The Eagles best bet this weekend is to use LeSean McCoy in the passing game. Bears running back Matt Forte had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown last week vs. the Falcons. Forte also had sixteen carries for 68 yards in the game. Jay Cutler threw for 312 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. This bodes well for the Eagles because Andy Reid always seems to be against running the ball. Michael Vick threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams last week. The Eagles are expected to attack the Atlanta secondary which features former first round pick Dunta Robinson. The Eagles receivers have the edge when it comes to speed compared to the secondary so the home run pass is not out of the question this weekend.
On the other side of the ball, Matt Ryan is under a lot of pressure. The Falcons went 13-3 last year and finished with the best record in the NFC but came out and stumbled in week one against the Bears. Playing his hometown team with the former face of the franchise coming back to meet his former team, Matt Ryan is under a lot of pressure this weekend to perform at a high level and deliver a win for the Falcons. Ryan completed 31 of his 47 attempts last weekend for 319 yards and one interception. Ryan also lost a fumble too. The Falcons have yet to score an offensive touchdown this year.
The Eagles allowed the Rams to rush for 154 yards last Sunday but showed improvements with their front seven as the game went on. Falcons running back Michael Turner had 100 yards rushing on just 10 carries. It is confusing why the Falcons did not run the ball more often especially when it proved to be effective. If Turner runs the ball as effectively against the Eagles as he did against the Bears, this could be a long day for the Eagles defense. And this looks like it could be Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey’s plan because the Eagles have a better secondary than the Bears and Ryan couldn’t beat the Bears secondary for a score. Nnamdi Asomugha is expected to be covering Atlanta Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White and Asante Samuel on 2011 first round pick Julio Jones from Alabama.
The Falcons are looking to have a bounce back game after their putrid opening day performance. The Eagles are looking to build on their strong second half performance in Atlanta. This has the potential to be a very high scoring game. ESPN NFL Analyst Tedy Bruschi predicted that the Eagles would win 35-28.
Philadelphia fans have a dilemma on Sunday. The Phillies game starts at 8pm Sunday night on ESPN and the Eagles start at 8:20pm on NBC. It will be a good night for sports in Philadelphia.