Not much has changed in regards to the Falcons' projected success against their week two opponents, as the Phildelphia Eagles remain anywhere from 1- to 3-point favorites in this Sunday night matchup. With the loss of Jonathan Babineaux, now coupled with Todd McClure also officially being ruled out of this week's game, the Falcons will walk into the Georgia Dome on Sunday night a little wounded, both in pride and player.
For the Falcons, there's no way to sugar-coat this: last week's performance against the Chicago Bears was U-G-L-Y. In terms of what everyone, including the players and coaches, expects of this team, another stinker like that simply won't fly given how talented of a team the Falcons possess. Another loss would, in the eyes of the national media, be a serious blow to their legitimacy as Super Bowl contenders.
However, should the Falcons come away with victory this Atlanta team has everything to gain. A win would put both losses to Green Bay and Chicago behind them, hopefully providing some closure to a disappointing playoff run in 2010. By winning, the Falcons would also prove that this team can finally beat the Eagles. Mike Smith has yet to outsmart Andy Reid as a head coach.
And finally, lest we forget, Michael Vick will be returning to Atlanta just as he left: a starter, a Pro Bowl player, a $100 million quarterback. Never has a city had so much love for their player as Atlanta had for No. 7, and never has a player (whose head was clearly not in the right place) cared so little about his fan base. It should be interesting to see his reception in the Georgia Dome, to say the least.
As for this matchup, the Falcons are 20-2 at home under Mike Smith and Matt Ryan. Both are highly talented, championship-caliber teams that look to provide must-see TV in what will be a close week two matchup.