The Falcons head into this Eagles matchup with a lot of things going for them, and certainly a couple of key advantages on their side. They’re the only team with an above average starting quarterback, for starters, and certainly Atlanta is still somehow the healthier team despite playing in more games this season.
That said, the Falcons don’t have history on their side in any way, shape, or form. The Eagles haven’t just dominated this series, by and large, they’ve also got the most recent win, plus two consecutive playoff wins. We’ll hope history doesn’t matter here.
Start with the last win, a 24-15 game in Philadelphia that featured one of the last anemic offensive efforts of the year for Atlanta. The Falcons had won three in a row prior to that, including a 26-24 win in Dan Quinn’s first season, but that game certainly showed how good the Philadelphia defense can be.
Then move backwards in time to 2005 and 2003, when the Eagles twice dispatched Michael Vick’s Falcons in the playoffs. In 2005, they actually went to the Super Bowl after besting the Falcons in the NFC Conference Championship Game, which makes that a particularly dark day for Atlanta.
Then zoom out and realize the Eagles have an 18-14-1 all-time advantage in the series over Atlanta, extending all the way back to September 1966. These two teams have had some genuinely epic games over the years, and this will be their fourth playoff matchup. The Falcons will hope to even things up at 2-2 in those pressure-packed games, but they’ll have to overcome both recent and distant history to ensure that outcome.