The NFL season will open up on Thursday night in Philadelphia with the Eagles vs the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons will look to take advantage of an injury-riddled Eagles roster and redeem themselves after an early playoff exit. Here are a couple of keys to watch for in this weeks matchup.
1. Can Nick Foles get his groove back? Foles has played very poorly this pre-season and it is troubling for many fans heading into a tough week one matchup. Hopefully having the ability to use the full playbook will open up the offense and get him back to the Nick Foles that won Philadelphia its first Super Bowl.
2. We will finally get to see perennial Pro-Bowl left tackle, Jason Peters return to action on Thursday night after missing the majority of the 2017 season. At 36 years old, Peters is definitely on the back-end of his career and some question whether or not he will be able to return to his former self after such a brutal injury.
3. If Doug Pederson and company want to get Nick Foles in a rhythm, they will have to get the run game going early. The Falcons defensive line is always in pass-rush mode leaving their linebacking core to do all of the dirty work. If the Eagles can get an extra blocker or two downfield, Jay Ajayi could have a monster start to the season.
4. Jim Schwartz’s defense is going to have to show up on Thursday if the Eagles want to win this game. This pre-season, they have already shown what they are capable of but they haven’t played a team with offensive firepower like the Falcons have. Keeping guys like Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Julio Jones, and Matt Ryan in check is no easy task but keeping pressure on Matt Ryan will limit what they can do.
5. With Nigel Bradham missing this game, the Eagles are extremely thin at linebacker and there will be an immense amount of pressure on guys like Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nathan Gerry to stop Atlanta’s running back tandem. Look for Schwartz to keep things simple for them and focus primarily on stopping Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman.
Tune into NBC at 8:20 on Thursday night as the Eagles open up the NFL season against the Atlanta Falcons. You can also follow the action and join the conversation as we live tweet from @BirdsInformer during the game