Matchup Analysis: Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Eagles 27, Falcons 25

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Philadelphia Eagles Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Eagles Offense32.0 (+7.8) (6)123 (+15) (12)313 (+49) (11)
Falcons Defense28.0 (+3.8) (21)172 (+64) (29)97 (-166) (1)

Atlanta Falcons Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Falcons Offense12.0 (-12.2) (28)73 (-35) (24)272 (+8) (15)
Eagles Defense27.0 (+2.8) (18)28 (-80) (2)370 (+106) (28)

Eagles Rushing offense

Good matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

Doug Pederson has long been a supporter of a "running back by committee" approach to the running game, and the start to 2019 has proven no different. The Philadelphia Eagles played three different running backs for at least 23 percent of offensive snaps in week one against the Washington Redskins. Jordan Howard carried the ball 6 times for 44 yards, Darren Sproles carried the ball 9 times for 47 yards, and Miles Sanders carried the ball 11 times for 25 yards in week one. The surprising number here is certainly Darren Sproles registering 9 carries in his return from an injury sustained in week 1 of the 2018 season. Overall, the efficiency of Philadelphia's rushing attack was impressive, in large part thanks to the team's strength at offensive line. Philadelphia's offense will continue to distribute carries broadly across multiple players throughout the season, depending on whose strengths best fit each individual scenario. One constant, however, will likely be a high level of efficiency on the ground thanks to more-optimized personnel groupings and a highly-effective run blocking.

The Minnesota Vikings ran the ball early, often, and efficiently against the Atlanta Falcons in week one. Vikings running backs ran the ball 32 times for 168 yards, and 2 scores in their 2019 opener against Atlanta. The Falcons offered little resistance to whichever running back lined up in Minnesota's backfield in week one, whether it be Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, or Ameer Abdullah. Atlanta's interior defensive linemen posted impressive numbers on the day. Grady Jarrett and Jack Crawford were two of the only Falcons defenders that consistently disrupted Minnesota's rushing attack, but unfortunately, their supporting cast was unable to match their production. On the edges, both Vic Beasley, Jr. and Takkarist McKinley were rendered ineffective by Minnesota's offensive tackles. Aside from Deion Jones, there was little support elsewhere in the defense. Previously-strong run-supporting safeties struggled greatly against the run in week one. A week two matchup with Philadelphia will certainly offer Atlanta some reprieve from the run-dominant offense they faced in week one. It is difficult to make a definite conclusion following such an extreme one-game sample. However, following a weak showing throughout 2018, there is reason to believe Atlanta's run defense may be a long-term issue once again in 2019.

Eagles Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Falcons defense.

The Philadelphia Eagles welcomed back a few much-needed pieces to its passing attack in the 2019 season opener. Carson Wentz returned from a back injury that kept him out the final games of the 2018 season, and an offseason trade brought speedster DeSean Jackson back to Philadelphia. Wentz and Jackson were undoubtedly the most impressive and impactful offensive players in Philadelphia's week one comeback against the Washington Redskins. Carson Wentz pushed the ball downfield and looked like his 2017-self that was vying for the NFL MVP before a knee injury cut his season short. DeSean Jackson provided a deep-threat far more dangerous than anything Wentz has seen to this point in his career, and the combination was lethal in week one. Jackson caught 8 of his team-leading 10 targets on the day, accumulating 154 receiving yards and 2 long touchdowns. Jackson's ability to stretch the field gave Washington fits all day and enabled Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz to work efficiently on intermediate routes. While their statistical output will likely regress with Jackson included in the offense, Jeffery and Ertz will continue to be useful targets for Wentz. Additionally, Philadelphia's offensive line did a tremendous job of protecting Carson Wentz throughout the game. Wentz was only hit three times in his 2019 debut, which means trouble for any opposing defense. The cohesion up front coupled with the plethora of weapons for Wentz to distribute the ball to in 2019 make Philadelphia's passing game one of the league's strongest.

