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Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles


John J. Raspanti

The 4-1 Falcons invade Philadelphia in search of their fifth straight victory. It's hard to figure out how good the Falcons are at this point. Their overtime victory over the Saints was basically a gift when the New Orleans kicker missed the game winning field goal. The following week the winless San Francisco 49ers had the Falcons on the ropes. With less then two minutes to go, Niner cornerback intercepted a Matt Ryan pass and rumbled down the sidelines. Clements made one mistake though, he forget to secure the ball, which allowed Atlanta's trailing wide receiver Roddy White to strip Clements. The Falcons recovered on their own 7 yard line and proceeded to march down the field. With one second on the clock Falcon kicker Matt Bryant drained a 43 yard field goal.

The Falcons are a cohesive bunch who play good team defense and rarely beat themselves. Quarterback Ryan is having a good year, completing 61 percent of his passes with six touchdown passes. The Falcons main offensive player though is the powerful and bull-like Michael Turner who has rushed for 421 yards this season. When Ryan wants to throw he looks for Roddy White and Tony Gonzales. White has caught 37 passes for 463 yards and three touchdowns. Former all everything Gonzales is extremely adapt at finding an open spot, regardless of what defense he is facing. Defensively the Falcons lead the NFL in interceptions with 10 and have recovered 3 fumbles. They are also holding opposing QB's to a 72.5 rating.

Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton is playing superbly with 37 tackles and 2 sacks.

The 3-2 Eagles are hurting right now having been hit with the old injury bug. Starting Quarterback Michael Vick is still sidelined but is hoping to play. It's more likely that Kevin Kolb will start. Kolb completed 21 of 31 passes for 253 yards and a score in a 27-24 win at San Francisco. Running back LeSean McCoy is gaining five yards every time he touches the ball. Kolb has some receivers he likes. DeSean Jackson has grabbed 18 balls for 361 yards and a couple of scores. Jackson is dangerous averaging 20 yards a catch. Jeremy Maclin is not as explosive as Jackson but he still has the same number of catches to go along with four scores. The Eagles are ranked 15th in the league defensively, giving up 125 yards on the ground. The Falcons certainly know this and will probably come into to Philadelphia with a game plan of running Michael Tuner a lot.

We think the Falcons are the better team here. Their defense is among the best in the NFL when measured by yards per point and considering the Eagles current offensive problems we think that will be the difference here. We'll take the +3 and lay a little extra juice here. Falcons +3


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