In Week 8, The Atlanta Falcons will travel to Philadelphia to face off against the Eagles. Coming off a bye, the Falcons will be touting a 6-0 record and sitting atop the NFC South. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Eagles will come off their bye at 3-3 and in turmoil. Quarterback Michael Vick has been a turnover machine this season (8 interceptions, 9 fumbles, 5 fumbles lost). The Eagles defense has been turned upside down by the firing of DC Juan Castillo. Sounds like easy pickings for the high flying Falcons, right?
Not if history has anything to say about it.
No matter how good or how bad the Eagles season is going, Andy Reid is money after the bye. With a streak of 13-0, it would be hard to bet against the Eagles long-time coach. Knowing that he is in the hottest hot seat of his career will only force him to be more creative.
The Atlanta Falcons have not won in Philadelphia since 1988 and have gone 0-5 in that time. That number looms large because hostile and noisy environments can impede Atlanta's preferred no-huddle offense. Noisy and hostile is an Eagles' fan specialty.
In more recent history, the Atlanta Falcons have won two nail-biters already this year. In both of these games, the Falcons were heavily favored. What did they have in common?
The Carolina Panthers came into the Georgia Dome with 10 days rest. The Oakland Raiders came in with a full 14 days rest. The Falcons needed a field goal in the waning seconds to beat both teams.
The Atlanta Falcons are already in uncharted territory. Their 6-0 record is the greatest start in the team's history. How much further can they go? History says the record train stops here.
Since 2008, the Atlanta Falcons have proven they can overcome history. General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Coach Mike Smith took over a team that had never had consecutive winning seasons. Now, that team stands a mere three wins away from having five consecutive winning seasons.
The Falcons may not have history on their side, but they may not need it.