This year's Falcons team haven't looked like the same group that rolled through the NFC last season, but they might've played their best game of the year with an upset victory over the Rams in the Wild Card round. Atlanta is coming into this game on a hot streak, and the Eagles stumbled through the last few games of the season after losing Carson Wentz to a season-ending injury. Philadelphia comes into this game as a home underdog against the defending NFC champions, but should the Eagles be getting more respect this week?

Falcons' Offense vs. Eagles' Defense

Despite scoring 26 points against the Rams last weekend, the Falcons didn't perform that well in the Wild Card round. The offense only averaged 4.5 yards per play in the game as Aaron Donald was in the backfield on nearly every play.

The Eagles' defense, led by defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, is in the top five in the NFL in nearly every metric this season, and their front seven matches up very well against the Falcons. Fletcher Cox is another talented defensive tackle who could give Atlanta's offense similar trouble in terms of what Aaron Donald did last weekend.

However, I'm not sure that Ronald Darby will be able to slow down a receiver as talented as Julio Jones, and Mohamed Sanu could have a lot of success against Jalen Mills on the other side as well.

The Eagles' defensive line will need to put some pressure on Matt Ryan to protect their secondary from some possible mismatches on the back end.

Eagles' Offense vs. Falcons' Defense

While the Falcons' defense didn't put up great numbers this season, they have elite talent at all three levels of their unit and they have begun to live up to their potential over the past few weeks.

They have the benefit of going up against an Eagles offense that hasn't looked the same with Nick Foles at quarterback. Philadelphia's backup quarterback has thrown for just 5.3 yards per attempt this season, and the Eagles' offense sorely misses Carson Wentz's ability to make plays with his legs.

The Falcons' defensive line is extremely aggressive in getting upfield, and the Eagles will have to use that against them this weekend by employing their usual trap blocks in the running game.

However, Atlanta's defense can focus their full attention on stuffing the run game as they won't be scared to get beat deep by Nick Foles in the passing game.

TV Schedule

Saturday, January 13th at 4:35 PM ET on NBC.


The Eagles may have been Super Bowl favorites if Carson Wentz was still in the lineup, but their championship hopes left the field along with their star quarterback during that game against the Rams. The Falcons' offense still isn't firing on all cylinders, but the speed and athleticism of their defense has been on full display in the last month. The Falcons will move on to their second consecutive NFC Championship Game with a win in Philadelphia on Saturday.