At first glance, when you look at the Philadelphia Eagles you notice one thing right off the bat: the starting cornerbacks. The
"Dream Team" (no, no I refuse to call them that) Eagles have Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie all slated to line up in a vaunted secondary this week.
What many people overlook, however, are Philly's linebackers: Casey Matthews, Moise Fokou and Jamar Chaney make up a mediocre LB corps at best, and a bad one at worst. So, if there are two Falcons you should keep an eye on this week, it should without a doubt be Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez, both of whom have favorable matchups in this week's clash against the Eagles.
WEEK TWO PROJECTIONS: (courtesy of numberFire.com)
Matt Ryan: 15.07 points (19.59 completions, 234.84 yards, 1.58 TDs, 0.8 INTs)
Michael Turner: 13.47 points (20.3 carries, 85.24 yards, 0.67 TDs)
Roddy White: 12.50 points (6.13 recs, 85.96 yards, 0.65 TDs)
Julio Jones: 8.60 points (4.92 recs, 50.61 yards, 0.26 TDs)
Tony Gonzalez: 5.50 points (5.23 catches, 41.56 yards, 0.22 TDs)
Matt Bryant: 9.07 points (1.72 FG, 3.24 XP)
Atlanta D/ST: 7.68 points (23.00 points allowed, 2.12 sacks, 2.12 turnovers forced)
This week's opponent doesn't get any easier, and the projections clearly show that. Though Ryan actually had a solid week one outing (minus the interception), his offensive line provided little pass protection. Given the inexperience of Philly's linebackers, expect a heavy dose of Michael Turner, who reached 100 yards on only 10 carries against the Bears last week.
Though a six-catch, 85 yard outing isn't out of the question for Roddy White, I would be hard pressed not to be a little concerned. He'd likely be paired up Nnamdi Asomugha, the game's premier cornerback not named Darrelle Revis. Now I would never say he'd be shut down, but I also wouldn't expect typical Roddy numbers.
On the other hand, Gonzalez should probably outperform his current projections. He actually led the team in receiving last week with 72 yards, and that came against guys like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. Gonzo isn't done yet, folks. However beyond Turner, Roddy and our beloved TE, I may shy away from Falcons this week.
I hope for the best, but so far this regime simply doesn't play the Eagles very well. Come on Mike Smith, time to out-coach Andy Reid for once!
For more on the Falcons, check out The Falcoholic.