After Sunday’s season opening win against the Washington Redskins, the Eagles hope to get off to a faster start this week against the Atlanta Falcons.

The first-team offense and the first-team defense spent very little time on the field during the preseason and it showed in the first half against Washington.  However, after a little halftime pep talk, the rust seem to fall off, and the talent took over and the Eagles roared back to beat the Redskins.

DeSean Jackson came back to the birds as advertised, with not one, but two 50+ yard touchdowns and eight catches in the game.  Once Carson Wentz knocked the rust off, he looked more like the 2017 version that was playing like the league MVP, finishing with 318 yards and three touchdowns.

For the Falcons, they come to town having a lot of questions on the offensive side of the ball after scoring just 12 points in a loss to Minnesota.

The weapons are there with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Matt Ryan, but the offensive line that has been decimated injuries, giving up four sacks and a ton of pressure last week.

"Matt Ryan was sacked four times, that's not acceptable, especially after drafting two o-lineman in the first round," Falcons insider Matt Tabeek said on the Sports Bash on Friday.

"They have got to give Matt some time, they have to protect, Philly has been so good up-front in the previous games."

The defense had issues as well, the Vikings ran the ball virtually all game long, and the Falcons could not stop them to the tune of 38 carries for 172 yards.

Here are things to look for Sunday:

• The Eagles defensive front should be able to get to the quarterback without sending the blitz.  The Falcons offensive line has some injury issues and did not protect Matt Ryan last week. Jim Schwartz most likely will rotate his defensive line, but those three guys have favorable matchups and should be able to set the tone up-font.

• The Eagles secondary will have their hands full with Jones, Ridley and Sanu.  Tight end Austin Hooper is also a talented weapon for Matt Ryan, but the Eagles, who rank 30th against the pass last season, will need to be much better this week.

The defensive backs will need to keep the Atlanta receivers in front of them, and come up and make tackles.  That is how they have handled Jones in the past few matchups, which has limited his success.

• The Vikings ran the ball with a lot of success last week.  Will the Eagles follow suit and run the ball with regularity against a smaller Falcons front?  The opportunity for yards on the ground certainly exists if Doug Pederson decides to go that route.


Geoff Mosher's Take: Eagles corners have to keep Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley in front of them. They’re going to give up some plays, but they must limit the over-the-stop stuff that hurt them against Washington. In a shootout like this, they’ll need to force a turnover or two.

The Pick: Eagles 31, Falcons 26 (Record 1-0)

Ryan's Take: Going in to Atlanta a lot of the focus will be on the offensive weapons and the Eagles secondary . For me I am staying in The Trenches.

The Falcons gave up 172 yards on the ground to the Vikings, I’d like to see the Eagles go to run game early and set the tone. On the otherside, Falcons offensive line was a dumpster fire. Giving up seven tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits and 4 sacks.

If we are talking about an Eagles win tomorrow, Look for one of the main reasons being the Eagles DL to EAT on the way to a win in a close game in the ATL....

The Pick: Eagles 24 Falcons 21 (Record 1-0)

Mike Gill's Take: The Eagles will have a much tougher time with the Falcons weapons this week, but their offensive line issues might be a bigger problem.  While they have more fire-power than Washington, the Eagles should be able to get to a less mobile Matt Ryan and force some turnovers in the game.

If they allow the Atlanta weapons to catch the ball underneath and come-up and make tackles, they should walk out of Atlanta with a victory.

The Pick: Eagles 31, Falcons 26 (Record 1-0)

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