THU 9/6 | 8:20 PM EDT | LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD
Atlanta gets decent production from the rest of their receiving group when Jones draws defensive attention, WR Julio Jones is unstoppable at times. Patient runners and homerun threats in the open field, devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman might be the NFL’s best RB combo: Both are great receivers.. Atlanta allowed only 28 points in two playoff games, including stymieing wunderkind Rams head coach Sean McVay. Though the secondary is one of the league’s best with CBs Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford flanking S Keanu Neal former first-rounder edge-rushers Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley need to improve. The front seven is athletic but lost key contributors with DE Adrian Clayborn and DT Dontari Poe leaving in free agency.
- Under is 4-0 in Falcons last 4 road games.
- Under is 7-0 in Falcons last 7 vs. NFC.
- Under is 7-0 in Falcons last 7 games overall.
All indications are that QB Carson Wentz, the MVP front-runner before tearing his ACL in Week 14, will be ready for Week 1. Wentz’s ability to extend plays and throw for big plays late in the down is what makes him special. TE Zach Ertz and WR Alshon Jeffery are atop a deep skill-position group that can create mismatches in a number of ways.Allowing Philly to run a diverse and expansive set of running plays, the offensive line is fantastic. Philly’s defensive line is dominant. Fletcher Cox may be the NFL’s most underrated player, and Brandon Graham, Tim Jernigan and Derek Barnett would be the stars of many teams’ front sevens. Rookie CB Sidney Jones (who would’ve been a 2017 first-rounder if not for a season-ending injury) provides another upgrade. The additions of former Pro-Bowlers Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata as rotational depth are a nightmare for opposing O-lines.
- Eagles are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games on grass.
- Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 1.
- Under is 4-1 in Eagles last 5 home games.
Head to Head
- Home team is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
- Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
- Falcons are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Philadelphia
The defending Super Bowl champion has won 12 of the 14 NFL Kickoff games it’s hosted. But there’s good reason to pick a breaking of the trend. The Eagles were ripped up in free agency, something not uncommon among cash-strapped Lombardi Trophy winners. But their coach staff was also poached, their starting QB is coming off a torn ACL and there’s no LeGarrette Blout. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan says this is the best Falcons team he’s been on, they’re in Year 2 in Steve Sarkisian’s offense, they have weapons galore and a highly underrated defense. Philly has question marks that it’ll get through, and Atlanta is in place to take advantage in Week 1.
Prediction: ATLANTA +3.5