Gameday – ATL at PHI

Posted: January 13th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 27 Comments »

Here we go.

Playoff football is only a few hours away. I wrote a preview for PE.com, focusing on the defense. They must come up big today.

The Eagles lost their previous two home playoff games. The 2013 team had Nick Foles playing at a high level. The OL was outstanding. LeSean and DeSean were explosive playmakers who both had great years. In the final four games of the year, the Eagles averaged more than 35 points and 450 yards per game. They got to the Wild Card game and scored 24 points and had 256 yards. The Saints had a good defense that year and they kept the Eagles under control.

Back in 2010 the Eagles had Michael Vick, LeSean, DeSean, Jeremy Maclin and were a dynamic offense. They lost to the Packers, scoring only 16 points. There were a pair of missed FGs, but the offense wasn’t close to what we’d seen all year.

People worry today because Foles is the QB and they’re scared the offense might not score enough. There is certainly reason to be concerned there, but the postseason is all about defense. The great offenses of 2010 and 2013 lost because they weren’t as effective in the postseason and the defense wasn’t good enough. The Eagles gave up 138 rushing yards to the Packers. They gave up 185 to the Saints. The defense couldn’t come up with key stops.

This Eagles defense is worlds better than the units from 2010 and 2013. This group is good enough to be the key to a playoff run.

They must play at a high level.

I’m excited to see Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Nigel Bradham and Malcolm Jenkins playing in a game like this. The last time the Eagles had a stud defense, they did make a playoff run. That was in 2008.

One player who will need to step up today is MLB Dannell Ellerbe. The Falcons will use 2 TE sets. That means the Eagles will be in their base defense. Ellerbe must help to control the run. He played some down the stretch, but this will be his biggest opportunity of the season.

3rd downs are going to be critical in this game. The Falcons led the league in 3rd down conversions. The Eagles must limit them to keep Atlanta from having long drives.

The Eagles offense needs to be tough and physical.

That won’t be the case today. The Eagles will use 2 and even 3-TE sets. They will use 6 OL at times. This is a day to pound the rock.

Doug Pederson needs to feed his RBs the ball. Let them go pound on the Falcons defense. That formula worked in 2016 and it can work today. In that upset, the Eagles RBs had 44 touches. The Falcons whole offense only had 48 snaps. That’s pretty crazy.

It is going to be cold, but not crazy today. This is a day for the linemen to dominate. You want guys like Fletcher Cox and Brandon Brooks to play up to their Pro Bowl status. They need to stand out.

The Falcons have not won a game this year when they were held under 20 points. The Eagles can do that with good defense and ball control offense. This needs to be a team performance, with the STs doing their part as well.

If the Eagles play well as a team, they will win.

*****

Matt Ryan is 1-3 at The Linc.

The Falcons are 0-2 in playoff games at The Linc. Those games came in 2002 and 2004 so they have nothing to do with these players, but it does show you how hard it is to win in Philly in January when the Eagles have a strong defense. And they do have that caliber of a defense this year.

_


  • SteveH

    These fucking 4:30 starts… How the hell am I supposed to be productive today…

    • Rob Jarratt

      You could compartmentalize and pretend you have a three-hour project that will take you to kickoff. Not.

    • P_P_K

      Pre-game starts in 10mins. Hang in there.

  • Masked Man

    Four hours to game time!

    No precip in the forecast.
    About 31 degrees at kickoff.
    Down to about 27 degrees around halftime.

    • Howie Littlefinger

      Well now we all know what u do for a living lol

      🙂

      • Masked Man

        Yeah… Meteorologist. That’s it! Haha.

        • Howie Littlefinger

          Upvote for the capitalization hahaha thought about that after the fact.

        • ColoradoEaglesFan

          I honestly thought so. Shame on me, great forecast by the way. You left out one important detail, Eagles win with a high pressure front moving forward.

  • Howie Littlefinger

    This guy, good thing I click this site pretty much every 10 minutes habitually.

    If we win the SB we should all pitch in and get Tommy a tub of PBR.

  • Dave

    So it looks like Sidney Jones will be active today. Nice.

    • Mr. Magee

      Surprising. What are you basing that on?

      • Dave

        His jersey and equipment are in his locker.

        https://twitter.com/Eagles/status/952221927954878464

        Sidney retweeted this

        • Howie Littlefinger

          Looks like he is actually inactive per Kempski:

          CB Sidney Jones:

          • DE Steven Means:

          • RB Wendell Smallwood:

          • OT Will Beatty:

          • WR Marcus Johnson: J

          • DT Destiny Vaeao:

          • DT Elijah Qualls:

          • Dave

            Oops

          • P_P_K

            Famous “last words.” Second only to, “Hey, guys, watch this.”

  • Rob Jarratt

    Yesssss! Pete Prisco just handed the Eagles a W by picking the Dirty Birds.

  • SteveH

    IM LOSING MY FUCKING MIND LETS GO EAGLES!!!!!

  • Masked Man

    Almost TWO HOURS to kickoff!

    This is gonna be NUTS! It’s gonna be GREAT!

  • Mr. Magee

    I know most of the money early in the week was on the Falcons, but does anyone know where the money has gone over the last day or so?

    • ColoradoEaglesFan

      Eagles most likely since I saw the spread last it was +2.5.

  • daveH

    World live to see 3 TE sets with Celek and Trey Burton !!

  • Howie Littlefinger

    Smashing teams in madden to kill this last bit of time….

    Almost there!

  • RC5000

    New thread…

  • wallacemnw

    11 years…