Atlanta, GA (CBS Philly)- Coming off a come-from-behind victory in their opening game against the Washington Redskins, the Philadelphia Eagles now hit the road for a Sunday Night Football battle with the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2.
The Falcons dropped their opener to the Minnesota Vikings, 28-12, in a game in which they, like the Eagles, got into an early hole. However, against a stingy Vikings defense, Atlanta’s offense was never really able to get in rhythm, and they came away with a loss. The matchup is an interesting one on paper and a rematch of the 2018 divisional round and the season opener last year, when the Eagles squeaked out 15-10 and 18-12 victories respectively.
The difference between that last matchup and this time around is at the quarterback spot for the Eagles, where Carson Wentz will be under center. Wentz looked good in the opener, completing 28 of his 39 pass attempts for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those came on 50-plus yard connections with new weapon DeSean Jackson, who also was not part of the matchup the last time these teams met.
To get some insight into the game this time around, we enlisted CBS 11 Dallas sports anchor Bill Jones, who says the home-field advantage and the Falcons’ desperation are going to be keys in this game.
“One thing that I look at on these second weeks of the season, the Eagles, they won last week, now going on the road. Atlanta lost last week and now comes back home. I give the team that lost the previous week, especially a team playing at home, a big advantage,” said Jones. “I think the Falcons are going to beat the Eagles. You fall behind 0-2 on the season, and that is a tough hole to dig out of.”
The 0-2 hole isn’t as fearsome as it once was; both the Seahawks and Texans made the playoffs last year after losing their first two games. But it’s still something the Falcons would obviously rather avoid. Jones believes that motivation will be enough to carry them over the Birds this week.
However, oddsmakers see it just a bit differently, with the Falcons currently listed as 1.5 point underdogs at home. That’s unusual, because normally a home team will get about a three-point cushion from oddsmakers as part of factoring in that home-field advantage. Here, Vegas seems to believe the Eagles are a good enough team to overcome that and be a road favorite, albeit a slight one.