The 2018 NFL season is set to kick-off on Thursday night with a matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons. The game will take place at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Eagles who are the defending Super Bowl Champions. Both the Eagles and Falcons are projected to be playoff teams this season.
This game is also a rematch of last season’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game. The Eagles defeated the Falcons by a score of 15-10 in that game en route to their Super Bowl championship. The Philadelphia Eagles are -1.5 in this game on Thursday.
Eagles Facing Injury Concerns
The Philadelphia Eagles will be short-handed on the offensive side of the ball for their game against the Falcons. Quarterback Carson Wentz and top wide receiver Alshon Jeffery are both expected to miss game 1. The Eagles will turn to Nick Foles at quarterback who led the team to the Super Bowl victory while also being named Super Bowl MVP. The Eagles offense will still be explosive despite the injuries.
The Eagles are expected to be a top defense again in 2018. The defense was able to slow down the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl, and return many of the same players from that team. The secondary of the Eagles will be tested in this game by the Falcons passing attack. Look for the Eagles to try to put a ton of pressure on Falcons quarterback, Matt Ryan.
Falcons Need More TD’s
The Atlanta Falcons have explosive playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, but they need to score more touchdowns in 2018. Star wide receiver Julio Jones was held to just three touchdowns last season despite recording over 1,400 receiving yards. The Falcons drafted wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the first round of the NFL Draft, and he is expected to make an immediate contribution in the passing attack.
The Falcons defense was great at putting pressure on the quarterback last season, and much of the same should be expected this season. The Falcons recorded 39 sacks last season with Adrian Clayborn leading the way with 9.5. Atlanta was also solid against the run last year giving up just over 100 rushing yards per game last season. The Eagles feature a solid group of running backs, but the Falcons should be equipped to stop them.
Falcons Stun the Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field will be rocking on Thursday night when the Eagles take the field. Philadelphia is expected to contend for another Super Bowl title in 2018, but they need to get their best players on the field. Foles proved last year that he is a very capable quarterback, but the Falcons will put a ton of pressure on him.
The Atlanta Falcons have playmakers all over the field and are capable of putting up a ton of points. Look for Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense to be in midseason form in this game, and throwing the ball all over the field. Atlanta will open the season by getting an upset win against the Eagles.Bet on the Atlanta Falcons +1.5 over the Eagles on Thursday.