Posted on September 3, 2018, by Travis Pulver
Are you ready for some football? The 2018 NFL season is finally getting ready to start. No more OTA’s. No more training camp and, most of all, no more preseason. Starting with Thursday night’s season opener, Atlanta Falcons at the Philadelphia Eagles, every game means something. Every game can be the one and could be the one that gets you in or keeps you out of the postseason.
As much as the Eagles would love to start their title defense with a win, the Falcons would love to exact a little revenge.
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When they were in Philadelphia back in January for the playoffs, they were favored to win. But the Eagles defense was too much for Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense. Nick Foles didn’t do a ton, but what was more important was that he didn’t make mistakes. But that was then. This is a whole new season.
Both teams are largely the same, but they have changed. Will the changes be enough to make a difference either way?
The Eagles have sounded optimistic that Carson Wentz would be ready to go at the start of the season. However, with his injury happening so late in the year, the chance he could be ready was slim—and now we know he isn’t. The Eagles will be starting Nick Foles in Week One. But fans are left wondering whether Super Bowl MVP Foles will show up or the guy they saw during the preseason.
They know their defense is up to the challenge of slowing down a Matt Ryan-led offense. Can Foles do his part and get some points on the board?
The Falcons will enter the game hoping their young defense will be able to step it up a notch from last season and keep the Eagles offense in check. But it will not matter much if they can’t get their own offense going against a tough Eagles defense.
But Year Two under offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian should be much better. Rather than work at learning the offense during offseason workouts and training camp, they were able to work on fine-tuning it.
Not only should the offense operate smoother and more efficiently, it has added a new weapon—Calvin Ridley.
So—who’s going to win?
The Falcons defense was pretty good last season and is expected to be as good if not better this season. While last season’s unit was troublesome for Foles, this one could be too much for him. He’s been wildly inconsistent in the past which was why the Eagles let him go the first time.
With how he’s looked in the preseason, fans have to be worried that version of Foles is back—and he might be.
The Eagles defense will help keep the team in the game much like it did during last season’s playoff game. But in the end, look for the Falcons offense to be better than it was. Philadelphia will slow it down but not enough.
The Prediction: Falcons win by four.