Week two will see the Eagles face a familiar opponent once again as they will play the Atlanta Falcons for the fifth season in a row. The Falcons always give the Eagles a hard time and will be seeking revenge as the Eagles will get their first glimpse of the brand new and truly stunning Mercedez Benz Stadium. Here are the crew’s predictions for the game:
ERIC FENSTERMAKER (1-0)
The Eagles struggled early against the Redskins, but the offense settled in and found its groove. The offense will be an important factor, but the defense for the Eagles will be the most vital part of this game. The Falcons boast a potent rushing and passing attack, and it will take a full 60-minute effort to stop the Falcons offense. The Eagles can take notes from the Vikings who were able to greatly limit Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. The Eagles pass rush must pressure Matt Ryan early and often, and if the Eagles can force the Falcons to run the ball, they will win this game. Look for more deep shots to DeSean Jackson, but I expect to see much more of Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard. This match-up historically has always been a close one, and I expect nothing less out of this game. I think the Eagles will gut it out, but it will be a close fight.
Final Prediction: Eagles 27, Falcons 24
ALEX WHITNEY (1-0)
I feel like we play the Falcons every year? Whatever it may be, we have faired well against them the past couple seasons, albeit all at home. The Eagles are coming off a comeback win against the Redskins, showing in the second half the best they can be. Wentz was poised, the receivers were having a field day, the defense was cohesive and compact, and it was fun to watch. They need to get a good start, on the road, against the Falcons who are hungry after a lackluster first week loss in Minnesota. I believe the Eagles can keep it going. Bend don’t break!
Final Prediction: Eagles 28, Falcons 23
JOE FABIANI (1-0)
The Eagles come flying into Atlanta to take on the Falcons and can’t afford another slow start in this matchup. The Falcons have one of the best-receiving cores in the NFL. Yes, I know they were shut down last week but as we saw against the Redskins, the Eagles are going to rotate corners. Julio Jones has averaged 10 catches and 135 yards in the past 3 games against the Eagles. However, he’s had 0 touchdowns. That could change today if the Eagles continue to give up big plays again today. A key to this game will be stopping the run and getting after Matt Ryan. The Eagles registered 8 QB hits and 1 sack last week. This one has the makings of a higher scoring affair with both defenses looking to establish themselves as they both have key members coming off injuries. It should make for a good one down in Atlanta.
Final Prediction: Eagles 24, Falcons 27
JOEY KAPUSTA (1-0)
Slow starts seem to be a trend for this Philadelphia Eagles football team. While it was great to see the Eagles fight back and finish strong, this team really needs to get off to a better start. Last week Minnesota gashed the Falcons on the ground to the point where Kirk Cousins only had to attempt 10 passes. The Eagles should look to exploit Atlanta’s smaller defensive front by pounding them in the run game as well. Don’t expect as many deep shots from Wentz this week as the Falcons cover 3 defense is set up to prevent explosive plays in the pass game. The Eagles are going to win this game in the trenches. While the Falcons have a massive advantage in their receiving corps, the Eagles can negate that by winning the battle upfront and constantly pressuring Matt Ryan. While the last few games between these two teams have been low scoring, I expect the complete opposite on Sunday.
Final Prediction: Eagles 30, Falcons 27
TYLER EDGERTON (1-0)
The Battle between these teams has always been a tough one, but the Eagles have gotten the better of the Falcons as of recent. Matt Ryan is just 3-6 against his hometown team in his career, although 2-1 at home. After coming off an awful loss in week one, Atlanta will be desperate as they host their home opener in primetime. This can be a good or bad thing. They’ll either come out timid and not want to screw it up, or firing on all cylinders. Julio Jones is the Eagles worst nightmare, but it almost seems like the Eagles allow him to get his, so they can focus on shutting down the rest of the offense. The Eagles must stick to the run and control the clock while playing a clean game in order to get the win. I had the Eagles losing this game, but I think talent wins out. The Eagles defensive front balls out and Carson comes up big in a back and forth battle.
Final Prediction: Eagles 31, Falcons 24