National Football League play-offs 2018: Divisional Round game times, preview, predictions

Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles throws a pass over Dallas Cowboys De Marcus Lawrence during the first half of an NFL football game in Philadelphia

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 will be seeing one of the best defences in the National Football League as Philadelphia ranked fourth in yards allowed, first against the run and fourth in scoring (18.4 ppg). They're 13-3 and the first seed in the playoffs with a first-round bye!

That's why Brady's Patriots and Roethlisberger's Steelers are heavy favorites to oust Mariota and Bortles in their AFC divisional matchups this weekend.

It has been nine long years since the Philadelphia Eagles have won a playoff game. Forget the Eagles defense, one of the top units in football. Since that point, the Eagles offense has scored just 1.2 points per drive with a 56 percent red-zone efficiency. The Eagles played well at home this season, winning 7 out of 8 games. Pittsburgh are not the same defensively without Ryan Shazier and with Antonio Brown carrying a calf injury - will he be able to produce like he did throughout the season? That wasn't why they acquired Ajayi in a trade with the Dolphins, but it's working out that way now. Of course, the Falcons match both descriptions. He's involved in local charities, wears the face of the Falcons' franchise extremely well and is the team's all-time greatest quarterback, owning most, if not all, of the Falcons' passing records. This week, they have to go against Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham.

The Falcons saw Matt Ryan tossed for more than 4,000 yards on the season and 20 touchdowns.

Dominating up front will make it easier for the defensive backs to cover the likes of Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. The star receiver caught 88 passes for 1,444 yards on the season. The Falcons are led by Devonta Freeman, who had 865 yards rushing and seven TDs. Let's not get too carried away with the Falcons just yet, as they still don't look completely solved on the offensive side of the ball. Yeah, Ryan and the offense get all of the attention. That young unit improved rapidly during last year's Super Bowl run, recovered nicely from a collapse against the New England Patriots and has now flourished under the tutelage of Marquand Manuel. But just four years ago, he was Wentz.

This will be a much tougher challenge for the Vikings defense, which is why I think the Saints will go into Minnesota and pull off the upset. Take the Atlanta Falcons -3 over the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday. For as much optimism as the players and home media want to shroud it with, I tend to agree with Vegas. Get your 100% signup bonus today.

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