If you were to take a look at the outcome of both the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons' matchups in Week 1, you might believe the Eagles will walk out of the Georgia Dome with a 2-0 record without a second thought.
However, the guys over at the PickCenter on ESPN.com don’t believe the Philly hype and favor the Falcons to win on Sunday in front of their home crowd. They give quarterback Matt Ryan and company a 53 percent chance of winning over the Eagles.
Both teams are stacked with talent, but are also facing some key injuries.
Most notable for the Falcons is defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, who has a knee injury and is expected to miss three-to-five weeks. Roddy White (WR) was a full participant and should be available for Sunday’s game.
For the Eagles, backup quarterback Vince Young (hamstring) and defensive end Darryl Tapp (pectoral) did not participate in practice on Thursday afternoon. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie continues to nurse an ankle injury, but was available for limited participation.
However, it isn’t all bad for Eagles fans as there is some good news. Two players were full participants during practice on Thursday that could change the landscape of the Eagles offense.
Wide receiver Steve Smith looks to be ahead of schedule, while tackle Winston Justice was a welcome return after not playing a game yet this season (including preseason). The question is, will Andy Reid and Howard Mudd attempt to get him back on the field for Sunday’s game or will they stick with the line they’ve assembled in Winston’s absence?
Whatever the case, there is lots more to the story of Sunday’s showdown between the birds.
Atlanta has done a great job of moving the ball up and down the field, all preseason long.
They did it in the first week against the Bears, yet they are still looking to win a game this season. After going 0-4 in the preseason and then putting on a dreadful performance in Week 1, there is a growing sense of concern among Falcons fans, who clearly seek answers.
Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, they have a team that just needs to bond together and they’ll go far.
Not only is their starting roster stacked with Pro Bowl talent, on both sides of the ball, but their No. 2 and No. 3 cornerbacks were once starters on other teams. They also have quality depth on their side.
The Falcons need to light a fire under their own keister before things get ugly in Hot-lanta. Can they find it within themselves to rebound from last week? The talent is there, but my pick goes to the Philadelphia Eagles—24-20 is my prediction.
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