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Eagles first No. 1 seed to begin as underdog

Falcons open as 2.5-point favorites

(Brian Cleary Getty Images)

After being forced to rely on their backup quarterback, the Philadelphia Eagles will begin the NFL playoffs as the first No. 1 seed to play as an underdog.

The Atlanta Falcons, who beat the Los Angeles Rams 26-13 Saturday in the wild card round, opened as a 2.5-point favorite over the Eagles in betting on Saturday's divisional round game in Philadelphia.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, no No. 1 seed has been an underdog in its opening playoff game since the NFL began basing home-field advantage on regular-season records in 1975.

The Eagles, who won the NFC East with a 13-3 record, lost starting quarterback Carson Wentz to a season-ending knee injury in early December.

Backup Nick Foles took over for Wentz late in that Dec. 10 victory over the Rams and helped the Eagles to wins the following two weeks before the team rested most of its starters in a season-ending 6-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.