Welcome, you dirtiest of birds, to this week’s edition of Bird Watch. In this weekly segment, we will provide you a list of people, places or things which we have our eyes on.
Whether it be due to poor performance, a bad feeling or the need for an individual to RISE UP, the members of this list had better tread lightly, because we will be watching.
It feels like a long time since Atlanta left Tampa Bay with a victory on Thursday night, but the Falcons are back at it on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
There are few teams in the NFL capable of keeping up with the Falcons high-flying offense, and the Eagles don’t fall into that category. Philadelphia is a fine city for things like cracked bells and cheesy-meat sandwiches, but it isn’t ready to contain Matt Ryan or Julio Jones.
As a reminder of just how horrible Philly fans can be, here is your obligatory THEY THREW SNOWBALLS AT SANTA! Clip.
This season has held several unique challenges for Atlanta, and this week is no different. It’s important to see if the Falcons can come out of their long break with the same precision and intensity that they’ve shown for most of the season.
With that said, let’s look at who we’ve got our eye on this week in Philadelphia.
The offensive line: Philadelphia is tied for fifth in the NFL with 23 sacks this season. After playing Denver, Seattle and Carolina, which all have more sacks than the Eagles, this doesn’t appear as daunting. We’ve all seen how much a difference a good offensive line can make, though. If Matt “I was put on this Earth to reverse the 1996 Olympics curse” Ryan is going to make plays, he’s got to have time in the pocket. Ryan Schraeder will once again have a brutal matchup against Brandon Graham, but maybe Eagles fans will inexplicable throw snowballs at the defensive end.
Jalen Collins and Robert Alford: Collins made his much-anticipated debut against Tampa Bay, and he actually did pretty well for himself. Philly doesn’t have a terrific passing attack, but Alford and Collins still need to play a clean game. Like most of Atlanta, I truly hope Dan Quinn put a nub-like device on both of Alford’s hands to prevent him from grabbing anyone and taught him how to intercept the ball with his facemask. These two need to prevent any explosive plays and make the Eagles’ offense earn everything on their drives.
Vic Beasley: After not recording a sack against Tampa Bay, Beasley is in danger of not taking the quarterback to the ground in back-to-back weeks for the first time since weeks 3 and 4. That simply is unacceptable in our “what have you done for me lately” society. Just because he’s nearly doubled his output from his entire rookie season, he thinks he can take it easy? No, sir! Vic better get a sack on Sunday, or we might as well cut him for someone who can rush the quarterback like Kroy Biermann.
White-guy names: Here is a list of the first names of Philadelphia’s main skill players, and you’ll notice a common theme.
Carson (West-Coast white guy name)
Ryan (American-Idol-host white guy name)
Zach/Brent (Non-flashy white guy names)
Nelson (Nerdy white guy name)
Darren (90’s white guy name)
What does any of this have to do with Sunday’s game? Probably nothing, but there’s at least a chance that it has to do with everything.
Avian advantage: I don’t know what “stooping” is, but after watching this video, it’s pretty clear that Matt and Julio are about to “stoop” their way to victory.
These Eagles ain’t ready for a Falcon aerial assault.
New Orleans Saints: We hate them and they hate us. It’s actually a good thing the Saints are trying to make something of this season, because it will be that much sweeter when their dreams are dashed in the Georgia Dome in Week 17.