Atlanta faced just 10 pass attempts in their week one loss to the Minnesota Vikings. This small sample size gave little insight into what is different on the back-end of the Falcons defense compared to 2018. Atlanta returns 3 of their starters in the secondary from last season, replacing just Robert Alford, who left for Arizona in the offseason. Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver will start at corner in 2019 for Atlanta, and both proved to be serviceable in coverage throughout last season. At safety, Atlanta boasts one of the league's best rotations of coverage safeties. Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal will start for the Falcons with Demontae Kazee available to rotate in as necessary. Allen and Kazee rank amongst the league's strongest safeties against the pass. Keanu Neal is returning from an injury that kept him out of all but one game in the 2018 season, and he will look to return to the form of his exceptional rookie year. Linebacker Deion Jones ranks amongst the league's best athletes at the position. Jones consistently posts some of the league's most-impressive numbers in coverage amongst linebackers. In the trenches, Grady Jarrett established himself as one of the NFL's best interior pass rushers in 2018. As one of the few bright spots in week one, Jarrett continued this upward trend in production against the Vikings. On the exterior, however, Atlanta has struggled to find consistent pass-rushers. Vic Beasley, Jr. and Takkarist McKinley both struggled to apply pressure regularly throughout 2018. As a whole, Atlanta sports a middling pass defense. There are talented coverage players in the secondary, as well as at linebacker. However, Atlanta's inability to apply pressure to the quarterback has held them back.

Falcons Rushing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Eagles defense.

Atlanta played from behind for almost the entire season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, which prevented Atlanta from attempting to run the football whatsoever. Throughout the game, Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith split snaps precisely down the middle with 50% going to each player. Freeman carried the ball 8 times for just 19 yards while Ito Smith carried the ball 6 times for 31 yards. Devonta Freeman saw the bulk of action early, while the game was still close, while Ito Smith entered the game later and saw the bulk of his work in the second half. The distribution of snaps in Atlanta's backfield is not causing for concern at this point because of the extreme circumstances of the Falcons' week one game. Atlanta's poor performance at offensive line, however, may be cause for concern. The Falcons struggled at both tackle positions, and while Jake Matthews' week one struggles are likely an anomaly, the struggles elsewhere may signal long-term issues for Atlanta. The right side of Atlanta's offensive line, specifically, is plagued with problems after just one game. Rookie right guard Chris Lindstrom broke his foot in week one and has since been placed on the injured reserve. Fellow rookie Kaleb McGary also started at right tackle for the Atlanta Falcons, and while healthy, McGary struggled mightily in all facets of the game during his NFL debut. As a whole, the Falcons running game will go as far as their offensive line will take them, and the outlook for Atlanta's offensive line is bleak, at best, in the immediate future.

Philadelphia's run defense held the Washington Redskins to just 2.2 yards-per-carry in 2019's season opener, the 3rd-best mark in the entire NFL. The Eagles as a whole turned in a stellar performance against the run in week one despite notably weak games from the likes of Fletcher Cox and Zach Brown, two players who are expected to anchor the team's run defense throughout 2019. Brown, a free agent acquisition, finished the 2018 season as one of the league's best linebackers in run support, but he failed to make an impact in his Eagles debut. In week one, the longest run allowed by Philadelphia was just seven yards, which serves to show how all three levels of the defense were involved in shutting down Washington's rushing attack, even when Washington jumped out to an early 17-0 lead in the game. It is important to note that Philadelphia lost offseason acquisition Malik Jackson for the season due to a Lisfranc (foot) injury he sustained in his first game as a member of the Eagles. Jackson was expected to be a significant contributor against the run as a running-mate with Fletcher Cox on the interior of the team's defensive line. In his absence, the team will turn back to Timmy Jernigan, who has also struggled to stay healthy while a member of the Eagles. Philadelphia's run defense was as impressive as there was in week one of the 2019 season, but Washington is not exactly a juggernaut at this point. Shutting down the Redskins' rushing attack is a positive signal that the Eagles' run defense will be stronger in 2019 than it was in 2018, but refrain from placing them amongst the league's best until this performance is replicated against better opposition.

Falcons Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Eagles defense.

