It’s here. Regular season football is coming tonight at 7:20 p.m. central time on NBC. The defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will face off against the Atlanta Falcons in Philadelphia in a battle between two NFC heavyweights.
As far as overall rosters go, both the Falcons and Eagles are full of talent. Losing Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery for the beginning of the season is tough, but Nick Foles is surrounding by one of the best supporting casts on offense, with the best offensive line, a sensational play caller in Doug Pederson, and a fun set of skill players in Jay Ajayi, Zach Ertz, Corey Clement and Dallas Goedert. Outside of corner, the defense has zero holes.
For the Falcons, Matt Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in football, the backfield of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman is sensational, the receiving corps has plenty of depth, and the offensive line should improve this season. The problem is how far does this team go with Steve Sarkisian calling the plays, because he was a train wreck last year.
Fortunately, the defense could break out as a top five unit. There’s a lot of depth on this side of the ball, including defensive ends Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley, defensive tackles Grady Jarrett, Terrell McClain and Deadrin Senat, linebackers Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell, corners Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, Brian Poole and Isaiah Oliver and safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen.
The last time these two teams faced, it was a 15-10 nail biting victory for the Eagles in the Divisional Round. Both defenses played each other really well, and considering almost all of the talent from both sides is intact, this could be another defensive stronghold. However, the key difference lies in the quality of coaching on both offenses as well as if Foles sustains his magical postseason run. Pederson is on a different level from Sarkisian as a play caller, and frankly it’s not close.
Foles has had struggles in the preseason (though let’s be real, it’s the preseason), so there is some uncertainty going into the game, but with homefield advantage, I have the Eagles winning tonight. However, if Foles plays awful, the Falcons have this one. The Eagles still have the superior team and the superior coaching.