Philadelphia Eagles (4-4) vs. Atlanta Falcons (6-3)
Sunday, 1 pm EST at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Spread: Falcons -1
After a brutal loss to the New York Giants placing the Philadelphia Eagles in last place and 0-3 in the NFC East, the Birds welcome William Penn Charter alum and NFL MVP candidate Matt Ryan and the offensively prodigious Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are averaging better than 33 points per game, and between star wideout Julio Jones and stud running back Devonte Freeman, the Eagles’ defense will more than have its hands full. Jim Schwartz‘s unit still has a respectable 18 points allowed per game, but the Eagles are 0-4 in games that are decided by seven points or less. Certainly head coach Doug Pederson carries a healthy portion of the blame for his play calling and game management, thus far, but Sunday, the Birds struggling offense will need as much of an assist as the defense can muster.
As we await kickoff, here are the predictions from the football minds here at Pattison Avenue and what we’ll be watching throughout the game – please follow and harangue them on twitter dot com:
No reason the Eagles should win. None. Zero. Shouldn’t happen…but it will. The Eagles defense tends to step up when they are crapped on. Today is that day. There is no reason Julio Jones shouldn’t go off for 200 yards and two touchdowns. And you know what? That’s fine, because the Eagles defense will shut down the rest of the Falcons offense. Carson Wentz will get his first fourth quarter victory, as the Eagles win 27-24
What a week. It’d be great for the Eagles to provide some pleasant distraction from more serious issues that have dominated many fans’ attentions, but hoping for a happy result this week may be setting yourself up for disappointment. The Eagles actually weren’t destroyed by Odell Beckham Jr. last week (two TDs, sure, but just 40 yards), but the Giants rushed for just 54 yards and still got the win. The Falcons are averaging 114 yards on the ground in addition to 331 yards through the air. Any given Sunday, and all that (plus a decidedly Eagles line from Vegas), but I just don’t see how the Birds can outscore the Falcons this week. Falcons, 38-28
This is the week we find out for sure that the 2016 Eagles are just an OK football team, and that it is time to start thinking about the future and the maturation of Carson Wentz. The Falcons are that good, and the Eagles are that so-so, especially on offense. I do think the Birds D will keep it closer than some of the other Falcons opponents, and their special teams will make a big play or two, but I do not see this Eagles predictable and young offense, keeping up with Atlanta. Falcons, 28-17
As a life-long Eagles fan, I never, ever want to pick against my team. With that being said, Matt Ryan is that good. Julio Jones is that good. Do we have the potential to be that good one day, I truly believe so. The biggest hold up, like everyone knows, is Wentz doesn’t have a wide receiver target to throw to. Eagles have to find a way to win this week. They beat other teams they weren’t supposed to, so can the Falcons be another one of those teams? Here’s to hoping the Defense and Special Teams once again bail out the offense and Darren Sproles goes crazy. Eagles, 24-21
The Eagles are a completely different team at home and despite the Falcons offense posing all sorts of match-up problems, I feel good about this game. Atlanta isn’t themselves playing outside and their defensive weaknesses have been masked by their potent offense. Tevin Coleman and Desmond Trufant are out for the Falcons while the Eagles get run-stuffing stud Bennie Logan back. This spread should be Falcons -2.5, right? Something is up with this one – and I’m taking the Birds. EAGLES 27-26
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