The Atlanta Falcons struggled mightily in their season opener, as they went to Minnesota and lost 28-12 to the Vikings. Atlanta's passing game failed to mount any momentum throughout the game after they fell behind early and were forced to play catch-up throughout the game. Matt Ryan ultimately finished the game with 304 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions on 46 passing attempts. As expected, Ryan targeted Julio Jones 11 times, but only connected on 6 passes for a meager 31 yards on the day. Second-year receiver Calvin Ridley finished the day as Matt Ryan's second-favorite receiver, catching 4 of his 6 targets for 64 yards and a score. Tight end Austin Hooper stepped up in the season opener and surprisingly commanded 9 targets on the day, converting them into 9 receptions for 71 yards. On the offensive line, Atlanta struggled on the edges. Jake Matthews surprisingly allowed two sacks in the opener, which ties for the most he has ever allowed in a single game. Expect Jake Matthews to improve throughout the season, as he has a long track record as one of the league's best left tackles. Opposite Matthews, Atlanta elected to start Kaleb McGary at right tackle, which did not go well. McGary rotated in and out of the game with Ty Sambriallo in the opener. The duo allowed a combined six pressures on the quarterback, more than any other position on the offensive line. The weapons are there at Matt Ryan's disposal for Atlanta to succeed through the air in 2019, but without improvement in the trenches, Ryan will undoubtedly have his work cut out for him.

Defensively, Philadelphia struggled in week one to defend the pass. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz stuck to his zone-heavy tendencies, and Washington was able to find holes in the zone consistently throughout the first half. While the unit improved in the second half, allowing just seven points on a garbage-time touchdown, the secondary showed signs of weakness all day. Philadelphia had hoped that the return of Ronald Darby and Rodney McLeod, coupled with improvements from Sidney Jones would bolster the back-end of the defense. Unfortunately, in week one, there were not many bright spots to be found in the Eagles' secondary. Philadelphia's saving grace throughout the second-half was the defensive line's ability to apply pressure to Washington's Case Keenum. The typical suspects: Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, both registered six pressures on the day, and third-year edge-rusher Derek Barnett contributed four of his own. Newly-acquired defensive tackle Malik Jackson, however, went down with an injury late in the game and will be lost for the season. Jackson was expected to be a significant contributor in the trenches and will be replaced by Timmy Jernigan. Jernigan has been a serviceable run defender throughout his career, but applying pressure to opposing quarterbacks has never been his strong suit. The transition from Jackson to Jernigan on the interior will prove to be a significant downgrade to Philadelphia's pass-rush. The Eagles' key to success in defending the pass is to apply pressure to the opposing quarterback. If the defensive line struggles to disrupt the pocket, the back-end of this defense is too porous to contain top-tier passing attacks.

Falcons vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-7.2)11 (-7.3)12 (-5.1)11 (-6.6)
1Kirk Cousins53810981064115.315.314.314.3

Carson Wentz (FanDuel: $7700, DraftKings: $6400)

1vs WAS7528393133045028.
2PROJ-Dodds25352871.80.9390. (H=55)22.1 (H=66)
2PROJ-Tremblay25382791.91390.1222222.0 (H=54)22.0 (H=66)
2PROJ-Bloom22302401.913110.120.320.320.3 (H=47)20.3 (H=57)

Falcons vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+11.0)27 (+7.5)27 (+9.2)29 (+9.9)
1Dalvin Cook36211112229024.
1Alexander Mattison12949000004.

Miles Sanders (FanDuel: $5400, DraftKings: $4100)

1vs WAS361125021.0202.
2PROJ-Dodds10440.31.7120.189.78.9 (H=16)9.8 (H=25)
2PROJ-Tremblay10420.31.7130. (H=16)9.7 (H=24)
2PROJ-Bloom12490. (H=20)10.7 (H=29)

Darren Sproles (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3700)

1vs WAS23947033.01606.39.39.811.3
2PROJ-Dodds5270.12.1160. (H=11)7.7 (H=18)
2PROJ-Tremblay7310.21.7140.16.387.2 (H=13)8.1 (H=20)
2PROJ-Bloom6260.33.0170. (H=16)9.8 (H=28)

Jordan Howard (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $4300)

1vs WAS17644032.01105.
2PROJ-Dodds7290.21.1804.965.5 (H=6)6.0 (H=10)
2PROJ-Tremblay4180.11.81303.75.54.6 (H=5)5.5 (H=8)
2PROJ-Bloom8380.40.0006.26.26.2 (H=8)6.2 (H=10)

Falcons vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-11.6)3T (-19.0)6 (-15.1)3 (-20.7)
1Adam Thielen473343100010.313.311.813.3
1Stefon Diggs32223700003.

