Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Eagles next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Atlanta Falcons.
The Opponent: The Atlanta Falcons, a.k.a. the Dirty Birds, a.k.a. certain sections of town really really wish Mike Vick were still the QB
The Line: Eagles by one. CRIMINY! So close to being a home underdog. Nothing beats being a home underdog.
Last Game: A 20-10 victory over Cleveland that probably would have been closer had Seneca Wallace not been injured and given way to Instant Turnover Generator Jake Delhomme. Oh, people. Oh, Jake Delhomme is so very bad. It’s mesmerizing how terrible he is. The win caused a great many people to declare Atlanta the best team in the NFC for right now. But this is a team that barely beat Cleveland and needed a last second miracle fumble to beat San Francisco. I’m not entirely sure I trust them.
The Coach: Mike Smith, who looks like your dad.
The Offense: You know what bothers me about Matt Ryan? His yardage totals. Yes, I know the Falcons run the ball well with Michael Turner and Jason Snelling. But I find it odd that a talented passer like Ryan, with weapons like Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White at his disposal, only manages a meager 233 yards a game. In his career, Ryan has passed for 300 yards exactly three times, and only once in the past two years. Sometimes, you need a QB who will take up the load and have a lights out passing day, and I’ve yet to see Ryan do that. But hey, if Alex Smith can get points on this Eagles defense, perhaps Ryan will have his little 500-yard festival.
The Defense: This is the eighth best rushing defense in football, which means that Andy Reid will end up abandoning the run even earlier than usual! HOORAY!
Key Match-up: Reid vs. Smith. The Falcons aren’t a team that makes stupid mistakes. You can’t luck into a win against them just because you caught them on a bad day. To beat this team, Andy Reid is going to have to find a way to not butcher the clock and have players hitting the ground before the first down sticks. A tall order, to be certain.