The Eagles have four running backs who have made major contributions at some point in the year. 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.
The second half is where Foles started getting comfortable. So close to a Super Bowl victory a year ago, the devastating loss appears to have had a carryover effect for Atlanta, as they've underachieved all season.
I have been very clear since the gut-wrenching injury of Carson Wentz in saying that there is little chance for a Super Bowl run. The conversation started with Matt Ryan and a well-balanced offense and ended with "They're facing Nick Foles".
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"That's how I know him, quite honestly", Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said of Ryan's demeanor.
But after Matt Ryan and the Falcons stunned the No. 3-seeded Rams in their opener, Vegas is slightly higher on Atlanta then they were last week. Atlanta has playoff experience and a loaded offense, while Nick Foles has been unimpressive in his final two games of the season.
The Vikings have changed their look since then, too, with quarterback Case Keenum taking over, but two constants are their No. 1-ranked defense and 9-2 ATS record over their last 11 games.
Loading the box and shutting down the run and playing man across the board forcing Foles and his receivers to make plays to beat you is what the Falcons nearly certainly will do for the start of Saturday's game. Winning in Philadelphia is no easy task.
Patriots will be without Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee Saturday
Burkhead not only rushed for 264 yards and five touchdowns, but he also recorded 254 receiving yards and caught three touchdowns. The absence of Burkhead and Gillislee leaves the Patriots with just White, Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden in the backfield.
The Falcons also possess more postseason experience than the Birds. The electricity in the stadium will be off the charts. It appears the Eagles strengths align with the Falcons weaknesses, which should result in a win for the Eagles. It won't be an easy game, but I expect the Eagles to come out on top 24-20 and face the victor of the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings on January 21st. "All of us are going to be counted to make big plays".
The Rams' woes in attracting television viewers in Los Angeles compared to what they did while they were in St. Louis have been well-documented in the Post-Dispatch in both seasons since the National Football League team returned to Southern California after 21 years in Missouri. But when it mattered the Eagles' D stiffened, held the Falcons to 4 of 13 on third down, sacked Ryan three times, and held one of the league's best offenses to 281 total yards.
Nick Foles used the bye week to go back to basics. We'll sell Atlanta and buy a ticket on an undervalued Philadelphia side. Now this team is suddenly playing as an underdog. Ajayi figured to be the workhorse for the Dolphins in 2017, however, due to head coach Adam Gase "trying to send a message to his players", the Dolphins traded Ajayi to the Eagles for a fourth-round pick. Fletcher Cox has been vocal about proving the naysayers wrong.
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His call on Thursday for fewer immigrants from Haiti and Africa and more from Norway was just his latest thought in a long train. President, are you a racist?" Haiti's ambassador to the U.S. said he and his government "vehemently condemn [ed]" the remark.