Written By Jason Voorhees
So the first week of the NFL season has come and gone. For the Philadelphia Eagles; game one couldn't have gone much closer to script.
The team sputtered out of the gate held hostage by the lack of game experience during the preseason. However; the team quickly responded in the second half after a rousing halftime "wakeup" speech by Desean Jackson. After trailing 20-7 at the half, the Eagles responded by scoring 25 unanswered points.
It was a tale of two halves. While the Redskins dominated the first half; the Eagles completely owned the second and quickly reaffirmed why they are one of the favorites to go to the Super Bowl.
The Eagles Week #2 opponent promises to be more of a challenge as the Eagles head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons. The Eagles and Falcons have become quite a rivalry during the past few seasons as the teams have faced each other multiple times including the regular season as well as playoffs.
In fact, the last time the Eagles lost to the Falcons was back in 2015 under Chip Kelly. In 2016, the Eagles beat the Falcons 24-15 at Lincoln Financial Field. Then they faced the Falcons in the 2017 Divisional Round of the playoffs and beat them 15-10, in what was the first time that a #1 seed was set as an underdog in the NFL modern era.
The Eagles once again beat the Falcons in their home opener at the Linc in 2018, 18-12. For those doing the math, that's 3 straight wins for the Eagles over the Falcons. However; there were a few common themes. First of all, the Eagles won those games at home. Secondly, the games were all very close; hard fought contests that went down to the wire.
Which brings us to Sunday. The Eagles are currently 1.5 Point favorites on the road. On paper, Philly should win this contest with relative ease. However; games are not played with paper and pencil. And you can rest assure that the Falcons have had this game circled on their calendar ever since the schedule came down.
So what are the keys to this game. For the Eagles, it remains a pretty simple plan on defense. Stop Julio Jones. Of course, that is much easier said than done. In fact, Julio Jones has actually torched the Eagles up and down the field to the tune of 38 Catches and 546 Yards and 2TD's. However, he has not found the end zone since that win back in 2015.
Julio Jones is going to get his. The key is to limit his production in the red zone which is something the Eagles have been able to do. Another key will be getting after the quarterback and pressuring Matt Ryan. Of course, the injury to Malik Jackson really hurts this area of the team. Other players will have to step up and pick up the slack. The next man up mentality will once again be the Eagles mantra.
On offense, I believe the Eagles will try to establish the run early and then set up the play action pass as they try to assert their air attack. The Falcons struggled in week 1 and will be trying to exact revenge once again on the Eagles who have had their number.
I am predicting another tight game here Sunday night which will once again come down to the wire. The Eagles escape with their 4th straight victory over Atlanta as they win 24-17.
Here are some Stat Predictions:
Carson Wentz- 23/33, 343 Yards, 2TD's
Miles Sanders- 74 Yards, 1TD
Desean Jackson- 6 Catches, 123 Yards, 1TD
Alshon Jeffery- 5 Catches, 75 Yards
Zach Ertz- 4 Catches, 54 Yards, 1TD
Fletcher Cox-2 Sacks
Julio Jones-10 Catches, 147 Yards, 1TD
Hope you enjoyed my predictions. Stay tuned for more analysis. Have a great weekend and GO BIRDS!
About Jason Voorhees
Jason resides in Norristown, PA and writes about all things sports and heavy metal music.