Alshon Jeffery (FanDuel: $6700, DraftKings: $6400)

1vs WAS6065.049112117.122.119.622.1
2PROJ-Dodds4.5550.41308.212.710.5 (H=17)12.7 (H=25)
2PROJ-Tremblay4.3560.41508.512.810.7 (H=18)12.8 (H=25)
2PROJ-Bloom5.0480.50007.812.810.3 (H=16)12.8 (H=25)

DeSean Jackson (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $5900)

1vs WAS52108.0154200027.435.431.438.4
2PROJ-Dodds3.9630.30008.11210.1 (H=16)12.0 (H=25)
2PROJ-Tremblay3.8600.40008.412.210.3 (H=17)12.2 (H=25)
2PROJ-Bloom4.0690.50009.913.911.9 (H=22)13.9 (H=32)

Nelson Agholor (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3700)

1vs WAS6052.01100001.
2PROJ-Dodds2.6320.20004.475.7 (H=8)7.0 (H=15)
2PROJ-Tremblay3.5420.20005.48.97.2 (H=12)8.9 (H=23)
2PROJ-Bloom2.0150.10002.14.13.1 (H=2)4.1 (H=6)

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3200)

1vs WAS500.000000000.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds0.680.10001.421.7 (H=1)2.0 (H=2)
2PROJ-Tremblay0.680.10001.421.7 (H=1)2.0 (H=2)
2PROJ-Bloom0.000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Falcons vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)1 (-7.4)1 (-12.4)1 (-9.9)1 (-12.7)
1Irv Smith2600000.

Zach Ertz (FanDuel: $6900, DraftKings: $6300)

1vs WAS6275.05405.410.47.910.4
2PROJ-Dodds5.7600.48.414.111.3 (H=19)14.1 (H=31)
2PROJ-Tremblay5.3520.47.612.910.3 (H=16)12.9 (H=26)
2PROJ-Bloom5.0550.47.912.910.4 (H=16)12.9 (H=26)

Dallas Goedert (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $2800)

1vs WAS4132.01601.
2PROJ-Dodds2.2250. (H=6)5.9 (H=15)
2PROJ-Tremblay2.2220. (H=5)5.6 (H=14)
2PROJ-Bloom2.0310. (H=7)6.3 (H=17)

Falcons vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8T (-2.8)8T (-2.8)8T (-3.5) (+0.0)
1Dan Bailey0044444.04.0

Jake Elliott (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1vs WAS1133666.06.0

Falcons vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+3.9)27 (+3.9)28T (+7.2)28T (+7.2)
1Minnesota Vikings1234542100101014.014.0

Philadelphia Eagles (FanDuel: $4100, DraftKings: $3300)

1vs WAS27.0039810000111.01.0
2PROJ-Dodds26.604192.60.80.600. (H=13)6.8 (H=16)
2PROJ-Tremblay24.753962.50.90.600.4888.0 (H=17)8.0 (H=22)

Eagles vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26T (+8.5)26T (+8.4)26 (+7.7)26 (+9.3)
1Case Keenum6730443803000031.

Matt Ryan (FanDuel: $7900, DraftKings: $6100)

1@ MIN78334630422224023.623.620.623.6
2PROJ-Dodds26382921.91260.122.422.422.4 (H=55)22.4 (H=71)
2PROJ-Tremblay25382991.80.9280.122.622.622.6 (H=56)22.6 (H=72)
2PROJ-Bloom24372601.8111019.319.319.3 (H=42)19.3 (H=55)

Eagles vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-7.1)13T (-2.6)12 (-4.9)12 (-3.2)
1Chris Thompson4331001076807.814.811.314.8
1Derrius Guice2410180332003.

