Tha Sports Junkies 101

Falcons Look To Continue Winning Streak In Philadelphia

Matt Ryan Falcons NFL Atlanta Falcons via Flickr


Two teams showing very different form face off on Sunday as the Atlanta Falcons travel to Lincoln Financial Field to face the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Falcons are currently riding the wave of a two game winning streak, having dispatched of the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and look like one of the most impressive teams in the league. In contrast, the Eagles have lost two divisional games in a row and look a much different team to the one that dominated the Vikings and Steelers earlier in the year.

The Falcons sit atop the NFC South at 6-3, 2 games ahead of the New Orleans Saints, who are 4-4. The Eagles are also 4-4, but find themselves in last place in a strong NFC East.

Falcons News

As this is the last game before they go on a bye week, the Falcons may be tempted not to take any risks with the health of any players who they feel could benefit from a rest.

Tight end Jacob Tamme was ruled out by Head Coach Dan Quinn on Wednesday in a move that should allow rookie third round pick Austin Hooper to build on his promising performances so far this year. Undrafted rookie Josh Perkins dropped his first NFL target against the Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football last week, but should be active again in Tamme’s absence.

The absence of running back Tevin Coleman for a third consecutive week will once again put pressure on Devonta Freeman to perform. Freeman has shown in the past that he can handle a heavy workload and he’s comfortable in every aspect of the game, but the Falcons backfield has been at its best when both backs have been available and Coleman’s speed will be badly missed.

Desmond Trufant has been one of the best cornerbacks in the league since being drafted in 2013. The Falcons will be in unfamiliar waters, as he misses his ever NFL game on Sunday. Trufant went to get a second opinion on a shoulder injury that occurred in last week’s game against the Buccaneers and Falcons fans will be relieved that he’s only scheduled to miss week 10, having been called “day to day” earlier in the week by Dan Quinn.

His expected replacement, Jalen Collins, saw his first meaningful snaps on defense of the year in week 9 and gave a good account of himself, displaying the physical tools that had scouts swooning over him in college.

Eagles News

The Eagles continue to miss Lane Johnson, who is in the middle of a 10 game suspension for performance enhancing drugs. Johnson’s absence has coincided with the Eagles struggling to run the ball and, as a result, Carson Wentz has started to look more like a rookie and less like the established and composed player that he did in the first few weeks of the season.

The offensive line, which has been a strength of the team for so long, has taken a step back this year with former Pro Bowl centre Jason Kelce receiving major criticism for his performances. While the Falcons pass rushers aren’t a unit to be feared, they look far superior to recent years and have shown that they are good enough to cause problems for bad offensive linemen.

In addition to Lane Johnson, their starting right tackle, the Eagles will also be without their starting left guard in Allen Barbre, while they will be hoping that Brandon Brooks can overcome the illness that kept him out of Friday’s practice and act as a steadying presence along the offensive line.


The Falcons have proven that they can put up points against any defense in the NFL and the Eagles are unlikely to be able to stop them. Jim Schwartz’s defense started the year on fire but have slowed slightly in recent weeks. Julio Jones should find himself in a favourable situation with the Eagles struggling at cornerback.

The Eagles will be pleased that Desmond Trufant is missing the game for the Falcons, but their wide receivers have struggled to get open all season and, if they aren’t able to do so, it won’t matter who is covering them. Head Coach Doug Pederson will have seen how successful Mike Evans was against the Falcons secondary and could give more opportunities to Dorial Green-Beckham, who is another bigger receiver.

The Falcons’ defense isn’t great, but the Eagles have struggled to get anything going on offense recently. As long as Atlanta continues to put points on the board, Philadelphia should find it difficult to keep up.