The Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles match-up for a meeting between the NFC South and NFC East. We’ll see how it unfolds, as these two east coast teams search for a playoff bid later in December. The Eagles started hot, but kind of like the Minnesota Vikings, they are falling to the basement. It’s cold and dark down there, and the Eagles are trying their best to stay up. We knew that Carson Wentz was going to take his lumps, but as a team they have to get things going. For a rookie quarterback to really success, they need a bit of help elsewhere. Notably, the defense has to carry the load for the Eagles. With a record of 4-4, they are still alive in the hunt for a wildcard. However, they really need to get the dirty taste of losing out of their mouths. It’s been four losses out of their last five games for them.
The Eagles will get a solid test against the Atlanta Falcons this afternoon. If it weren’t for a handful of plays, the Falcons could possibly be a one-loss team right now. They lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to open the season, 31-24. Right out of the gate, people were expecting it to be the same old Falcons. The team apparently handled the criticism well, because their only losses since were razor thin. The Falcons did all they could to beat the Seahawks on the road, but a non-call on a Richard Sherman was not called. If it were called correctly, it would have set the Falcons up in field goal position. Then the Falcons lost to the Chargers in a coin-flip overtime game, 33-30. They’ve got to come prepared against the Eagles this afternoon.
The Eagles have been playing poorly, so it could turn into one of those games where you overlook the opponent. Philadelphia has some talent, but they have holes to fill up this upcoming offseason. It appears that they have a quarterback for the future, but they need to create an environment where he has talent around him. After they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, it seems like they thought they could just stop playing. Because since that win they’ve gone 1-4. Newsflash guys, beating the Steelers is impressive but you still have to play football. We will see if they get another win over a quality opponent this afternoon.
Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles NFL Betting Odds:
vs. Eagles -1(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Falcons vs. Eagles Pick:
The life seems to be sucked from the Eagles right now. There was so much hope and optimism for this team after they beat the Steelers, but all of that has been eaten up after going 1-4 in their last five games. The Eagles at 4-4 are still alive though in their quest to find the playoffs. Wentz didn’t help last week, throwing for no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. A rookie is going to have those kind of games, it’s how they respond the next game. The Eagles’ offense ranks 24th in the NFL, but they are scoring 25.2 points per game for 10th in the NFL. At the end of the day, all that matters is the points on the scoreboard.
The Falcons are susceptible on the defensive side of the ball, so perhaps this is a nice opportunity for Wentz to get his confidence back. Atlanta are allowing 28.8 points per game, which is 28th in the league. And this is where Wentz is going to get his shot at redemption for the Eagles: the Falcons are next to last in the NFL against the pass. I expect Wentz to be able to find his groove against a pass defense who have gotten worked.
The Eagles defense will try and nullify the Falcons’ strength, which is Matt Ryan and Julio Jones downfield. Atlanta are 2nd in the league in passing. Ryan has shown he can be an elite quarterback, but hello, it’s only the regular season so elite is definitely subjective. Ryan still has to find success in the playoffs to get some definite respect. He’s passed for 23 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions to make for one of the best years he’s had in the NFL. The Falcons are coming off a Thursday night game, where they haven’t played so well the following week historically. They are 2-6 ATS after such a game on their schedule. The Eagles are a perfect 3-0 at home. I expect a lot of people to jump on the Falcons here, but this looks like a nice spot for them to have a letdown spot. I am going to take the Eagles to win this.
PICK: EAGLES -1 (-110)