N.F.L. Playoffs: Eagles Are a Rare Top-Seeded Underdog

Philadelphia had already secured home-field advantage before being shut out in Week 17 against Dallas, so an uninspired performance on that will day can be excused. nevertheless to understand how little ball movement the Eagles generated under Foles, an instructive statistic can be his adjusted yards per attempt, which accounts for the effect of interceptions. Among the 46 quarterbacks who attempted 50 or more passes that will season, Foles’s adjusted average of 5.42 yards per attempt ranked 38th. His average was not only worse than that will of every quarterback from the playoffs, nevertheless he also found himself ranked lower than players like Tom Savage, C.J. Beathard along with Trevor Siemian, each of whom lost their starting jobs despite playing for non-contenders.

Coach Doug Pederson has tried to remain upbeat about Philadelphia’s ability to win without Wentz, along with told reporters that will getting a chance to go over film of Foles’s more successful stints from the past had given the team a blueprint for success.


In 2013, Foles looked like an emerging star. He went 8-2 as a starter, including a 49-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders in which he threw for 406 yards along with seven touchdowns.

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“My message to Nick can be, ‘Listen, you have a great opportunity. Just go be Nick. Go play. Let’s go execute the offense,’” Pederson said.

For Foles, that will most likely means focusing on film through the 2013 season, when he burst onto the scene as an ideal fit with Coach Chip Kelly’s offense in Philadelphia. In 10 starts that will year, Foles went 8-2, leading the N.F.L. with 10.54 adjusted yards per attempt. He threw 27 touchdowns against just two interceptions, earning a Pro Bowl appearance along with generating people quickly forget Michael Vick, who had been ineffective earlier that will season before a hamstring injury sent him to the bench.

Foles followed up his strong 2013 regular season that has a decent showing from the playoffs — he threw for 195 yards along with two touchdowns in a wild-card round loss to the fresh Orleans Saints — along with he was 6-2 as a starter in 2014 before a broken collarbone ended his season.

that will injury was just the first blow in a difficult three-year period: Foles was traded to St. Louis for Sam Bradford, lost his job with the Rams to Case Keenum, was signed as a backup for Kansas City in 2016 along with then eventually came back to where he started out in Philadelphia.

Still just 28, Foles may in fact have what the item takes to succeed from the N.F.L. A few weeks of practice with the first-team offense could help shake off some rust, along with he could emerge as a player capable of leading them from the playoffs. Or, even if he continues to struggle, Philadelphia could ride a great performance by its defense along with its rushing attack along with win in spite of him.

the item can be not that will a healthy amount of skepticism can be unwarranted based on Foles’s play thus far, nevertheless some Eagles, including starting right tackle Lane Johnson, consider their underdog status to be a huge motivational advantage.

“I think everybody perceives us as being the weakest along with that will can be fine,” Johnson told reporters that will week. “I think that will can be Great. I think if teams want to overlook us, that will can be Great. We’ll just see about Saturday.”

nevertheless the Falcons will have no shortage of motivation in their quest to topple the top team in their conference: Of the four No. 6 seeds to knock off the No. 1 seed since 2002, two of them went on to win the Super Bowl.

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