Here's another roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.
On to the links:
SI.com's Peter King has the Falcons beating the Eagles, 23-17:
Not a gambling man, so I don't know the line to this game, but this feels like an upset pick. I just think it's a backs-against-the-wall game for Atlanta, for a lot of reasons. They can't have Mike Vick come into his old house and own it, and Matt Ryan has to prove he can take the pressure of a game like this. The nuts and bolts here may come down to whether Michael Turner can run enough to keep Vick's possessions down to nine or 10. One other important point: I hope John Abraham's in good shape. He's going to have to do a lot of chasing Sunday night.
In what Blank would come to view as a gratuitous gesture of disrespect by Philly coach Andy Reid, Vick wowed the crowd with a 43-yard pass to wideout Reggie Brown, followed by a 5-yard scoring toss to tight end Brent Celek, his first touchdown pass since 2006 in an eventual 34-7 victory. With tens of thousands of frustrated customers already having bolted, the Dome was dominated by jubilant Vick supporters, and Blank could only sit and seethe.
SI.com's Don Banks has the Eagles sixth in his power rankings:
Andy Reid's Eagles get another dome game on a fast track this week in Atlanta, and this time Michael Vick isn't coming back to town as Donovan McNabb's backup. It'll be interesting to see the reception Vick gets from the Falcons fans he once flipped off, and to see if he keeps his emotions in check throughout the game. If Vick were ever to be guilty of pressing and trying to do too much this season, this week figures to be the time.
Eight of nine ESPN "experts" are picking the Falcons. Former Birds cornerback Eric Allen has the Eagles.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com predicts a 34-24 Eagles victory:
I didn’t expect the amount of shock and vitriol I received when I said in my column last week that the Falcons wouldn’t make the playoffs. How dare I pick against Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez and Curtis Lofton — three men with a combined zero career playoff wins? This will be hyped up as some sort of Michael Vick redemption game, but we’re well past that. Vick threw and ran for touchdowns in Atlanta in 2009. Vick’s going to run all over that overrated Atlanta defense on Sunday night. All that preseason Matt Ryan MVP chatter will be hushed to a whisper after this one. The Vick MVP chatter? Good luck avoiding it.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Falcons, 27-24:
The Falcons looked horrible last week. But the Eagles are playing a second consecutive road game to open the season. That's tough. Both offensive lines struggled last week. They have to be better. In a loud dome, that could provide problems for the Eagles. I look for the Falcons pass rush to get after Mike Vick in his first start back in Atlanta. This will be a fun one. But Atlanta is in desperation mode -- and it shows.
NFL.com's Steve Wyche wonders if Vick could be too amped up to be playing in Atlanta:
He could be so amped up early that he sails some passes or tries to make too many plays with his legs, exposing him to injury against a Falcons defense still licking its wounds from last week's loss to the Bears. Conversely, he could try to remain so much in control that he doesn't play with the tempered recklessness that has made him so dangerous in Act Two of MV7.
David Weiner of NFL.com thinks Eagles fans should be optimistic about the Birds' chances on the road this week:
While the Falcons went undefeated at the Georgia Dome in the regular season last year, the Eagles will carry a lot of emotion into this game with Vick returning "home" to play his former team in prime time. Vick and the other stars of this Eagles "Dream Team" are battle-tested veterans who know how to rise to the occasion, especially in tough road environments. They're pretty good in domes, too, as they showed vs. the Rams in Week 1. The Falcons have a nice team, but nice doesn't always get it done in the NFL; you also need a little nasty, of which the Eagles have plenty. And while the Falcons spent time in the offseason making their offense more dynamic, they showed in the opening week at Chicago their defense needs work.
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