This is it, the first week of the NFL season, and the first true test for new Falcons coach Dan Quinn and the new-look Atlanta roster. It's one hell of a test.
The Philadelphia Eagles are being considered an obvious playoff team and a potential Super Bowl contender, with an aggressive defense, intimidating offense, and crazy mad scientist of a head coach. We have no idea if those predictions will come true, but this is one of the tougher games on the docket for the Falcons. It speaks volumes about the improvements the Falcons have made that I consider this a very winnable game, even so.
That's because the Falcons are at home in the comfy confines of the Georgia Dome, the team is mostly healthy, and I think they match up well against the Eagles in a potential shootout. You have to worry about the state of the offensive line, of course, and what the Eagles' offense can do to a defense that may not be 100% ready for primetime. If they can keep this close, however, I like their chances.
If the Falcons do lose, don't let it derail your expectations for the season. The Eagles will be a genuine contender, we know this team is going to make gains in fits and starts, and they still have a relatively easy schedule. Look for genuine improvement, and hopefully a victory will follow from that.
Below, you'll find everything you need to watch Monday night's game.
Falcons-Eagles game info
Game time: Monday, September 14, 7:10 p.m. EST
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
TV Channel: ESPN
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Wes Durham and Dave Archer)
Listen Live: Caleb Rutherford and The DW!
Online Stream: If you can verify access to WatchESPN through your cable provider, you can stream ESPN's broadcast here.
Announcers: Mike Tirico, Jon "Guy" Gruden, Lisa Salters
Injury Report: Devin Hester and Brooks Reed are out, Jake Matthews and Devonta Freeman are probable. Kicks and punts will be handled by either Eric Weems or Justin Hardy, while Kroy Biermann and O'Brien Schofield will share Reed's snaps at linebacker.
Prediction: Falcons win 31-27
Opposition: Bleeding Green Nation
2015 Atlanta Falcons schedule