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Atlanta Falcons Defense Vs. Philadelphia Eagles Offense Preview

(Sports Network) – Kolb (478 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) was a credit to the winning cause last week, throwing a nice touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek (15 receptions, 2 TD) following a long scramble, and also showing chemistry with wideout Jeremy Maclin (18 receptions, 4 TD) to the tune of six completions and 95 yards. The performance didn’t quell the criticism that Kolb is incapable of throwing the deep balls that No. 1 receiver DeSean Jackson (18 receptions, 2 TD) has made a living off of, however, as evidenced by Jackson’s stat line of two catches and 24 yards. An appearance by Vick (799 passing yards, 6 TD, 0 INT) in the lineup would be good news for Jackson, and probably good news for an o-line that will be replacing injured left tackle Jason Peters with the shaky King Dunlap on Sunday. The Eagles rank No. 1 in the NFL in yards per carry (5.3), and while some of that number can be attributed to the scrambling abilities of Vick, running back LeSean McCoy (365 rushing yards, 5 TD, 28 receptions) has been impressive carrying the football as well. Newly-acquired Birds running back Jerome Harrison (91 rushing yards with the Browns), who was traded in exchange for RB Mike Bell on Wednesday, will interestingly be facing the Falcons for a second straight week. Harrison carried six times for six yards versus Atlanta last week, while in a Cleveland uniform.

Whoever plays quarterback for Philadelphia on Sunday will have to avoid the major mistake against a Falcons defense that has intercepted an NFL-best 10 passes, including Biermann’s big pick last week and another one by linebacker Stephen Nicholas (22 tackles, 1 INT). Cornerbacks Dunta Robinson (22 tackles) and Brent Grimes (18 tackles, 1 INT) will likely have primary responsibility against Jackson and Maclin, respectively, with safeties William Moore (17 tackles, 2 INT) and Thomas DeCoud (24 tackles, 1 INT) helping out over the top. Moore had a fumble recovery against the Browns last week. The pass rush has been paced by Biermann (12 tackles, 1 sack) and veteran end John Abraham (12 tackles, 4 sacks), who terrorized Browns left tackle Joe Thomas for a pair of sacks last week. The Falcons are a healthy eighth in the league against the run as Week 6 begins, with young linebackers Curtis Lofton (36 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT) and Sean Weatherspoon (29 tackles, 1 sack) working well behind a front wall led by tackle Jonathan Babineaux (9 tackles, 2 sacks).

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.