The Eagles will play the Falcons at 8:20 Sunday night in Atlanta. Our three beat writers predict the outcome:
Marked this as a loss in my preseason predictions. Am I overreacting to Week 1 if I change my mind now? We’ll see.
By now you’ve heard all the reasons to pick the Falcons: Regarded in the preseason as a contender, they’re trying to avoid an 0-2 start They’ll be more desperate than the Eagles. They finally have the Eagles in their dome after a series of close losses at the Linc. Julio Jones is going to eat the Eagles’ corners alive. Last week’s lopsided Atlanta loss at Minnesota involved several freaky plays that are unlikely to happen again. And so on.
I guess at this point I have to see Dan Quinn beat Doug Pederson and Matt Ryan outgun a healthy Carson Wentz. It’ll be loud indoors, but I think the Eagles can cut down on the confusion by running the ball early, allowing them to establish some rhythm, before they test the Falcons’ secondary with a full array of weapons.
My biggest worry is the lack of pressure Jim Schwartz’s D-line got on Case Keenum last week. Now that task looks even tougher, without Malik Jackson. Maybe a shootout?
Prediction: Eagles 31, Falcons 28
When we did our game-by-game predictions a few weeks ago, I penciled this one in as a loss.
The Eagles had held the Falcons to a total of 37 points in three straight wins the last three years, But all three of those games were at the Linc, and Penn Charter product Matt Ryan is overdue for a big game against them.
I almost changed my mind after the Falcons’ ugly 28-12 Week 1 loss to the Vikings. But there were extenuating circumstances to that outcome, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the 37 years I’ve been covering pro football, it’s that Week 1 games aren’t a very good indicator of what’s going to happen in Week 2 or beyond.
I think the Falcons are a better team than they showed last week. I think this game is going to be close. Maybe even come down to a field goal at the end.
Prediction: Falcons 24, Eagles 21
I had the Eagles winning here in my preseason predictions, and I’m sticking to my guns. While Jim Schwartz’s defense has me worrying a little and the Falcons offense can’t possibly perform as poorly as it did in the opener, I’m going with Carson Wentz. The Eagles offense played virtually one half and still managed to score 32 points.
The Redskins aren’t likely going to be world beaters, but they have a competent defense. The Falcons are quick on that side of the ball and aren’t going to give up much deep. But the Eagles are so multi-faceted that I think they can beat Dan Quinn’s unit with a thousand paper cuts.
Yes, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are future Hall of Famers. And the Falcons offense has a strong running back in Devonta Freeman and other weapons. But Schwartz seems to have its number, with the Eagles winning the last three meetings, and I think they won’t be dismayed by playing at Mercedes Benz Stadium for the first time.