Here are our score predictions for the Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles here in Week 1, which is doubly exciting because it is the very first game of the 2018 NFL season. Enjoy, and share your predictions with us!
Falcons 20, Eagles 17
After losing to the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship year and nearly losing to the Bears in a year they nearly made another NFC Championship, you learn not to either expect too much or take too much seriously with Dan Quinn’s Week One Falcons. They head up to Philly to take on the Nick Foles-led Super Bowl champ Eagles. The last time everyone just assumed Atlanta would be okay going up against Philly Nick, they lost the football game, and Foles went on to win Super Bowl MVP. So, sleep on him at your own peril. He’s not going to be nearly as effective Thursday, but those Eagles trenches will be. Atlanta will have to have a strong night blocking for Matt Ryan and paving a way for the ground game. If they can do that and limit Jay Ajayi, the Falcons can win this one. If they falter in stopping the Philly pass rush and run stuffing and can’t quite mount a run game, they’ll be at the mercy of Ryan’s arm to get out of Dodge. Again, the Quinn Falcons also take a week to warm up, traditionally. This could be a messy scrap. Expect a tight ballgame with no shortage of frustrations, and a close, low-scoring Atlanta win.
Falcons 28, Eagles 21
I have a ton of respect for the Eagles defense, but I get the feeling that the Falcons will come out with a lot of new wrinkles to the offense in an effort to put their best foot forward. I think Steve Sarkisian will improve a good bit with the help of Gregg Knapp, and the team should be much better in the trenches with Andy Levitre back and Brandon Fusco at RG. They will still struggle against this stout Eagles front, but I like the match-ups we have with their linebackers and corners. If Ryan gets just enough time, our weapons could really shine in this game. This game will be won (or loss) in the trenches, but I think a healthy, better offensive line will make just enough of a difference this time around.
Falcons 18, Eagles 13
Unlike popular opinion, I see this game being painfully low-scoring. Both of these teams have very solid defenses. A couple key notes I have down for this Thursday is that I believe the Eagles will attack Duke Riley’s lack of instinct early and often. They’re going to abuse the ability of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert to make plays against him. With their WR corps being hurt, I think a lot of pressure will be on Atlanta’s linebackers and Keanu Neal to eliminate those possibilities.
You can’t leave Jay Ajayi alone either, and it’s very possible that they could use him as a workhorse back this Thursday. Our defensive line will definitely have a test and this is, in no stretch of the imagination, going to be an easy win. Although hurt, this team is still extremely strong.
I think Deion Jones’ field general presence will be revealed when Pederson and company decide to throw in a couple trick plays, as shown in the Super Bowl. He should put up double digits in tackles. I think Julio Jones is mad. Who’s he going to take it out on? No better team than the Philadelphia Eagles. Julio is going to have a good game. Although I hope he goes for 150-plus yards, I expect him to put up around 90-100. Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman know the ins and outs of the Eagles box, and better yet, it’s not even at its healthiest, however it’s still extremely solid. The Eagles will deploy a solid front seven, which leads to my next prediction. I see Coleman and Freeman putting up around 100 yards… collectively. I hope I am wrong, however.
The Falcons will use a lot of rub concepts and play action passes against an overly aggressive Eagles secondary. Adding to that, Hooper and Saubert at that extra presence in the red zone which should make our game plan unpredictable, in that case at least. The battle between Doug Pederson and Dan Quinn should be a great way to kick off the season. A battle of the brainiacs. Bring it on, Philly! Go Falcons!
Falcons 24, Eagles 21
This can be viewed as a potential statement game on many levels. The outcome will of course be put through a prism of last year’s playoff loss, when the Falcons were well-positioned to advance to the NFC Championship and fell flat (and short) against the Eagles. Will a healthy and slightly revamped offensive line be able to withstand an onslaught of Philadelphia pass-rush? Can Steve Sarkisian dip into the well of creativity so the Eagles secondary doesn’t literally know what play he’s dialing up? Will the Falcons finally capitalize given the second opportunity to face the Eagles without their franchise quarterback?
