Philadelphia Eagles Get Tough Test Against Falcons Following Bye Week
The Philadelphia Eagles have been a team in turmoil and in need of change following a sluggish 3-3 start to the season. They received it during the bye week with the firing of defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Now they will try and regroup and get their season back on track when they host the high-flying Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
The Eagles have been dealing with plenty of issues all season that includes way too many turnovers and a defense that has failed to stop opponents when the game is on the line. In addition to replacing Castillo, head coach Andy Reid is also considering taking over play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to help jump-start an offense that ranks 30th in the NFL with just 17.2 points a game.
Despite all the turmoil surrounding the Eagles, there is also plenty of reason for optimism. With one exception, the Eagles have been in every game they have played this season. They could easily be 4-2 or 5-1 if a play or two had gone differently.
Additionally, after the Falcons this week the Eagles schedule gets much easier. If they can clean up the turnovers and the new defensive coaches are able to make an impact the Eagles are still eligible to contend for a title.
The big question will be how quarterback Michael Vick finishes the season. There is already plenty of chatter calling for Reid to replace Vick with rookie Nick Foles, but that seems highly unlikely.
One tact Reid and the Eagles brain-trust can take is to unleash Vick from the pocket-oriented style Reid prefers. The thinking goes Vick is already taking plenty of hits and coughing up the ball in the pocket, so you might as well let him use his best asset which is his speed.
The Falcons had a bye of their own last week following their perfect 6-0 start to the season. They should prove a legitimate standard to test what the Eagles were able to accomplish during their off week. Stay tuned to see what the Week 8 NFL odds have to say about this one.