Since the last outing, Kevin Kolb has improved, albeit against the San Francisco 49ers. He now has a 84 quarterback rating since his touchdown last week. Matt Ryan, however, struggled a bit with the Cleveland Browns as well. Ryan has an 86 rating, which is comparable. At this point, it can be debated which is the better quarterback, but the question really is which has the better offensive line. The Falcons don’t have such a porous offensive line as the Eagles. The edge, in my opinion, rests with the Matt Ryan as the better quarterback for this game, and the Falcons get the edge.
Michael Turner is back. Jason Snelling is no longer a big part of the running game for the Atlanta Falcons. Comparably, however, the myth of Michael Turner is dispelled. LeSean McCoy has actually been more productive than Michael Turner (taking into account the games out for Turner’s injury). McCoy is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and has already 5 touchdowns. Turner has only a single touchdown in the last 5 games, even though he’s eighth in rushing yardage. Michael Turner will have opportunities to tear up this Eagles defense early, but LeSean McCoy is the better running back overall. The edge goes to the McCoy and the Eagles.
Roddy White is the only wideout threat for the Falcons so far, averaging about 12.5 yards per catch and having scored 3 touchdowns. However, Michael Jenkins has been cleared to play for this game, despite missing the five games of the season and all of the pre-season as well. I believe Jenkins will remain a minimal threat in this game. Jeremy Maclin, as the second option for Kolb, has already 4 touchdowns and averaging 14 yards per carry. Meanwhile, the primary receiver of the Eagles, DeSean Jackson, is averaging an astounding 20 yards per reception and has 2 touchdowns. The edge most definitely goes to the Eagles.
Currently, Brent Celek has been the more productive tight end, as compared to Tony Gonzalez. Celek is averaging 11.7 yards per reception and 2 touchdowns. Tony Gonzalez meanwhile only is averaging about 10 yards per reception and has a single touchdown.
The Eagles defense is the opposite side of the coin of the Atlanta defense and vice versa. The Eagles pass defense ranks at a solid 8th, but the run defense ranks a sad 24th. Whereas, the Falcons defense is 19th against the pass, and a solid 8th against the run. This is a push.
Like the defenses, Mike Smith and Andy Reid are each the opposite side of the coin. Mike Smith has the run first mentality, whereas Andy Reid has the pass first mentality. This could be an interesting matchup. However, Coach Reid has the better team currently than Mike Smith. The edge goes to Reid and his Eagles.
The Edge goes to the Eagles — 28-21 Eagles.