A spot in the NFC Conference Championship will be on the line Saturday, as the No. 1 seed Philadelphia Eagles play host to the No. 6 Atlanta Falcons.
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday at 4:35 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on NBC. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch NBC live online, on your tablet or on another streaming device via one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch tonight’s game for free if you’re in a select market:
DirecTV Now: NBC (live in 15 markets) is included in all four channel packages, ranging from $35 to $70 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
FuboTV: NBC (live in 11 markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package, which is $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
Sling TV: NBC (live in 11 markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package for $25 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via your browser, or on your tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
Watching on Your Phone: If you want to watch the game on your mobile device, you can do so via either the NFL Mobile app or Yahoo Sports app, which are both free to download from both the App Store and the Google Play Store
The Philadelphia Eagles spent most of the season running rampant through the NFC, establishing themselves as the No. 1 seed and securing home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The Falcons, meanwhile, have struggled at times to find last year’s Super Bowl form, barely sneaking into the playoffs as the No. 6 seed.
And it’s the latter who will be the favorites on Saturday.
Therein lies the importance of Carson Wentz. When the second-year quarterback was in the lineup, the Eagles were running through opponents with ease, going 11-2 with 31.1 points per game in his 13 starts. But after he tore his ACL and was replaced by the polarizing Nick Foles, Philly managed to go 2-0 in Foles’ two full games but clearly lacked the same offensive threat, as was evidenced in an ugly 19-10 win over the Raiders and then an even uglier Week 17 showing against Dallas before being sat down with other starters for two-thirds of the game.
Meanwhile, the Falcons come in hot after perhaps their most impressive victory of the season, a 26-13 win on the road against the Los Angeles Rams. But whereas last year’s Super Bowl run was fueled by the offense, that most recent victory can be credited to a defensive unit that held the explosive Rams offense to 13 points and 5.1 yards per pass, well below their season averages of 29.9 and 7.8, respectively.
“The way that (Falcons) defense played last night and really hasn’t gotten a credit it deserves all year long, they’ve been good all year long,” Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner said. “And then you have a ball control team not making mistakes on offense, may not get as many points. I think it’ll be great football game.”
Still, it would be a mistake to write off the No. 1 seed. Foles showed glimpses of being able to move the ball during the Week 14 and 15 games against the Rams and Giants, the defense ranked fifth in Football Outsiders’ efficiency ratings, they should be far more rested than the Falcons, and they’ll be at home, where they went 7-1 on the year.
So, while the Falcons have the favor of the oddsmakers, the Eagles–who are chasing their first playoff win since 2008–aren’t exactly your typical underdog. All things considered, this shapes up as arguably the most intriguing game of the divisional round.