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Eagles News: History shows home field advantage is very important in conference championship games

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/15/18.

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Divisional Round - Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Resetting NFL playoff bracket: Who has edge in Jags-Patriots, Vikings-Eagles? - ESPN
Eagles best chance to win: Philadelphia’s home-field advantage matters more than you might realize. The past eight NFC/AFC title games have all been won by the home team. Just as important: Consider that the Vikings have won only three road playoff games in the 35 years since they moved into an indoor home stadium in 1982. Every team is different, of course, but a clear trend over that long of a timeframe -- three victories in 15 total road playoff games -- is revealing. This season, two of the Vikings’ three losses came on the road on grass outdoor fields. The grass at Lincoln Financial Field was noticeably slippery in the Eagles’ divisional-round matchup with the Falcons. These are not trivial matters.

Get your Philadelphia underdogs t-shirt - BGN
The Eagles are underdogs AGAIN this Sunday!

Film breakdown: Jim Schwartz owned the Falcons on final fourth down play - PhillyVoice
With 1:05 left in the fourth quarter, a five-point deficit, and facing a 4th and goal from the two-yard line, the Atlanta Falcons had one play to either extend their season further into the playoffs, or go home. They went home, due to the preparation of the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense, led by Jim Schwartz and safety Rodney McLeod. Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian called a quarterback sprint out to the right side of the field, with Julio Jones as the primary target on the play, running a comeback. The Eagles knew it was coming, and were able to stop it

Vikings It Is - Iggles Blitz
Both defenses will have the advantage in this game. The Vikings should get the best of Nick Foles and the Eagles attack. The Eagles should get the best of Case Keenum and the Vikings attack. I do give an advantage to the Eagles in offensive coaching and OL. They will need that to come up with scoring drives against Minnesota. The Eagles will have home-field advantage and that should count for something. Minnesota was 6-2 on the road. Their best wins were at Atlanta and at Detroit. They lost at Pittsburgh and at Carolina.

Kudos To Coach Doug; More Notes From Win -
Good for Doug Pederson. Good for a head coach who was counted out before he was really in as the head coach for the Eagles, who has been questioned about his credentials and his decision-making since Day 1. Good for a head coach who went through a trying first year on the job emphasizing a message of optimism and inclusiveness and trust. Good for a head coach who is one win away from reaching the Super Bowl ...

The Eagles‘ ‘Underdog’ Win Was All About Doug Pederson’s Game Plan and Play-Calling - Sports Illustrated
Without his MVP-candidate quarterback, the Eagles coach and offensive play-caller knew he had to rely on innovative scheming—a heavy ground-game orientation, plus play-action and run-pass options—to put Nick Foles and crew in position to win. Expect the same in the NFC title game next Sunday.

Physical running game, offensive line, RPOs key as Eagles offense does just enough to move on - The Athletic
And the 33-yard screen pass to Ajayi on 3rd and 7 in the fourth quarter, the same play (out of a slightly different formation) for the second snap in a row. Kelce and Stefen Wisniewski both sounded surprised that Pederson went to the well again, but they both made key blocks to spring Ajayi on the play. Wisniewski was even able to block a second Falcons defender. “I’m going to be honest, I kind of blacked out,” Wisniewski said. “I know I hit two guys, I don’t remember how. Yeah, I’m not supposed to say that, I got hit hard and/or hit someone hard. But [I] blocked two and shoot, he almost scored.” Even without Peters, the Eagles’ offensive line is a formidable group. Wisniewski talked about how both he and Vaitai have improved from last season, which complements the all-pro talents that fill out the rest of the position group. When Pederson hit on some key play calls, they made them count.

Back on sideline, Carson Wentz plays role vs. Atlanta - NBC Sports Philadelphia
A familiar face was on the sideline Saturday night, and Nick Foles was awfully glad to have him there. For the first time since he tore his ACL against the Rams at L.A. Coliseum on Dec. 10, Carson Wentz was allowed to watch an Eagles game on the sideline. Maybe it made a difference.

Nigel Bradham backed a stirring defensive effort that kept the Eagles alive - Daily News
Best defensive effort of the season? Certainly the most meaningful of a solid year, with the toughest test ahead.

2018 NFL Playoffs: Pretty or not, the Eagles have something special in Philadelphia - CBS Sports
Behind a cold breeze, the NFC’s most overlooked top seed in decades rekindled a fire against Atlanta.

Report: Lions tell other candidates they’re eliminated, team expected to hire Patricia - Pride of Detroit
It is now almost a certainty that Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions. Early on Sunday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Patricia “is likely to become” the next Lions coach. But with such passive language, some weren’t convinced. However, MMQB’s Albert Breer added another report on Sunday night to pretty much close the door on any more speculation.

Vikings beat the Saints and erased their playoff misery with the most spectacular comeback possible - SB Nation
It appeared from the start that Sunday was not the Saints’ day. The Saints fought back, but in the end, the Vikings overcame their painful playoff history with a 29-24 win.

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