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Espn Falcons-Eagles: 10 Observations


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By Ken Moll

Scouts Inc.

Position Advantage:

QB: Eagles

RB: Falcons

WR: Eagles

OL: Falcons (LMAO)

DL: Eagles

LB: Falcons

DB, ST, Coach: Eagles

After breaking down film of both teams, Scouts Inc. offers 10 things to watch in this week's Eagles-Falcons matchup.

1. Philadelphia needs to continue to establish a ground attack: The Eagles have an explosive offense with Michael Vick behind center. They were able to rack up 236 yards rushing in Week 1 and should keep that mindset on the road versus the Falcons. Look for head coach Andy Reid to get the ball to running back LeSean McCoy on early downs to make manageable conversions for Vick.

2. Spread the ball around: The Eagles have many weapons on offense to make explosive plays in the running game as well as with an air assault. The Falcons were exploited for 289 yards through the air in their opener. Look for Reid to spread out the Atlanta defense (by formation) and get the ball to DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, McCoy andBrent Celek in the passing game.

3. Stop the run first: The Falcons' offense is built around a physical ground attack withMichael Turner as their featured back. Philadelphia did give up 154 yards (5.9 yards per attempt) in its Week 1 win, including a huge rushing play, and will need to tighten up its defense this weekend. Look for defensive coordinator Juan Castillo to crowd the line of scrimmage with zone run blitzes and possibly an extra defender in the box to derail Atlanta's running game.

4. Flush Ryan out of the pocket: The Eagles have a very athletic defense and can provide excellent pressure from different levels of their 4-3 schemes. They racked up five sacks in Week 1 with aggressive play calling from Castillo, and we should look for a similar approach to flush the talented Falcons signal-caller out of the pocket, where he is less effective.

5. Matchup to watch: Atlanta OT Jason Peters vs. Philadelphia DE Trent Cole: The Eagles are excellent at pressuring the quarterback, and Cole has been the leader in that category over the past two seasons. He has explosive quickness and deceptive power coming off the edge. Peters has outstanding size and athleticism for the tackle position and utilizes consistent technique to keep his opponent at bay. Look for this battle on the edge to be extremely intense between two athletes used to performing at a high level.

6. Falcons must pound the Eagles between the tackles: The Philadelphia defense runs very well but might be vulnerable to stopping a physical power running game. A natural strong suit for Atlanta is their ground attack and with two power backs (Turner and Jason Snelling), this should be a good matchup in the Falcons' favor. Look for offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey to be patient with the running game early in this contest.

7. Get mismatches with your perimeter receivers: The Falcons have two excellent playmakers on the outside (Julio Jones and Roddy White). They are capable of stretching the field and will provide a huge challenge for a talented Eagles secondary. Look for Mularkey to work for mismatches out of "bunch sets" and spread formations to put Philadelphia in a precarious situation.

8. Keep Vick from improvising outside the pocket: Vick has shown a tendency to revert back to his early years in the league when he pulls the ball down to improvise before letting the play develop. Nevertheless, he can be a magician once out of the pocket, so we should expect Atlanta defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder to plan specifically (at least one or possibly two spies, discipline in rush lanes, etc.) to keep Vick from spoiling the Falcons' home opener.

9. Win the special-teams phase of the contest: Both teams have been somewhat inconsistent with regard to the kicking game. With this contest being somewhat evenly matched, the special-teams phase of the game could determine the outcome. Look for Atlanta special-teams coach Keith Armstrong to have his coverage units ready to keep field position in the Falcons' favor.

10. Matchup to watch: Eagles QB Michael Vick vs. Falcons defense: There will be lots of mixed emotions with Vick back in Atlanta, and the Falcons want to bounce back from a dismal performance in Week 1. Vick ran for 97 yards and threw for two touchdowns last week, and will want to play at a high level against his old team. The Falcons defense will be laser-focused on corralling him in the pocket and keeping him from making big plays.

Prediction

Philadelphia 24

Atlanta 23

Ignore # 5, dudes a moron and failed to realize both players he is talking about are on the Eagles and Peters is not on the Falcons.

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Wow... so about #5....

Based on how Cole pretty much abused Baker last year I don't feel so great about that match-up and Peters was out last year so not sure how Abraham will fare against him.

So we don't match up well on paper...

However you do have to admire the Eagles on a few things... they knew their left tackle sucked so the traded for Peters.... they knew they needed help in the secondary so they traded for Samuels.

I wish we could have done that..... then I wouldn't be terrified every time 'Short Arms' has to play a good DE.

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7. Get mismatches with your perimeter receivers: The Falcons have two excellent playmakers on the outside (Julio Jones and Roddy White). They are capable of stretching the field and will provide a huge challenge for a talented Eagles secondary. Look for Mularkey to work for mismatches out of "bunch sets" and spread formations to put Philadelphia in a precarious situation.

oh really?? I can't wait to see that!!!

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Not that I can actually name every player on the Falcons' roster, but at least the names ring a bell in my mind when mentioned. However, when I saw "Atlanta OT Jason Peters" I said to myself, "Huh?" Glad to read jfalconsp's comment at the bottom of the quote which set things straight.

It should be painfully obvious that the vast majority of sports writers and broadcasters really don't know any more about the Falcons lineup than my mother's housecat does. Despite being a two-points underdog at home, I still like the Falcons chances to win. My own prediction: I believe we will know fairly early in the game how it will likely come out. This game may well be the defining moment of the Falcons' "New Era".

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