If the first week of the season is indicative of the second, the Philadelphia Eagles will be celebrating another win.
During Week 1, the Eagles bounced back after trailing 17-0 to beat the Washington Redskins 32-27. The Atlanta Falcons were getting trounced 28-0 by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter before they put up a meaningless twelve points.
Should the Eagles come out hot, their slow start against the Redskins will be attributed to starters getting minimal to no preseason playing time. If they snooze through the first half, it could signal another season of slow starts like 2018.
The Eagles won their last three games versus the Falcons (Nick Foles was the quarterback for two of those games).
Eagles vs. Falcons odds
The opening lines on this game was a pick ‘em. As of Sept. 11, The Eagles are slight favorites on the road. Most sportsbooks have the Eagles listed at -1.5 or -2.
The 51-point over/under is a high number considering the last two meetings.
- 9/6/18 Eagles 18 Falcons 12
- 1/13/18 Eagles 15 Falcons 10
As road favorites since 2016, the Eagles are 4-6 against the spread and 5-5 straight up.
As home underdogs since 2008 a.k.a, the dawn of the Matt Ryan era, the Falcons are 11-5 against the spread and 8-8 straight up.
Three things to watch: Eagles vs. Falcons
Here’s what we’re watching for the game
1. Is the secondary going to be a problem?
Case Keenum completed 10 of his first 12 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with a career-high 380 passing yards. That’s a big number for Keenum or any quarterback. Before the game, could you name a Redskins receiver? Probably not. That makes the number all the more concerning.
Enter Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.
The Falcons are looking to avoid an 0-2 start. The Eagles, who went into the season hoping their defensive front would create enough havoc to take pressure off the secondary, lost defensive tackle Malik Jackson for the season.
2. Run time
Last year, the Falcons were 25th in rushing yards allowed per game (124.9) and 28th in rushing yards allowed per attempt (4.9). During their Week 1 matchup with the Vikings, the Falcons surrendered 172 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns.
The Eagles deployed a Darren Sproles-led three running-back committee with Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders Week 1. They relied on the much-anticipated Carson Wentz-DeSean Jackson connection to climb out of 17-0 hole. Will the Eagles – who have plenty of flash on offense – grind it out on the ground?
3. Hit the sack
For this prime time showdown don’t expect to be able to call it a night early. The last two times the teams faced each other came down the final play.
However, the Eagles can make the evening nightmarish for Ryan. The Falcons re-made offensive had a rough time in Minnesota and lost rookie first-round pick Chris Lindstrom to a fractured foot. The Eagles only registered one sack versus Washington. Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry and Derek Barnett should be primed and ready for this matchup
What Eagles fans will be tweeting about
The majority of Eagles fans love Darren Sproles. But they want to play with their new toys, Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders. And even give flashy Corey Clement a turn. Sproles was on the field for 23 snaps against Washington.