The most exciting week of the regular season undoubtedly has to be Week 1. Not because all 32 teams are in action, not because it’s the first meaningful slate of games since the winter, but mostly because of the usual Monday Night Football double header. The 2015 edition is no different and there is quite the pair of games for bettors to either make up lost profits or spend their new-found fortunes on.
Focusing on the curtain raiser for MNF, we’ll see the high-flying, new-look Philadelphia Eagles under Chip Kelly travel to the Georgia Dome to take on a Falcons squad in transition. Atlanta appointed Dan Quinn as their new head coach in the off-season, and although the Falcons aren’t expected to be all that great in 2015, the division they play in is so awful that truly anybody has a chance to make the post-season.
It really is a blessing this game has been anointed with the national spotlight as it promises to be a fast-paced and high scoring affair. It has the highest point total of any Week 1 match-up and features two teams who play with speed and an offense-first mindset. It’s going to be exciting under the lights in an always rowdy Georgia Dome, and let’s hope to cap the week off on a successful note. Keep reading below for full game analysis and the official selection for Eagles/Falcons MNF.
Eagles vs. Falcons Betting Odds:
Philadelphia Eagles -3 (-110)
@ Atlanta Falcons +3 (-110)
Over 55.5 (-110)
Under 55.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Eagles vs. Falcons Pick:
A ton has been made about the Eagles high-octane offense in the pre-season, led by new quarterback Sam Bradford. The former Oklahoma Sooner has endured a fair share of criticism in his young career over his ability to stay healthy, but so far, so good in Philly for Bradford, and there’s a good amount of evidence that if he stays upright in Kelly’s offense, a huge year is in store.
Look for that pre-season dominance to continue in game one of the regular season for Bradford and the Eagles. Atlanta has been an awful defensive team for years now, and that’s part of the reason they chose to bring in Dan Quinn as their head coach. The Eagles are supremely talented at virtually every offensive position and should simply dominate the Falcons punchless defense. In this match-up, look for Bradford to move the ball through the air with ease against a porous secondary. Jordan Matthews and young rookie Nelson Agholor are both in store for huge games to open up 2015. Atlanta had a 30th ranked pass rush last season, meaning Bradford is likely going to get a ton of time and space to shred a team that really can’t defend through the air. It’s an awful recipe for the Falcons, and look for Chip Kelly’s team to be savvy enough to drastically expose it.
On the other side of the football, unfortunately for the Eagles there defense doesn’t exactly match-up with the flair of their offense. Chip Kelly was active in the off-season trying to upgrade the stop unit, but it remains to be seen if his controversial personnel decisions will ultimately pay off. One area where the Eagles can try and take advantage of the Falcons is their pass rush vs. a mediocre offensive line. Matty Ryan is undoubtedly an elite quarterback and has the talented Julio Jones at his disposal, but if the Eagles can disrupt his timing and rhythm in the pocket, they can definitely fall back on their explosive offense outscoring the Falcons’ offense. Let’s also not forget the 63 million dollar man in Byron Maxwell from the Seahawks. The talented cornerback is expected to go toe-to-toe with Jones on Monday night and if he can limit him at all, Ryan and the Falcons don’t exactly have many other options to turn to.
“It’s a real work in progress” said Falcons CB Desmond Trufant about Dan Quinn’s new-look defense. Not exactly an inspiring quote as Atlanta enters their opening match-up against probably the league’s most explosive offense. Philly plays fast and on the turf at the Georgia Dome, that environment should play right into their hands. The Eagles are littered with playmakers all over the field, and even though the Falcons will score against a weak Philly defense, the Eagles offense is going to manhandle the Falcons defensive unit. Simply put, Chip Kelly’s got a better offense than Atlanta, and their defense will do just enough to let the likes of Bradford and Matthews steal the show on Monday night. Believe the hype and go with the Eagles by a field goal.
PICK = Eagles -3 (-110)