the victor next Sunday evening at Lincoln Financial Field. He threw in a play he hadn't used all season that resulted in a 21-yarder from Nelson Agholor that put the Eagles at the three-yard line and set up their only touchdown.

On the ensuing drive, Matt Ryan led the Falcons down the field and almost connected on a pass to Mohamed Sanu. Julio Jones caught nine passes for 101 yards.

Early betting trends at Sports Interaction show the Falcons taking a majority lean on the spread. "We prepared and felt ready".

The Eagles (13-3) secured a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

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For the first time in playoff history, a No. 1 seed is an underdog. They used it as motivation and now it's onto the next one as they continue pursuit of the franchise's first Super Bowl title.

Ryan was hardly dominant, going 22 of 36 for 210 yards and one touchdown. Ajayi finished the opening quarter 49 rushing yards and 58 yards from scrimmage which were the most he's ever had in the first quarter of a game. The Falcons also rushed for 124 yards and held the ball for almost 38 minutes, keeping it from the NFL's No. 1 offence.

The Falcons had a long drive that came up just short at the end of the game. Not something you can count on weekly. Including playoffs, allowed 328 points and 32 offensive TD in 17 games in '17 (allowed 406 points and allowed 46 offensive TD in '16)...

It's not yet confirmed that all-everything wide-out Antonio Brown will play, but he is practicing for the Steelers, who are 10-2 SU in their last 12 home games. If Wentz were healthy, it would likely be a almost a touchdown favorite here.

A masterful 74-yard, 12-play drive on which Foles threw for 70 yards led to Elliott's 37-yard kick into the wind that made it 12-10. Of course, the Falcons' poorly executed (and poorly designed) 4th-and-goal play from the Philadelphia 2-yard line never had a chance. The Rams' offense thrives when it's able to mix-and-match with its pass-and-run game, but the Falcons forced them to beat them through the air.

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