Week 1 rolls on with game 2 of our triple header here with the first Monday night game of the season the Philadelphia Eagles at the Atlanta Falcons. Chip Kelly in his third season almost made the ghastly mistake of resurrecting Tim Tebow’s career instead Kelly will try and give us an all new and improved Sam Bradford. On the other side of the ball Dan Quinn in his rookie season as a head coach brings a new and improved Falcons defense which isn’t saying much as the worst defense a year ago there is only one way to go up. With that said let’s take a look at each team.
Chip Kelly brings in a new quarterback Sam Bradford and a new bell cow running back in DeMarco Murray. Last season the Eagles kind of got away from the run as LeSean McCoy was unable to defend his rushing title by a large margin. Bringing Murray in sends the message that the Eagles want to recommit to the run, and with Bradford’s history of knee injuries a strong running game should keep opposing defenses off of him. If the Eagles running game doesn’t get off to a quick start, Eagle fans should worry that Bradford will go down again with yet another knee injury. The Eagles offense led the league in scoring during the pre-season and while I think the Falcons defense has improved I don’t think the Eagles will have to many problems moving the football on them.
The Falcons are bringing back the major players in their high powered offense from a season ago. Notably missing from the passing game will for Matt Ryan will be Harry Douglas who is now in Tennessee. Despite that expect the Falcons offense to continue to fly under Matty Ice. The big test here will be for this revamped defense to try and contain the fast paced high octane Eagles offense. If the Falcons can get pressure on Sam Bradford early and get some early knockdowns, they may spook the Eagles into overcommitting to the run and if the Falcons can commit eight to the box without the fear of being passed on it will become a long day for the Eagles offense.
The Key Players in this game are for the Eagles is Sam Bradford. Bradford is going to be facing a defense at full strength for more than a series or two, as well as he will be playing his first full game as well. Bradford needs to get the ball out of his hands quickly and accurately, and can’t allow the ghosts of knee injuries past to haunt him. For the Falcons it is rookie LB Vic Beasley they drafted this kid for his pass rushing abilities, against a high powered offense like the Eagles these skills will be needed to make Sam Bradford uncomfortable in the pocket and possibly make mistakes.
The Falcons are 3 point underdogs at home with an O/U of 55. This going to be an offensive shootout for sure, I think that Sam Bradford in his first regular season game since blowing out his ACL again will be quite skittish, I think DeMarco Murray keeps the Eagles close but I think the Eagles come up short in this one. Take the Falcons giving 3 at home and the over.
Final Score: Atlanta Falcons 30 Philadelphia Eagles 28