Will the Philadelphia Eagles be 2-0 or 1-1 after Sunday Night’s prime-time showdown with the Atlanta Falcons? When teams are evenly matched, we can look at some intangible factors that will impact the outcome of the game.
The Eagles and Falcons are two evenly-matched teams. Overall, I believe the Eagles have more talent but the Falcons have the edge in the team-cohesiveness department.
Here is a very quick breakdown of all the positions and who has the edge:
QB – Eagles
RB – Eagles
WR – Even
TE – Falcons
OL – Falcons
DL – Eagles
LB – Falcons
CB – Eagles
S – Falcons
ST – Eagles
Coaching – Eagles
When you look at the starting roster for each team, just based on talent alone it seems the Eagles have the edge. Don’t get me wrong, the Falcons have some good players as well.
QB Matt Ryan, WR Roddy White, RB Michael Turner, WR Julio Jones, TE Tony Gonzalez, OT Tyson Clabo, DE John Abraham, DE Ray Edwards, LB Sean Weatherspoon and CB Brent Grimes are all talented players.
Maybe I’m biased, but, the likes of QB Michael Vick, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Jeremy Maclin, RB LeSean McCoy, OT Jason Peters, DE Jason Babin, DE Trent Cole, DT Cullen Jenkins, CB Asante Samuel, CB Nnamdi Asomugha and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are all just a little bit better.
However, sometimes the more talented team doesn’t always win. Especially if the talent level is close to begin with.
The Eagles are still trying to build cohesiveness as a team after undergoing their offseason transformation. They were able to overcome some deficiencies against a lesser Rams team but the Falcons are much better.
If the Eagles were hitting on all cylinders, that aspect wouldn’t be a factor.
But when you combine that with the below intangibles, the Falcons have a very real edge in this game.
Factors that favor the Falcons:
– They’re playing in their home opener
– Coming off a 13-3 season and a first-round playoff exit, they have high expectations
– They desperately don’t want to start the season 0-2
– They’ve lost three straight games to the Eagles, they have something to prove
– They will want to beat Michael Vick
All of those factors will have the Falcons highly motivated and extremely fired up and ready for this game. I’m not sure talent alone will be enough for the Eagles to overcome them.
Hopefully I’m wrong. Hopefully I’m underestimating how quickly the Eagles’ offensive line will come together. Hopefully their defense will stuff Michael Turner enough to make him a non-factor.
But at this point, unfortunately I foresee the Falcons winning this game.