Here are predictions for the Eagles-Falcons game from members of the Daily News staff:
Not a lot of hesitation here for me. Don't like King Dunlap vs. John Abraham. Can't imagine Michael Vick can really play effectively this soon after his injury. Overall, the Eagles have done very little to make me want to pick them over a 4-1 team.
You can question how legit the Falcons are, given the teams they've beaten, but this year you can do that with anybody, certainly including the Eagles. If I were inclined to pick the Eagles, I might lean on the fact that they have to win a home game sooner or later, or that Andy Reid is 7-1 against Atlanta.
But the Atlanta team the Eagles rolled over last season was banged up and disheartened. And I have to wonder if the way Reid let Vick roll up the score that day in the Georgia Dome really set all that well with Vick's former teammates. Atlanta never wronged Vick or did anything that should make him want to seek revenge; in fact, it was the other way around, Vick's prison term leaving the Falcons' franchise briefly in ruins.
Falcons 20, Eagles 13.
Everything is telling me the Falcons will win.
The fact that an Eagles offensive line that already has given up 19 sacks will be protecting Kevin Kolb's blind side with King Dunlap. The fact that the Eagles can't seem to get the ball to DeSean Jackson. The fact that their coverage units are more unreliable than the price of gas.
The fact that the Falcons are second in the league in rushing and the Eagles are 24th in the league at stopping it and now are without defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley. The fact that the Eagles allowed the 49ers to convert eight of 13 third downs.
The things is, my instincts usually are wrong with this team. When I think they should win, they lose. When I think they should lose, they find a way to win. Based on that twisted logic:
Eagles 24, Falcons 21
Ed Barkowitz: Falcons, 26-20
Bill Conlin: 24-14
Marcus Hayes: Eagles, 21-17
John Smallwood: Eagles, 24-20
Vegas Vic: Falcons, 29-24
Paul Domowitch's key matchups for Sunday's game:
Eagles LT King Dunlap vs. Falcons RDE John Abraham: Abraham is one of the league's better pass-rushers. Dunlap, who is filling in for injured Jason Peters, gave up three sacks last week. Advantage: Falcons
Eagles RDT Antonio Dixon vs. Falcons LG Justin Blalock and C Todd McClure: Blalock and McClure have a combined 206 NFL starts. Dixon, who is replacing injured Brodrick Bunkley, will be making his first start. Advantage: Falcons
Eagles RB LeSean McCoy vs. Falcons MLB Curtis Lofton: McCoy's speed and versatility could create problems for Lofton and the rest of the linebackers. Advantage: Eagles
Check back for live reports from the Linc throughout the day.