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http://hosted.stats.com/fb/preview.asp?g=20171210014&home=14&vis=21

 

(TSX / STATS) -- A pair of NFC powers will battle in a marquee matchup on Sunday as the Philadelphia Eagles visit the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

 

The Eagles (10-2) had their nine-game winning streak snapped with a 24-10 loss at the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night. Philadelphia is still tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the best record in the NFC, with the Rams (9-3) and New Orleans Saints (9-3) one game back.

 

Sunday's game obviously has plenty of meaning in the race for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

 

"We need games where we get hit in the mouth, and we have to fight and battle and scratch," Eagles coach Doug Pederson told reporters. "(Sunday's) game was one of those games. You just have to understand that the preparation, there's no substitute for the preparation and the hard work. You can't substitute that. The guys have to know that, and it's my job to make sure that they understand that and how we prepare and how we coach and hold everybody accountable.

 

"When I start seeing the same mistakes in ballgames that you kind of see during the week, we've just got to get back to the, not necessarily the grind, but we've got to get back to just focusing in on all our jobs and owning that."

 

Philadelphia starting tight end Zach Ertz left the game against the Seahawks with an apparent head injury and has been placed in concussion protocol. Ertz's status is unclear for Sunday.

 

What is clear is this game will feature the top two quarterbacks selected in the 2016 NFL draft -- Rams quarterback Jared Goff (No. 1) and Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (No. 2).

 

Goff has completed 244 of 392 passes (62 percent) while throwing 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. Wentz is 242 of 399 (61 percent) while tossing 29 touchdowns and six interceptions.

 

"He's still young. They're using him a lot the same way that Washington uses Kirk Cousins," Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said of Goff. "A lot of the same kind of plays, a lot of deep balls down the field. He's got confidence in throwing the deep ball. He's got some scramble ability, nothing like we faced last week, but he's moved around a little bit. Run some boots and play-action stuff. He's had a good command of the offense. They don't take a lot of negative plays. I think they've had two games they've been held down in scoring, and everything else they've lit up the scoreboard."

 

The Rams weren't scheduled to practice Wednesday because of the poor air quality caused by the wildfires in Ventura County. Los Angeles is unsure if it will practice Thursday.

 

"We're aware of the proximity of the fires to our facility and its effect on the air quality. We're keeping an eye on it," Rams senior director of communications Artis Twyman told reporters. "We're going to make sure that we keep everybody informed. If there's an adjustment we have to make in terms of our practice schedule this week, we'll do that. Our thoughts are with those affected by these fires."

 

On the field, the Rams have won two straight and have a chance to deal the Eagles a second consecutive defeat.

 

"This is what you love about the NFL," Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters. "These games are fun. But it doesn't make it any more pressure. It just makes it more exciting because of what our guys have done and what they (Eagles) have done to make the game a little bit more intriguing."

 

Goff has thrown five of his interceptions at home, which is mildly surprising. Now he'll have a chance to compete against Wentz in a No. 1 vs. 2 matchup among draft picks.

 

"It'll be fun to play against him (Wentz)," Goff told ESPN.com. "But I'm more excited to play their team."

 

"It's not Jared versus Carson. It's the Rams versus the Eagles," McVay also told ESPN.com. "Jared's job is to play well against their defense, and Carson's will be to play against our defense."

 

Rams inside linebacker Alec Ogletree is expected to play despite injuring his elbow in last Sunday's 32-16 win at Arizona. X-rays were negative and the injury is listed as a hyperextension.

 

If Ogletree is unable to play, Bryce Hager would likely start in his place.

 

Regardless, it's going to be a difficult game against the 10-win Eagles.

 

"They don't have any weakness," McVay told reporters. "There's a reason why they're one of the top defenses in this league, and you see it show up with their personnel."

 

The Eagles have won four straight games in this series, with the last game in L.A. coming on Sept. 23, 1990 -- a 27-21 Philadelphia victory.

 

 

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Huge game for both teams, should be a lot of fun. Is Wentz/Goff going to be the Brady/Manning of the NFC the next 10 years? I sure hope so.

 

I'll say Eagles bounce back from their poor performance last week, Goff throws a 4th-quarter interception that ends it, and Wentz leads them to a win in a high-scoring game.

 

:Eagles: 38

:Rams: 31

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I agree with most of what you said but I think this game will be lower scoring. Both of these defenses make plays and Phillips and Jim Schwartz is as much of a chess match as Wentz and Goff or I guess more appropriately Wentz vs. Phillips and Goff vs. Schwartz is the real chess match. I think whoever gets the running game going and takes the time of possession wins this one.

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Ertz still has a headache from his concussion, Im assuming hes out but havent seen anything yet ?? Wont make this game any easier

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Hopefully football Jesus didn't completely tear his ACL. He gets an MRI today. Eagles can go 2-3 the rest of the way against :Giants::Raiders::Cowboys: This is why you have Foles, to go out and win some very win-able games and hopefully 5 weeks is enough time for a recovery idk. Eagles might be done though :(

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Ok some more nuanced thoughts...

 

  • Sean McVay for Coach of the Year. He did a great job all day, particularly on offense. He was out-coaching Jim Schwartz for most of the game. The Rams moved the ball effortlessly at times, until the fourth quarter...
  • Did something happen to Jared Goff? He looked a little shaky in the game's final minutes. I know he's had a good season, but based on what I saw yesterday, I think that's a by-product of good coaching and talent around him. I'm not ready to trust this kid to make big-time throws in January. That's why...
  • In the wake of Wentz's injury (assuming the worst), the NFC is wide open. Call me old fashioned, but I trust the teams with great QBs. Not putting any faith in the Eagles, Rams, or Vikings. I think the NFC champion comes from the NFC South--unless an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers squad gets in.
  • Specific Eagles note: our receivers were barely getting separation all day. I don't know if the Rams' secondary is just that good, but it was a little concerning.

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Top of the NFC is crowded. Vikings played pretty well in spite of mistakes, Panthers showed they could be a threat, Rams and Eagles are both great teams. Saints as well, maybe the Falcons. Not convinced any of them beat the Patriots, but I'm looking forward to the NFC playoffs.

  • Upvote 1

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I wouldn't favor any of those teams to beat the Patriots but we know the formula. Hit Brady and don't turn the ball over. I think there are a number of teams that are capable of that. I actually think the Vikings style of defense is a perfect match up against a New England. They're great against the run and they disrupt timing routes and most importantly they rush the passer. Zimmer will not allow Brady to dink and dunk up the field. He's going to have to consistently make throws down field which he is obviously capable of but he'd be throwing into the teeth of a very good secondary. Harrison Smith is dope.

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Don't forget that the Panthers have a pretty good defense this year too, and oh yea, and they beat the Pats IN Foxborough. The Pats should be obvious favorites, but they are not unbeatable by any means.

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NFC is WIDEEEEE Open.

 

Ultimately, it's going to come down to the experienced teams. Guys like Cam, Matt Ryan, Brees...and A-Rod are going to have a slight advantage.

 

Man. If the Packers get in and A-Rod is healthy.... the NFC playoffs just got that much more interesting.

Edited by ATL

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I have very little faith in Cam now a days. I think it's getting to the point where the emotion he plays with is causing him to be inconsistent this year versus what we saw in the MVP year where he was confident and it seemed to make him better, I don't think he has the line or the running game . In the NFC I think the defenses are going to matter a lot too though and the Panthers defense bordering on great. I don't think Matt Ryan is all that but the Falcons skill position players are so dynamic. The Saints haven't separated themselves from the pack but man they're a balanced team, I think they're the best but throw Rodgers into the mix and anything can happen.

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