As we survey Sunday night’s big Atlanta Falcons tilt against the Philadelphia Eagles, one glaring matchup makes us wonder how this thing is going to go.
Dan Quinn mentioned it himself this week in an interview with 92.9 The Game, per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.
Quinn says on 92.9 the Game his biggest concern going up vs. Eagles is the big-shot plays from Carson Wentz to DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffrey. Jackson coming off 8 catches, 154 yards, 2 TDs (53, 51 yards) in Eagles’ season-opening, 32-27 win over Redskins after being down 17-0.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 11, 2019
Indeed, this is this week’s big question: How will Atlanta slow down Philly’s receivers?
In the offseason, the Eagles brought back home run hitter DeSean Jackson to pair with dangerous lead man Alshon Jeffery and slot ace Nelson Agholor. They also drafted JJ Arcega-Whiteside out of Stanford to compliment those guys, and have reliable depth receiver Mack Hollins waiting in the wings.
Complete that with ageless running back Darren Sproles’ ability to catch out of the backfield, and you’ve got trouble for the Falcons defending the pass this week.
It’ll be interesting to see who matches up with whom. We’d surmise that Desmond Trufant will shadow Jeffery for the night, which could pit new starter Isaiah Oliver against Jackson.
It’d be a huge test for Oliver to go against such tremendous speed and deep play ability, but on the flip side, it’d be a great moment for him to grow. You just hope he hangs in there to make a few plays and limit the big play potential Jackson has.
Safeties Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal will come in handy to help against the possibility of a Sproles sweep, and the team will need Neal’s punishing thump and range to follow him back as he gets his feet under him post-ACL tear.
Carson Wentz had a strong week last week, hinting that he’s ready to go and could be pass-happy against Atlanta. Don’t be surprised if Dan Quinn wants to sell out to stop the run in this one after seeing what Dalvin Cook did to the team last week and trust his secondary to hold down the fort in what could be a shootout.
Philly’s secondary isn’t as dangerous as it has been, so Atlanta might face the same conditions on offense.
But we key in on the Falcons’ ability to slow down guys like Jeffery, Jackson and Agholor and win the game by stunting the pass. It’s the biggest question we carry into Week 2, and we hope the team answers the call.