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TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 8: Atlanta Falcons At Philadelphia Eagles

Falcons
Eagles
Oakland Raiders v Atlanta Falcons
Philadelphia Eagles v Pittsburgh Steelers
Quarterback
Winner While it has been smooth sailing for the Falcons through their first six games, there’s no way that they will have nothing but clear seas the rest of the way. Quarterback Matt Ryan has been on top of his game all season. He has a quick release, an accurate arm and the quickness needed to escape the pass rush. However, he knows he has to prove it in the postseason to be thought of as one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Michael Vick has to figure out how to hold on to the football. He is having problems with fumbles and interceptions and that’s going to keep the Eagles from winning a lot of games and securing a playoff spot unless he turns it around quickly. Vick is still a high-level athlete, but he is having problems reading defenses and understanding where the pass-rush pressure is coming from.
Offense
Winner The Falcons present a lot of offensive options that make them a very difficult team to stop. Michael Turner runs with power and quickness. He can make key yardage on interior runs and also get to the outside. Roddy White is one of the most productive receivers in the league while Julio Jones is an intimidating deep threat. Tony Gonzalez may be ancient at tight end, but Ryan is not afraid to throw to him.
The Eagles have plenty of offensive weapons, but there have been question about how they have been used. Start with running back LeSean McCoy, who has the speed and explosiveness to cause problems for nearly every defense. DeSean Jackson has the speed to get deep and so does fellow receiver Jeremy Maclin. Tight end Brent Celek has strong hands and is quite dependable.
Defense
The Falcons have been known for their speed and quickness on defense for several years and this season is no different. John Abraham (team-leading 6.0 sacks) has the explosiveness to get around the corner and get to the quarterback. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is one of the most dependable tacklers in the league. Free safety Thomas DeCoud is opportunistic in the secondary and could be a thorn in Vick’s side.
Winner The Eagles are among the most talented defensive teams in the league but they have not really put it together yet. DeMeco Ryans is the Eagles’ leading tackler from the middle linebacker position. He has great range and does not let ball carriers slip out of his grasp. Safety Nate Allen has the ability to wreak havoc from the secondary.
Special Teams
Winner Head coach Mike Smith is more than happy to see Matt Bryant trot out onto the field. Bryant has made 13-of-14 field goal attempts, including 2-of-2 from beyond the 50 yard line. Return specialist Jacquizz Rodgers is an explosive return specialist who could cause issues for the Eagles.
The Eagles have not gotten much from their special teams to this point in the season. Andy Reid would like to see his returners flip the field for Philadelphia, something that has not happened this season. Placekicker Alex Henery has made 11-of-12 FG attempts this season.

The Winner Is

Oakland Raiders v Atlanta Falcons
Winner Falcons
3 out of 4

This is a game that is huge for the Eagles on several fronts. They are coming off a bye week after blowing a game against the Detroit Lions. The undefeated Falcons – also coming off a bye – are much better than the Falcons. Vick is under maximum pressure because he has to show he can hold on to the football. He’s also going up against his old team, and if you don’t remember, it didn’t end well for him in Atlanta.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons signals to his team during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints hands off to Mark Ingram #22 during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 18, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At New Orleans Saints

    The NFC South rivals meet in the Big Easy with Brees and company looking for their first win.

  2. CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19: Danny Trevathan #59 and Akiem Hicks #96 of the Chicago Bears
stop Ryan Mathews #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles
at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Eagels defeated the Bears 29-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with teammates center Travis Frederick #72 and offensive guard La\'el Collins #71 after scoring a third quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys rookies have looked good the first two weeks, now they get the winless and injury plagued Bears at home.

  3. PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Xavier Grimble #85 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown with Ben Roethlisberger #7 in the first quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles hands off the football to Ryan Mathews #24 in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Philadelphia Eagles

    The two Pennsylvania teams have gotten off to 2-0 starts. Who will win the battle for interstate bragging rights?

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