NFC Divisional Playoffs: Three things to watch in Falcons v Eagles


"Sometimes the hardest things are just the simple things, like basically get out of your own head and go play the game you know how to play". That's why the defending NFC champions just snuck into the postseason as the No.6 seed and needed the help of a tiebreaker to do so. The Falcons are favored to win in part due to Carson Wentz, the Eagles stellar quarterback, out with a knee injury.

This is the first time the Falcons and Eagles have met in the playoffs since following the 2004 season. Eagles tied franchise record with 13 wins.

If the Steelers win, they will be playing in the AFC title game, most likely against the New England Patriots.

Coverage of Saturday's game between the Eagles and Falcons takes place on NBC beginning at 4:35 pm ET from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA.

Team spokesman Brian Cearns said the Falcons did not plan to give a reason for the quarterback's absence. Since that point, the Eagles offense has scored just 1.2 points per drive with a 56 percent red-zone efficiency. But I think this is a game where the Jacksonville offense will open it up and play a lot looser. Calais Campbell has been a force at defensive end this season totaling 14.5 sacks, Telvin Smith is all over the place with 102 tackles and three interceptions. Blount led the team with 766 yards rushing and Clement had 321. Ajayi rushed for 130 yards in a road victory over Atlanta as a member of the Miami Dolphins in October, and the Falcons ranked in the middle of the pack with an opponent yards-per-attempt average of 4.1. But the reality is the Falcons wouldn't be here if not for their top-10 defense.

Mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow takes aim at Deep South
Officials will be tracking the storm as it develops, and Holliday said crews will be out again Friday night into Saturday morning. The National Weather Service has issued wind advisories and warnings for more than 8 million people across the Southeast.

Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays Agree to Record-Setting Contract to Avoid Arbitration
Marcus Stroman, Roberto Osuna, Aaron Sanchez, Kevin Pillar , Devon Travis and Dominic Leone are the club's other eligible players. Over the past three years with the Blue Jays, he is a.285/.387/.559 hitter with 111 home runs and 300 RBI.

What is a bomb cyclone - and how do they happen?
Wind gusts hit more than 70 miles per hour (113 kph) in places and some areas saw as much as 18 inches (46 centimeters) of snow. More than 5,000 flights were cancelled at airports in the major cities of NY and Boston, including a number from Ireland.

On one hand, the Falcons have a seemingly overwhelming advantage at quarterback with 2016 MVP Matt Ryan facing backup Nick Foles, and in the playoffs quarterback play is even more important than it is during the regular season. Julio Jones posted nine receptions and a touchdown while Mohamed Sanu added 75 yards. He had 88 catches for 1,444 yards this season, marking the fourth straight campaign he amassed at least 1,400 receiving yards.

The Falcons run with two tailbacks, but they prefer to pound it inside with Devonta Freeman.

The Vikings are at home, have the better defense and are one of the best teams in football.

Case Keenum led the Vikings to a 10-1 finish to the season but has never played in a playoff game. When he started for the Eagles years ago, he was great. Sixth-seeded Atlanta hopes to have the wideout at the top of his game on Saturday when it visits the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles. The players behind them may be suspect, most notably the secondary.