NFL Week 6: Eagles vs. Falcons
PHI: 3-2, t2nd in NFC East
ATL: 4-1, 1st in NFC South
Spread: Eagles by 2.5
Where: Lincoln Financial Field (Philly, PA)
When: Sunday, 1:00 PM on FOX
Last time met: Dec. 6, 2009 – The Eagles destroyed Atlanta, 34-7. FB Leonard Weaver gained over 100 yards from scrimmage and scored a TD. Even though Donovan McNabb was the starter, Vick threw TD pass and ran for another in front of his former home crowd in Atlanta.
Last Week: The Eagles beat the Niners, 27-24. Atlanta rolled over Cleveland, 20-10.
Best case scenario: Kevin Kolb continues to play well, having another great day with over 250 yards in the air and a couple TDs to DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek. Celek finally has the breakout game the Eagles are waiting for. LeSean McCoy has another 100+ yards from scrimmage.
Worst case scenario: Matt Ryan and Roddy White hook up for a pair of touchdowns while Michael Turner rushes for over 150 yards and two scores of his own. Kolb sputters against the Falcons defense, reassuring faith in Michael Vick to take the reigns.
Opposing player to watch – WR Roddy White: He’s just a smart football player. White is one of the most dangerous players in the league that nobody talks about and unrightfully so. White has 37 castches for 463 yards and three TDs in five games so far this year. He has the ability to go off every game. If the Eagles secondary has a similar showing like last week, White could have a field day on the Eagles secondary.
Offenses: Kolb is riding a very good performance against San Francisco and will look to keep it up against a solid Falcons defense. As a whole, the Eagles are in the top 10 in most offensive categories but could be higher if they haven’t been swapping back and forth with Kolb and Vick due to injuries. Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Celek are all dangerous weapons but have all been inconsistent this season.
Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He’s matured greatly as a passer and that helps when you have a top-tier running back in Turner and wide receiver in White. Don’t discount TE Tony Gonzalez, who may be aging but is still considered a top-5 tight end. Jason Snelling has been a very good back-up running back and is a change of pace from the bruising Turner.
Advantage: Atlanta’s offense is clicking while Philly’s still isn’t. Advantage, Atlanta.
Defenses: The run defense for Philalphia had a much better showing last week against San Francisco and Frank Gore but that’s partly due to how bad the Niners offensive line is. Atlanta is very different. With two running backs who can exploit all the weaknesses in the front seven, the Eagles run defense could have problems especially without Broderick Bunkley, who injured his elbow and is out indefinitely. Asante Samuel will be back, a boost the secondary needed after Alex Smith exploited them last week. Rookie S Nate Allen leads the Birds with three picks and Juqua Parker leads with four sacks.
Atlanta has a top-10 defense right now. DE John Abraham lined up against Eagles T King Dunlap is scary. He leads their defense with four sacks and may rack up a few more. You can’t discount LB Curtis Lofton, who leads the team with 37 tackles and has also reached the quarterback twice. Atlanta’s 10 interceptions are tops in the NFL, led by S William Moore’s two with the rest spread around to eight other players.
Advantage: Both units have their strength’s and weaknesses. Push.
Eagles: Out: B. Bunkley (elbow), J. Peters (knee). Questionable: R. Cooper (concussion), M. Vick (rib).
Falconss: Questionable: J. Abraham (back). Probable: B. Finneran (knee), C. Lofton (knee).
Roose’s Prediction (4-1): The Falcons offense will be too much for the Eagles defense as Atlanta wins in a high-scoring game, 34-30.