1/13 Divisional Playoffs Round-Up: Falcons @ Eagles

The best weekend of football (arguably) has come to a close and what a weekend it was. We’re going to start with the two Saturday games, which were not as close to as exciting as Sunday but still solid.


Image result for nick foles matt ryan

#1 Philadelphia Eagles 15 – #6 Atlanta Falcons 10

What do you know? The Falcons did it again and blew a winnable playoff game. I’m not going to point fingers and say I predicted it — but well, you know. Everyone was on the Falcons, which is why this is exactly the kind of game that they lose.

This game was very lackluster — as evidenced by the low score-line. The number 1 seed did successfully pull off the upset over the number 6 seed, who woulda thought? What had people buzzing on twitter most was NBC’s bird graphic:

 

Home Birds are now 10-0 against away birds — what a time to be alive. We saw them show Carson Wentz approximately 25 times and the Falcons ran the worst play on 4th down.

 

Not quite sure why you roll out Matt Ryan here and essentially only give him Julio as a target — who fell down.  Regardless, Julio did have a chance to catch it here but I have to chalk up the game to some bad coaching. The Falcons have already given a vote of confidence to their failure of an OC, Steve Sarkisian so expect more of the same next year. Nick Foles did just enough to get the Eagles the win and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.

 

P.S. Lane Johnson wearing a dog mask is nightmare material.

 

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Wild Card Weekend Preview: Atlanta Falcons @ LA Rams

The Falcons managed to sneak their way into the playoffs with the 6 seed after beating the Panthers 22-10 behind Matt Bryant’s 5 FGs (thrilling game). They take a 10-6 regular season record and become the single NFC representative from last year’s playoffs — and bring it into the newly revitalized Los Angeles Rams. The Rams sat all of their starters last week and got blown out by the 49ers 34-13 but ended up with the 3 seed anyway with an 11-5 record and a NFC West championship.

The Rams boast an explosive young offense — but are they ready for primetime? The Falcons have had some struggles this season, largely in part to the loss of OC Kyle Shanahan. An offense, which rolls out Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, and Julio Jones is no longer a scary matchup. The Falcons though, know how to play in January as they will look to get back to the Super Bowl after the most crushing loss ever against the Patriots last year.


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QB – Matt Ryan vs Jared Goff

Goff had an outstanding year as he massively improved on a mediocre rookie year — but I’m rolling with Matty Ice. Sure, Ryan doesn’t have the stats that Goff did but this isn’t his first rodeo. I’d feel much more comfortable with the battle tested QB who managed to finish 10-6 after the worst possible way to lose a Super Bowl and the loss of his offensive coordinator.


Image result for freeman gurleyRB – Devonta Freeman & Tevin Coleman vs Todd Gurley

Honestly, Freeman & Coleman may be the best combo in football — that being said Todd Gurley may be the best back in football. No player benefited more from the new regime in LA than Gurley, who finished with 1305 yds and 13 TD on the ground. Adding 788 yards through receptions as well? Yeah, I’m putting my faith in the former Georgia standout. Give me Gurley over almost any back.


Image result for julio jones robert woodsWR/TE- Julio Jones, Mohammed Sanu, & Austin Hooper vs Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods, & Cooper Kupp

Leaving out the Rams TE because I’ve never even heard of him to be honest. Any unit containing Julio Jones is probably going to win. Add Sanu to the mix? That’s a tough 1-2 punch to beat.


Image result for rams o lineO-Line- Atlanta vs Los Angeles

I’m not going to pretend I sat here and graded their lines. Give me the line that allowed Gurley to run wild behind it.

 

 


Image result for aaron donaldD-Line- Atlanta vs Los Angeles

Aaron Donald is everything JJ Watt wants to be. Give me the Rams here

 

 


Line Defense

As a matter of fact, give me the entire Rams defense over the Falcons. The Rams have gotten by on their offense but that defense is mean. Top 10 in turnovers created and #4 in sacks screams trouble for Matt Ryan and that offense.


Coaching – Dan Quinn vs Sean McVay

Dan Quinn is brought down here by Sarkisian’s complete inability to run an offense. McVay has given new life to a franchise. I’ll take the NFL’s youngest head coach the advantage here.


Score Prediction: 27- 20 Rams

I love the narrative of a Falcons team getting back to the Super Bowl here but I don’t think they have enough to keep up with the Rams. It’s hard not to like McVay to lead his team to at least one playoff victory here.