This means an terrible lot of pressure will be on the O-line to open up holes for the two-headed Running Back monster. "[If the] opportunity's there, rip it". Even the team janitor got into the act, telling reporters as they walked through the hall leading to the locker room, "It's us against the world, baby!"
That's not to say Ajayi can't do it. If Pederson wants to take the most weight off the shoulders of Foles to make the game easier for him, getting the best running back on the roster more touches than usual would be a good game plan.
Now he will face an Atlanta Falcons team that has only allowed two touchdowns in their past two games combined. "My mindset is always downhill, attacking, try to punish guys". "When we're successful, the running back room is successful because we're helping to keep the tempo of the game, keep the defense off the field, making big plays".
If that's the case, then we should see more Lewis.
But let's look at the reasons why the Eagles can win this game. Henry ran for a career-high 156 yards, and Mariota added 46 yards. That was after he went 19 of 38 for 163 yards with a touchdown and interception in an ugly 19-10 win over the Oakland Raiders in week 16. Jalen Mills held him to four catches for 48 yards when he was matched up against Jones. I hadn't lost my ties and friends in Atlanta, you know, it was great. Just learning his voice inflection in the huddle for guys can be a big difference. "He's not just a one-trick pony".
And with 9:52 left to play, it looked as though Philadelphia was on its way to clinching its first playoff game since winning the 1960 NFL Championship Game when cornerback Bobby Howard intercepted Falcons quarterback Steve Bartkowski's pass - the fifth turnover of the day for Atlanta. The closer it becomes to game time, the more layers that you will need on if you are tailgating outside, falling quickly through the 40s and 30s.
"Honestly, this Atlanta team, this is the type of defense that if you want to beat them, it's not really out-scheming them a whole ton", said safety Chris Maragos, who played for Quinn in Seattle. In January 2009, the Eagles clinched the division playoffs by beating the New York Giants 23-11.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn seemed to search for a polite term to compare Eagles fans with the fans the team heard in last week's wild-card win at the Los Angeles Rams.
The Eagles also have Pro Bowl offensive lineman in Brandon Brooks and right tackle Lane Johnson to open up holes for Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement. Jalen Ramsey has a good chance to slow down a hobbled Antonio Brown, who is fully practising, but surely not at 100% after suffering a calf tear a few weeks ago. Last year, the Falcons had home-field advantage in their two NFC playoff games.
All the momentum rests with the Falcons. "They are playing a little bit more man coverage". As for the Eagles, they've been home the last four weeks, and haven't wandered any farther than New Jersey since December 10. It won't be enough. I can only imagine how motivated they are to reach the Super Bowl for the second year in a row and erase the shock of last year's overtime loss to New England, in which they frittered away a 25-point lead.
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