Saturday, November 28, 2015

Eagles-Falcons predictions, key matchups

Here is the weekly look at Daily News staff predictions for the Eagles game and the key matchups:

Eagles-Falcons predictions, key matchups

Matt Ryan and Mike Vick square off tonight in Atlanta. (AP Photos)
Matt Ryan and Mike Vick square off tonight in Atlanta. (AP Photos)

Here is the weekly look at Daily News staff predictions for the Eagles game and the key matchups:

And by the way, Michael Irvin predicted on the NFL Network this morning that "Michael Vick will get a standing ovation today in Atlanta against the Falcons." Seems unlikely, but we shall see.



More coverage
Birds' Eye View: Peters, Rodgers-Cromartie to play vs. Falcons
Video: Bowen's 3 keys vs. Falcons
Follow the Eagles: On your iPhone, iPad or Android
Daily News Playbook: Eagles at Falcons
Buy Eagles tickets
NFL Week 2 Odds
Birds' Eye View: Eagles-Falcons picks

I don't have much of a feel for this.

Did that loss at Chicago, with the five sacks allowed, mean maybe the Falcons aren’t ready to hit on all cylinders yet? Or did it mean they will be honed and stoked this week, determined to show their home crowd that they are worthy Super Bowl contenders?

Will their defense look way different, on a fast artificial surface, with the home crowd shaking the dome and the Eagles’ offensive line waiting to see the ball move, instead of moving off the count?

I think I more or less know where the Eagles are — not as unprepared as we might have feared going into the opener, tremendously talented, but still a long way from steady and solid. If that’s more or less where the Falcons are, I’ll take the Eagles. I think they have more talent. But the Falcons were 8-0 at home last year before getting spanked by Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay in the playoffs, so it’s hard to embrace the visitors with any real confidence.

Eagles 30-29.


While the Birds’ 31-13 victory over St. Louis was very satisfying, it was St. Louis. Let’s not hand out the Super Bowl rings just yet.

Yes, the Eagles have handled Atlanta rather easily the last 3 years (beating the Falcs, 31-17, at the Linc last season; 34-7, in Atlanta in 2009; and 27-14 here in 2008). That would suggest another easy win for Michael Vick and the Green Machine. However, nothing comes easy in Atlanta. Matt Ryan will make sure of that. Since 2008, when he stepped into the driver’s seat, Ryan has been pretty amazing, especially at home, where the Falcons have compiled a 20-5 record. Throw in a very profitable 78% cover rate since the middle of last season (seven of the last nine), and you have a team that is ready to rumble.

It’s the Eagles in a squeeze.

Eagles, 28-27.


Ed Barkowitz: Falcons, 27-21

Bill Conlin: Falcons, 24-21

Paul Domowitch: Falcons, 20-17

Marcus Hayes: Falcons, 24-21

John Smallwood: Eagles, 27-21


1. Eagles LT Jason Peters vs. Falcons RDE John Abraham: Peters held Abraham to one tackle and no sacks last year, but Abraham was nursing a sore back. He had two sacks vs. Bears last week. Peters had tenderness in the foot/achilles area and was pulled early from practice Friday. He is listed as questionable but is expected to play. Advantage: Even

2. Eagles MLB Casey Matthews vs. Falcons RB Michael Turner: Turner is a 247-pound truck who has second-level explosion. Matthews struggled last week vs. Rams. Advantage: Falcons

3. Eagles SLB Jamar Chaney vs. Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez: Gonzalez still is one of the league’s best route-running tight ends. Chaney has 4.5 speed, but is new to the SAM position. Advantage: Falcons



Appreciate everyone who tweeted, emailed, contracted us during and after last week's game against the Rams. Let's do it again tonight. Click here for the details.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter