Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel told reporters after the game that he's glad that he's not in Philadelphia anymore. What does he think are the biggest differences between the Falcons and the Eagles?
All season long, fans have been hearing that the Falcons were lucky, flawed and overrated. Vegas reinforced these stigmas by listing Atlanta as a 1.5-point underdog against Philadelphia this week. Mike Smith and the gang proved them wrong.
Weatherspoon has been an anchor at linebacker for Mike Smith's defense, and his loss would be a huge blow. He injured the ankle on a run by the EaglesLeSean McCoy, and remained down on the field for a significant period of time as the Atlanta training staff tended to him.
As he does on almost a weekly basis for Atlanta, Weatherspoon was having a big impact against the Eagles. He had six tackles prior to leaving the game in the fourth. For the season, he leads the team with 46 total tackles, and has also added three sacks through the first six games.
Leading 30-17 in the fourth, the Falcons are trying to improve to a perfect 7-0. But the potential win may come with a huge cost to the defense if Weatherspoon is seriously injured.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was 22-of-28 for 262 yards and three touchdowns through the third on Sunday, but that featured a relatively cool third quarter. He was 17-of-20 for 197 yards and three scores before halftime.
Atlanta's offense has had such little trouble moving the ball Sunday; it had not punted through three quarters. It had held the ball five times, and those five drives resulted in three touchdowns and two field goals.
The 390 yards Atlanta gained through the third quarter were more than double the Philadelphia offense's output. The Eagles had 171 total yards.
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, facing his former team, was 12-of-19 for 116 yards through three quarters Sunday.
Wide receiver Julio Jones reeled in a 63-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter from Matt Ryan, the Falcons' quarterback's third touchdown of the day, and Atlanta lead the Philadelphia Eagles 24-7 at halftime Sunday.
Ryan is 17-of-20 in the first half for 197 yards and three touchdowns.
Jones' big play looked as easy as a 63-yard touchdown pass could look. He seemingly ran straight past Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and reeled in the pass to give Atlanta a 21-7 lead.
Matt Bryant added a 43-yard field goal with two seconds left in the half to set the score at 24-7.
After a horrid first quarter in which the Eagles gained five total yards on four plays from scrimmage, the offense finally got going on the first drive of the quarter. It was a 13-play, 66-yard touchdown drive on which Eagles quarterback Michael Vick picked up two first downs, the first in the air and the second on a rush.
LeSean McCoy scored on the 13th play of the drive, a two-yard touchdown rush to the right on first and goal to make the score 14-7.
The Atlanta Falcons led the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-0, through the first quarter Sunday after a near-perfect performance from Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta defense.
The defense had it much easier. Because of two sustained drives that Ryan led, the Falcons' defense was only on the field for five plays. It allowed five yards and no first downs.
The Falcons took an early lead on their first drive of the game, a slow-burning drive that took 8:44 of clock and 16 plays. On the drive, Atlanta converted five third downs, including a 3rd-and-7 play from the Philadelphia 15-yard line on which Ryan hit wide receiver Drew Davis for a touchdown. Davis had caught his first career pass earlier in the drive.
Ryan was 6-of-7 on the drive for 62 yards.
After the initial touchdown drive, the Falcons' defense picked up where the offense had left off, forcing Philadelphia into a three-and-out on its first drive. The Eagles lost three yards on the drive.
On its second drive, Atlanta drew a pass interference call on Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie that netted the Falcons 22 yards. Five plays later, Ryan hit Jason Snelling for a three-yard touchdown with 32 seconds left in the quarter.
Douglas will be missed in the slot for the Falcons, while the depth on the offensive line has also taken a pretty tough blow for Sunday. The defensive line is a tad thin, but nothing that should be of great concern barring a flurry of injuries.
The biggest blow for the Eagles is the loss of Watkins, one of their two starting guards. The second-year pro will be replaced by Dennis Kelly.
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith held a press conference on Wednesday, offering information on the status of Corey Peters, the importance of the third down against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the team's energy coming off the bye.