Blogging Dirty is fortunate this week, to have two interviews with Eagles Bloggers this week. Tomorrow I will be talking with Bob Wankell from Inside The Iggles.
Today I had a Q&A with Mike Burke from Birdsfan.com.
Blogging Dirty – Philly have a good start to the season so far. How far can the Eagles go this season?
Birds Fan – Despite a 31-13 victory in Week One, I’m not overly confident in this team right now. This may be because the bar has been set so high with the offseason they had, but there’s no denying that they have their fair share of issues. The offensive line needs some work and the young group of linebackers are still suspect. The Eagles were definitely one of the teams affected greatly by the lockout because of all the new faces they have.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this team will get better as the season progresses, and I think they have the talent to make a serious run. However, until they prove something more to me, I see them as a playoff team, not a Super Bowl team. I don’t think they’ll have trouble winning the NFC East, but as of now, I don’t think they are the best team in the NFC. They can get there, but they need more work.
BD – The obvious duel is between Mike Vick and Matt Ryan for obvious reasons this Sunday night. Which QB has a better game?
BF – I’m going to take Michael Vick here, but don’t think I’m doing it just because I’m an Eagles supporter. The reason I think he’ll be “better” than Matt Ryan is due to the fact that I believe the Falcons offense will see more of their success in the run game. If they’re smart, they’ll test the Eagles run defense early and often. The Eagles have shown that they can be run on, and they have three Pro Bowl caliber corners, so why throw the ball more than you have to?
Ryan has some great weapons in Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez, but I believe that Michael Turner will be the key to their offense on Sunday. The saying “you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him” comes to mind here. Unless they give up a long touchdown run where he ends up hurting himself like Stevem Jackson did last week, I see Turner putting up some numbers.
That’s why I think Vick will reign superior on the stat sheet between the two quarterbacks when the game is over.
BD – We all know about the Eagles Free Agent acquisitions. Who is the player that could impact the game, Falcons fans may not be talking about?
BF – Whether it is positively or negatively, I think the young group of linebackers will have a big impact on the game. The Eagles made big additions to their defensive line and secondary, but failed to bulk up their linebackers. They made some additions through the draft, but they didn’t use any high draft picks on the position.
The starters include Casey Matthews, Jamar Chaney, and Moise Fokou. If you’re not an Eagles fans, the only name that probably rings a bell is Matthews because of his family ties.
This group will be attacked early by the Falcons run game and they’ll really need to have their best game if they want to keep the Eagles in it. They improved as the game went on last week, so they’ll need to pick up where they left off.
BD – Complete the sentence. Falcons beat the Eagles if?
BF – The Falcons will beat the Eagles if they can successfully run the ball all game. I’ve mentioned it multiple times already and there’s a reason for that. The Eagles can get good pressure on the quarterback and have talented corners so they’re not that easy to throw on. However, they’ve shown that they may struggle against the run throughout the season.
Michael Turner is a strong, talented running back and should be licking his chops looking at this match-up. Although he got a limited amount of carries last week, I think Turner will see a very heavy workload come Sunday night.
Another reason the Falcons will probably look to run the ball a lot is because it will keep the Eagles offense off the field. Everyone knows how explosive the Eagles’ offense is and how quickly they can score points. If the Falcons can run the ball effectively, they’ll keep the Eagles offense off the field and give themselves the best chance to win.
BD – This one as well. Eagles beat the Falcons if?
BF – The Eagles will beat the Falcons if the offensive line has a strong outing. I believe both teams will put up a decent amount of points, so each possession will be very valuable. Scoring a touchdown over a field goal could be the deciding factor in the game, and the only thing that can stop the Eagles offense is their line.
Michael Vick can easily make plays with his feet, but when he’s forced to take off running, it takes the other offensive weapons out of the game. When he gets time, he can get all of the weapons involved in the offense. The Eagles are so loaded offensively that it’s almost impossible to stop them all simultaneously.
If the offensive line can do a solid job protecting Vick, he’ll be able to maximize all of his weapons, and the Eagles should be able to put up a boatload of points.
BD – Prediction for the game? With a score.
BF – I’m not going to lie, this is one of the games I was more excited about when the schedule came out so I can’t wait until Sunday night. With these offenses, I think some points will be scored so I’m going to go 31-27 Eagles.
Check out my answers to Mike’s questions at Birdsfan.com