The Philadelphia Eagles come off an interesting bye week and play the 6-0 Atlanta Falcons. This game could set the tone for the rest of the season. After a dismal 3-3 start, the Eagles could really use spark in this game. That spark will have to come from Michael Vick, who is very excited to play his former team. If the Eagles get blown out by the Falcons, you can pretty much kiss this Eagles season goodbye.
Eagles Offense vs. Falcons Defense:
Like I said, the play of Michael Vick will ultimately decide who wins this game. Can Vick hold on to the ball? Will he make smarter throws? Will he throw the ball away before getting hit? All these things are major factors for Sunday’s game.
Another question is if the offensive line can hold up. It looks as if King Dunlap will once again take over the starting left tackle position
for Demetress Bell, who has been horrendous this year. Two weeks ago against the Lions, the Eagles could never establish any type of run game because the left side of the line collapsed. You can only run so many stretch plays to the right before the other team shuts that down, which is exactly what happened.
The receivers will face a tough test against a solid Falcons secondary, led by former Eagle Asante Samuel. You have to believe that Samuel will be pumped to play his former team, especially after the rough ending he had here in Philadelphia last year.
Eagles Defense vs. Falcons Offense
The Eagles defense will be playing under coordinator Todd Bowles for the first time this season. The scheme, for the most part, will stay the same. The only thing that could change is the players mindset. You can blame the coaching to a point, but sometimes the players just have to make plays. They didn’t make the play they needed against Pittsburgh or Detroit. Maybe the recent firing of Juan Castillo will give them a spark, or maybe they will pack it in.
Quarterback Matt Ryan has been tremendous this season, throwing for 1,756 yards and 14 touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Eagles pass defense has been struggling. The defensive line has not gotten a sack in weeks, and the secondary has looked soft, especially in the fourth quarter.
Don’t forget about Michael Turner, who has torched the Eagles in recent years. Turner, who has had below average stats this year, will look to have a breakout game against a vulnerable Eagles front seven.
The Eagles are 13-0 after the bye week under head coach Andy Reid.
Eagles 29 Falcons 24
Some of you may be surprised by this pick, but I have two reasons for doing so: 1) The Eagles are perfect after the bye week under Andy Reid. 2) The Eagles have their backs up against the wall. The Eagles badly need this win, and I think they will get it.