Falcons vs Eagles – Q&A With Inside The Iggles
Time for our second interview this week with an Eagles blogger. Yesterday I spoke with Mike Burke from Birdsfan.com, check out that interview here. Today i spoke with Bob Wankell from Inside the Iggles.
Blogging Dirty – Which area would you point to that the Eagles need to improve on heading into this Sunday’s matchup against the Falcons?
Inside The Iggles – Much has been made of the Eagles’ young offensive line. After a difficult start last week against the Rams, the unit started to find its groove. Still, there were a few delay of game penalties and burned timeouts because of poor communication between the coaches and players on the field. In a loud atmosphere on Sunday night, it’s critical the Eagles get this cleaned up. They simply cannot afford stupid penalties, or to waste timeouts in what figures to be a closely contested game.
BD – With the obvious duel between Matt Ryan and Michael Vick on sunday, who has the better game?
ITI – If Matt Ryan attempts 47 passes as he did a week ago, then Michael Vick has the better game. The Falcons can’t afford to allow the Eagles to jump out to an early lead. Despite having a terrific arsenal of weapons, I don’t believe the Falcons can keep up with the Eagles if the game turns into a track meet and ultimately, I expect the game to head in that direction. This is a huge game for both quarterbacks and both will play well, but Vick simply has more weapons at his disposal.
BD – Who is your potential x-factor for Sunday’s game?
ITI – Jeremy Maclin. The Eagles’ offense produced 24 points last week, but Maclin was held to one catch for 20 yards. I think offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will make a concerted effort get Maclin more involved this week. The third-year receiver had a huge game against the Falcons a year ago when he hauled in seven passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns, so there’s a history of success. I look for that trend to continue on Sunday night.
BD – Which personnel matchup would you point to, as being the most favourable for the Eagles?
ITI – The Falcons gave up some long touchdowns last week–one to Matt Forte and one to Devin Hester. I think LeSean McCoy and Desean Jackson are more dangerous than both of those players, so I’d say the Eagles skill position players are going to present a serious problem for an Atlanta defense that had some trouble tackling a week ago. Every week is different in the NFL, so it would be foolish to assume that Atlanta’s defense is susceptible to the big play, but the Eagles have a knack for hitting for some big plays–this works as an obvious advantage to Philadelphia.
BD – Predictions for the game? Give a score as well please.
ITI – This game is being billed by some as a must-win for the Falcons, but that’s not really the case. While expectations are high in Atlanta, each team in the NFC South lost a week ago, so a loss wouldn’t be a crushing blow to their division title hopes. Atlanta has to show something on defense. To come out and allow Jay Cutler to throw for 312 yards after getting torched by the Packers in last year’s NFC Divisional Playoffs has to be a concern. I think the Falcons will move the ball on the Eagles as they establish a solid run game and work the middle of the field with Tony Gonzalez. The veteran tight end should find success against the Eagles’ group of mediocre linebackers.
Still, I don’t think the Falcons will have a terrific amount of success down the field. The Eagles’ ability to make big plays on offense and take them away from their opponent gives them an edge. This is a game the Falcons can certainly win, but I think they’ll come up just a bit short. I’ll go 30-26 Eagles.