Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick makes his first return to Atlanta as the Atlanta Falcons host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. The Eagles are -1 point favorites against Atlanta with an over/under point total set at 50.5.
The Atlanta Falcons had the best record in the NFC last season but when the season kicked off for them this year last weekend in Chicago, the Falcons looked like their head were still in the locker room as they were trounced by the Bears. QB Matt Ryan went to the air in Chicago and while he threw for 319 yards he didn’t have a touchdown pass and he threw an interception that was returned the other way for six points. On the receiving end of Ryan’s tosses was Roddy White who caught eight passes for 61 yards, Tony Gonzalez with five catches for 72 yards, and Julio Jones who caught five passes for 71 yards. Michael Turner took care of the ground game going for 100 yards on 10 carries with 53 of the yards coming on one run. Unfortunately for the Falcons’ offense the lone touchdown was scored by the defense but at that point the game was well out of reach. John Abraham had two sacks and Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury had one each while Sean Witherspoon had nine tackles, Curtis Lofton had eight tackles, and Thomas DeCoud had seven tackles. The question in this game is will we see the Falcons we saw last week or the Falcons we saw last year.
The expectations are sky high for the Philadelphia Eagles this year but Andy Reid always has a way of keeping things in perspective and keeping his team on the winning side of most of his football games. The big story line for this primetime game will be QB Michael Vick who has been nothing short of outstanding since returning to the game. Last week in St. Louis Vick completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 187 yards but had two touchdowns without an interception and even more importantly he ran for 98 yards on 10 carries and it’s that dual threat that keeps defenses guessing. There was plenty of action for the Eagles this off season picking up running backs but it’s clear LeSean McCoy isn’t going anywhere as he ran for 122 yards and a touchdown in week one. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are both home run threats at receiver and Jackson had 102 yards and a touchdown in week one. The Eagles defense did a nice job shutting down the Rams passing game but they were less effective against the run letting the Rams run for 154 yards. Jason Babin had two sacks while Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins, and Darryl Tapp each had one while Jarrad Page and Jamar Chaney each had six tackles.
Atlanta is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as a home underdog, 16-5 against the spread following a straight up loss, and 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games overall. Philadelphia is 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 games as a road favorite, 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games against NFC teams, and 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games against NFC teams. Philadelphia is 9-2-1 against the spread in the last 12 meetings of these two and the favorite has covered in seven of the last nine meetings.
With two offenses who can get it done and plenty of speed at the skill positions we should see plenty of points and I look for this one to go over the total as it has in 10 of the last 14 of the Eagles games and 9 of the last 14 Falcons games.