TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 8: Atlanta Falcons At Philadelphia Eagles

Falcons
Eagles
Minnesota Vikings v Atlanta Falcons
Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Quarterback
Winner While it has been smooth sailing for the Falcons through their first six games, there’s no way that they will have nothing but clear seas the rest of the way. Quarterback Matt Ryan has been on top of his game all season. He has a quick release, an accurate arm and the quickness needed to escape the pass rush. However, he knows he has to prove it in the postseason to be thought of as one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Michael Vick has to figure out how to hold on to the football. He is having problems with fumbles and interceptions and that’s going to keep the Eagles from winning a lot of games and securing a playoff spot unless he turns it around quickly. Vick is still a high-level athlete, but he is having problems reading defenses and understanding where the pass-rush pressure is coming from.
Offense
Winner The Falcons present a lot of offensive options that make them a very difficult team to stop. Michael Turner runs with power and quickness. He can make key yardage on interior runs and also get to the outside. Roddy White is one of the most productive receivers in the league while Julio Jones is an intimidating deep threat. Tony Gonzalez may be ancient at tight end, but Ryan is not afraid to throw to him.
The Eagles have plenty of offensive weapons, but there have been question about how they have been used. Start with running back LeSean McCoy, who has the speed and explosiveness to cause problems for nearly every defense. DeSean Jackson has the speed to get deep and so does fellow receiver Jeremy Maclin. Tight end Brent Celek has strong hands and is quite dependable.
Defense
The Falcons have been known for their speed and quickness on defense for several years and this season is no different. John Abraham (team-leading 6.0 sacks) has the explosiveness to get around the corner and get to the quarterback. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is one of the most dependable tacklers in the league. Free safety Thomas DeCoud is opportunistic in the secondary and could be a thorn in Vick’s side.
Winner The Eagles are among the most talented defensive teams in the league but they have not really put it together yet. DeMeco Ryans is the Eagles’ leading tackler from the middle linebacker position. He has great range and does not let ball carriers slip out of his grasp. Safety Nate Allen has the ability to wreak havoc from the secondary.
Special Teams
Winner Head coach Mike Smith is more than happy to see Matt Bryant trot out onto the field. Bryant has made 13-of-14 field goal attempts, including 2-of-2 from beyond the 50 yard line. Return specialist Jacquizz Rodgers is an explosive return specialist who could cause issues for the Eagles.
The Eagles have not gotten much from their special teams to this point in the season. Andy Reid would like to see his returners flip the field for Philadelphia, something that has not happened this season. Placekicker Alex Henery has made 11-of-12 FG attempts this season.

The Winner Is

Minnesota Vikings v Atlanta Falcons
Winner Falcons
3 out of 4

This is a game that is huge for the Eagles on several fronts. They are coming off a bye week after blowing a game against the Detroit Lions. The undefeated Falcons – also coming off a bye – are much better than the Falcons. Vick is under maximum pressure because he has to show he can hold on to the football. He’s also going up against his old team, and if you don’t remember, it didn’t end well for him in Atlanta.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts after throwing a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Airdancer
    Tom Brady Vs. An Airdancer, Who Is Floppier?

    Tom Brady seemed to flop in a recent Pats-Jets game. How does he stand up to one of those inflatable things you see outside of car dealers?

  2. DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos drops back to throw on what would be his 509th career touchdown pass in the second quarter of a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actor Matthew McConaughey poses in the press room during the Oscars at Loews Hollywood Hotel on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
    Peyton Manning’s TD Record Or Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar More Expected?

    Peyton Manning broke the career TD record. Everyone knew it was coming. But was it as expected as Matthew McConaughey’s Oscar?

  3. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Texans have been pushing hard in recent weeks and nearly got the best of the Cowboys and the Colts, but they couldn’t get past either one.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,159 other followers