Put away the beach the chairs, the preseason is over!! We are now just 2 days away from kickoff.
That's an Eagles line. The entire world knows that Nick Foles is the starting QB. Majority of the betting public will be taking the Falcons, but the Eagles are still a 2.5 point favorite anyway. Very interesting.
The Falcons come into the Link with revenge on their mind..
Healthy vs not healthy
The Eagles injuries are well documented. They will be without their MVP caliber quarterback and number 1 wide receiver.
Jason Peters and Darren Sproles will be welcomed additions, but will have to acclimated back into the offense.
While the Eagles are battling the early season injury bug, the Falcons come into this game relatively healthy.
- Eagles O line vs Falcons pass rush
The Falcons like to get after the QB. They had 39 sacks as a team last season.
Despite the loss of Adrian Clayborn, they are still loaded with capable pass-rushers from all areas. Vic Beasley, Takk McKinley and Grady Jarrett combined for 15 of those 39 sacks.
The Eagles allowed just one sack vs Atlanta in January.
- Falcons receivers vs Eagles secondary
We'll quickly find out how good the Eagles secondary is. Julio Jones, Clavin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu will be a handful.
Julio Jones had 9 catches for 101 yards in the divisonal round.
The Eagles welcome back Jordan Hicks but will be without Nigel Bradham.
Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman form one of the best 1-2 combos in the entire league. They are dynamic backs that also pose a threat as receivers.
We'll see if Nate Gerry is up for the task.
The Foles Factor
This is the biggest (overblown) story of the week.... Nick Foles vs the Falcons D.
Last season Foles went 23/30 for 246 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INTs.
It was in the second half of this game where Foles' improbable run started. He went 12/15 for 145 yards. Hopefully he will pick up where he left off.
Doug Pederson will again have to be creative. Look for some more RPO action and the tight ends to be heavily involved.
If healthy, we may even see a big does of Jay Ajayi.
Foles will be just fine.
1 vs 2
According to our power rankings this is a matchup of the # 1 ranked team vs the # 2 ranked team. Something will have to give.
What needs to happen
The Eagles D line needs to dominate.
As we have mentioned, Atlanta is loaded on offense.
A secondary is only as good as its pass rush.
The Eagles sacked Matt Ryan 3 times last season and Julio still had a solid game. They need to keep the pressure on Matty Ice Thursday night.
Atlanta's offensive line isn't a weakness, but the Eagle D line is the best in the league.
With injuries and play due to be sloppy, this game will be won and lost at line of scrimmage.