Here is our weekly look at what we will be watching in the Eagles game:
1. Getting off the field: In the Eagles’ three wins, their opponents managed to convert just 4 of 36 third-down opportunities (11.1 percent). In their three losses: 24 of 46 (52.2). Eagles have been atrocious on third-and-7 to third-and-10. Opponents have converted 10 of 22 opportunities from that distance. The good news is the Falcons aren’t a very good third-down offense (21st).
2. Eagles kickoff coverage: There’s been a dramatic disparity in the Eagles’ ability to cover punts and kickoffs. They’re a respectable 10th in the league in punt coverage (6.8), but an abysmal 29th in kic koff coverage (25.7). Sixteen of David Akers’ last 29 kickoffs have been returned for at least 24 yards. As luck would have it, they’ll be facing the NFC’s top kickoff returner this week in the Falcons’ Jerious Norwood (29.0).
3. Turning off Turner: Falcons running back Michael Turner is third in the league in rushing. In his team’s four wins, he’s averaged 5.2 yards per carry. In its two losses: 3.1. Falcons use their run game to set up their pass game. Eagles need to contain Turner and sidekick Jerious Norwood so they can focus on pressuring rookie quarterback Matt Ryan.