Falcons vs Eagles: Falcons are underdogs, but can they pull of an upset?


As the preparations are made for the season opener, it’s clear the Atlanta Falcons are underdogs in this highly competitive match. But the odd makers have given a line of merely three points in favor of the Philadelphia.

What this means is there are a few scenarios that may swing this matchup one way or the other. For the Falcons, there are a couple of ways they can clip the wings of the fast flying Eagles and come out with a victory in the Georgia Dome.

Everyone knows that Chip Kelly tried his best to give Philly an unstoppable offense this offseason. With a flurry of moves that brought in DeMarco Murray, Sam Bradford, and Ryan Mathews, he appears to have given new life to the City of Brotherly Love, but the Falcons have what they need to make this a much slower start than they anticipated.

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Most importantly, the Falcons are going to rely heavily on their defense to not necessarily stop the Philadelphia offense, but to limit the wounds. This can only be done by keeping everything in front of them and not being isolated in the open field against the wide receivers and running backs.

The defensive scheme, I expect, will steer far from man coverage as the playmakers for the Eagles could make a field day if they are covered by this young defense. The focus will be centered on the front seven to set the mark in closing the running lanes and applying pressure to Philadelphia. Expect to see a lot of blitzes up the middle from the linebackers, as they force an immobile Bradford to make quick decisions.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

On the offensive side of the ball, Julio Jones cannot be the only option. Roddy White and company must elevate their play to keep the fantastic linebacking corps out of Matt Ryan and Tevin Coleman’s face. Against this defense, the secondary players are going to have to provide other options.

When going against a struggling secondary, I am anticipating the often-overlooked offseason signing of Leonard Hankerson to prove himself and step into the limelight—he could even lead the team in receptions Monday night.

Don’t be surprised if he finds the end zone a couple of times because of the short and intermediate passing game that will become the Falcons’ bread and butter. If the offense can find those secondary options, there is a very good chance that the Eagles may have roosted in the wrong nest.

These two points only indicates that Vegas was right in saying this is going to be a battle for both teams, and should be entertaining. If the Falcons can focus on these two areas, there is little doubt these Falcons can pull the upset on their home turf.

Next: Ten things the Falcons have to do to beat the Eagles

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