Atlanta Falcons vs Philadelphia Eagles: Tale of the tape

5 of 5

The defenses

While both teams feature dominant offenses, the same can’t be said of either defense. Last year, the Eagles ranked 28th in total defense (31st pass, 15th run), and the Falcons dead last (32nd pass, 21st run). Neither team could stop getting burned in the passing game, but aggressive offseason moves could change this.

Philadelphia spent three of its six draft picks on cornerbacks, with second-rounder Eric Rowe expected to start opposite Byron Maxwell, who signed from the Seahawks on a six-year, $63 million deal. Sixth round pick JaCorey Shepherd has also impressed as one for the future.

The problem in Atlanta was with the pass rush. The unit posted just 22 sacks all of last year, and the Falcons addressed this by splashing out on defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and O’Brien Schofield, as well as linebackers Brooks Reed and Justin Durant. With the eighth overall pick, they took the best pure pass rusher in the draft in Vic Beasley.

Desmond Trufant is one of the league’s most underrated cornerbacks, despite being rated the sixth best by Pro Football Focus. Second round pick Jalen Collins might be the long term option to join Trufant outside, although he’s disappointed throughout camp and preseason.

Both the Falcons and Eagles boast dominant offenses, but are equally trying to rebuild on defense. Both teams have playoff potential, but could just as easily be sat out in January once again.

Next: NFL Power Rankings: Week 1 Standings

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