These are the immediate questions that will give way to important answers after the opener concludes. This game will come down to the trenches, keeping Matt Ryan upright, and avoiding dumb penalties. If the Falcons succeed in those areas -- and considering the bevy of Philadelphia injuries and the sheer talent top-to-bottom on Atlanta’s roster -- I’m marking it down as a win.
Nervously positive prediction? Falcons build a solid enough lead in the first half and endure a maelstrom of pressure on Matt Ryan just long enough to hang on and seal it.
Falcons 34, Eagles 10
Don’t mind me, I’m just going to predict blowouts until I’m right.
Falcons 27, Eagles 24
I keep wavering on this game. What’s the more Falcons way to start off a year? To lose a completely winnable game against a team still reeling from injuries and offseason losses? Or to win a game they should have won in January? Either result would make sense, and the typical fluky week one we see in the NFL every year doesn’t help. In the end, I think the Falcons have the better roster and return more of their staff than Philadelphia. The Eagles haven’t gotten better since their narrow win, so Atlanta should finish up with a narrow win.
Falcons 23, Eagles 17
This will be a tough test for the Falcons, but one they should win. Overall, this is an ideal Week 1 matchup for Atlanta. It’s arguably the toughest game on the schedule, and few people expect the Falcons to pull off the win. If Atlanta steals this game in Philly, awesome. They’ll set themselves up well for the rest of the season and have a tiebreaker over one of the biggest contenders in the NFC. If the Falcons lose on Thursday night, they simply dropped one of their hardest games. It doesn’t really set the team back much. Expect the Eagles to lean on 2-TE packages with Alshon Jeffery and Mack Hollins out, to try to take advantage of the Falcons’ third LB (whether it’s Riley or Oluokun). Luckily, Atlanta is one of the few teams with two players that can match-up with good TEs: Keanu Neal and De’Vondre Campbell. It’s going to be close, but I think the Falcons come away with a victory.
Falcons 21, Eagles 24
Atlanta has a tough test this week but they also have a great opportunity to jump to the top of NFC with a statement win on Thursday. I think we will see an improved Falcons team and an offense that looks far more capable, however, I think the battle in the trenches may be too much for Atlanta to handle down the stretch. Atlanta’s offensive line will do well enough to win, but I am not too optimistic that the defensive line will do enough to impact Foles. Can they do it? Absolutely. I am just weary of putting too much stock in young players in key spots like Deadrin Senat and even Calvin Ridley. The Falcons will impress in the opener but I fear they will fall just a little short.
Falcons 20, Eagles 14
It’s never an easy matchup going on the road to compete against the defending Super Bowl champions and, if the Eagles were at 100%, I wouldn’t be predicting a win, but they’re not close to 100%. Philadelphia will make some plays in the trenches and that’s what will keep this game close, but with a depleted linebacker corps and with Nick Foles starting at QB, the Atlanta Falcons will squeak out a win with a defensive stand in the dying minutes. I predict that Tevin Coleman will have another big game and that an upgraded guard duo from the one we saw in January will make things more difficult for that stellar Philadelphia defensive line, which will still make plays.
Falcons 27, Eagles 3
This young Falcons defense isn’t getting the respect it deserves. When they proceed to wreck havoc on the league this season, I’ll sit back and laugh maniacally, because I can. Don’t be surprised if the offense has a few miscues tonight. It’ll be the first time they’ve played with Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman on the field in a while. That said, I think they come out swinging after a misstep or two and alleviate all the concerns centering around their preseason jitters.
Falcons 24, Eagles 21
I think this one will be close. I think it’ll prove to be less of a true defensive struggle than the Divisional Round, given a combination of the Eagles’ firepower and injuries and Steve Sarkisian’s likely improvement as a play caller. I think the Falcons can and will ultimately triumph, because I’m a huge believer in their talent, and I think Philadelphia’s spate of ailments gives Atlanta the edge here, even on the road. No result would surprise me, to be frank, but I’m hopeful and optimistic we’ll see the Falcons at 1-0 in just a few hours.