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Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Preview and Prediction

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 20:  LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles prepares for a preseason game against the New England Patriots  at Gillette Stadium on August  20, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistNovember 20, 2016

The Philadelphia Eagles have an opportunity. With a win over the until-now unbeaten Atlanta Falcons coming out of the bye week, the downtrodden Eagles can experience a turning point. 

Here's a final preview of what could be the biggest game of Philly's season, along with my prediction...

 

What Philly must do to win, offensive edition: Feed it to LeSean McCoy early and often while using extra blockers to control the pace. 

 

What Philly must do to win, defensive edition: Get natural pressure on Matt Ryan and don't let Roddy White or Julio Jones strike deep.

 

How Philly can lose: By continuing to make the same mistakes they've become world-famous for.

 

Five most important non-quarterbacks: LeSean McCoy, Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Nnamdi Asomugha

It's all about establishing the running game with McCoy on offense. Babin and Cole will lead a pass rush that has to get to Ryan, while DRC and Asomugha will be responsible for White and Jones.

 

Injury analysis, Eagles edition

Doubtful: Danny Watkins (ankle)

Questionable: Phillip Hunt (calf)

Probable: Nate Allen (hamstring), Colt Anderson (knee), Kurt Coleman (shoulder), Jon Dorenbos (ankle), Cedric Thornton (hand)

Watkins has been terrible this season anyway, so I can't imagine Philadelphia will be much worse off with rookie Dennis Kelly in his stead.

 

Injury analysis, Falcons edition 

Out: Harry Douglas (knee, ankle)

Questionable: Garrett Reynolds (back)

Probable: Jonathan Babineaux (groin), Michael Palmer (shoulder), Antone Smith (hamstring)

The offense will be missing a little something without Douglas, who had taken at least 29 snaps in each of Atlanta's first six games. 

 

B/R NFC East Blog prediction

The Falcons have been surviving by the skin of their teeth the last few weeks. I don't think this team is as good as their record indicates. I can't pick against a talented, desperate Eagles team at home, especially when they're always so good off bye weeks. 

Eagles 24, Falcons 21

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