Devonta Freeman (FanDuel: $6200, DraftKings: $5000)

1@ MIN39819043.01203.
2PROJ-Dodds14620.43.1220.111.414.513.0 (H=27)14.5 (H=41)
2PROJ-Tremblay16730.53.5290.113.817.315.6 (H=37)17.3 (H=55)
2PROJ-Bloom14550.43.0130.19.812.811.3 (H=21)12.8 (H=33)

Ito Smith (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $3600)

1@ MIN39631011.090454.55.0
2PROJ-Dodds7270.21.5100.15.576.3 (H=9)7.0 (H=16)
2PROJ-Tremblay290.10.9702.23.12.7 (H=2)3.1 (H=3)
2PROJ-Bloom8300.21.0704.95.95.4 (H=7)5.9 (H=12)

Eagles vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+8.0)21 (+9.6)22 (+9.0)21T (+10.9)
1Terry McLaurin6275125100018.523.521.026.5
1Trey Quinn65643310009.313.311.313.3

Julio Jones (FanDuel: $8300, DraftKings: $7300)

1@ MIN53116.03110009.
2PROJ-Dodds6.3930.400011.71814.9 (H=25)18.0 (H=40)
2PROJ-Tremblay5.9870.400011.11714.1 (H=23)17.0 (H=37)
2PROJ-Bloom6.0810.600011.717.714.7 (H=25)17.7 (H=39)

Calvin Ridley (FanDuel: $6500, DraftKings: $5000)

1@ MIN6164.064100012.416.414.416.4
2PROJ-Dodds3.8510.50008.111.910.0 (H=16)11.9 (H=29)
2PROJ-Tremblay3.2440.40006.8108.4 (H=12)10.0 (H=21)
2PROJ-Bloom4.0650.600010.114.112.1 (H=23)14.1 (H=39)

Mohamed Sanu (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $4500)

1@ MIN6665.05700005.710.78.210.7
2PROJ-Dodds3.8440.30006.2108.1 (H=14)10.0 (H=23)
2PROJ-Tremblay3.2430.20005.58.77.1 (H=11)8.7 (H=18)
2PROJ-Bloom5.0520.30007129.5 (H=18)12.0 (H=32)

Justin Hardy (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3100)

1@ MIN2254.04100004.
2PROJ-Dodds1.5180.10002.43.93.2 (H=3)3.9 (H=6)
2PROJ-Tremblay2.5320.20004.46.95.7 (H=9)6.9 (H=18)
2PROJ-Bloom1.0800000.81.81.3 (H=0)1.8 (H=1)

Russell Gage (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

1@ MIN1321.01301-
2PROJ-Dodds0.890.11401.92.72.3 (H=1)2.7 (H=3)
2PROJ-Tremblay1.0130.11602.53.53.0 (H=2)3.5 (H=5)

Eagles vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+5.3)24 (+5.3)26 (+5.3)24 (+5.0)
1Vernon Davis557459111.915.913.915.9

Austin Hooper (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $3100)

1@ MIN6299.07707.716.712.216.7
2PROJ-Dodds4.2390. (H=12)9.9 (H=34)
2PROJ-Tremblay4.3400.35.810.18.0 (H=12)10.1 (H=35)
2PROJ-Bloom4.0340. (H=9)8.6 (H=26)

Luke Stocker (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

1@ MIN2210.000000.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds1.0600.61.61.1 (H=0)1.6 (H=1)
2PROJ-Tremblay0.4500.50.90.7 (H=0)0.9 (H=0)
2PROJ-Bloom0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Eagles vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21T (+2.2)21T (+2.2)22T (+3.5) (+0.0)
1Dustin Hopkins22339911.011.0

Matt Bryant (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

1@ MIN0000000.00.0

Eagles vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4T (-5.1)4T (-5.1)4T (-6.8)4T (-6.8)
1Washington Redskins3243610000110.00.0

Atlanta Falcons (FanDuel: $3300, DraftKings: $2300)

1@ MIN28.0026910000110.00.0
2PROJ-Dodds28.104242.50.80.600. (H=13)5.9 (H=18)
2PROJ-Tremblay26.253842.510.600. (H=18)7.3 (H=27)