Scouting Report: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. today - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Sports

Scouting Report: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. today - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Sports

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Scouting Report: Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. today

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Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2012 12:28 am

Records: Falcons 6-0; Eagles 3-3

Line: Eagles by 3 points. Over under: 43.

TV announcers: Dick Stockton, John Lynch, Jennifer Hale (FOX)

Radio: 97.3, 94.1 FM and 610 AM

Forecast: Rain. Highs around 60. Northeast winds 10-15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. Chance of rain 90 percent. (National Weather Service)

David Weinberg's pick: Eagles stay perfect after open weeks. Eagles 27, Falcons 24 (season record: 3-3)

Last time met: The Eagles blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter of a 35-31 loss to the Falcons at the Georgia Dome on Sept. 18, 2011. Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, making his first start against his former team, threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns before suffering a concussion in the third quarter. The Eagles led 31-21 before the Falcons scored two TDs in the final period.

Eagles' best-case scenario: The Eagles snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 14-0 in games after a regular-season open week under coach Andy Reid. Vick throws three TD passes and has no turnovers. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson beats cornerback Asante Samuel for two TDs. Running back LeSean McCoy rushes for more than 100 yards. Falcons cornerback Matt Ryan throws two interceptions and is sacked five times.

Eagles' worst-case scenario: The Falcons remain the league's only undefeated team by handing the Eagles their third straight loss. Vick throws two interceptions to Samuel, who returns both for TDs in the first half, and is benched for rookie Nick Foles at halftime. Ryan throws two TD passes to wide receiver Julio Jones and is not sacked. Falcons running back Michael Turner runs for more than 100 yards.

Keep an eye on: Samuel (No. 22). The former Eagle was traded to Atlanta last April in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick after complaining about his role and contract status with the Eagles last season. Samuel has one interception this season, which he returned 79 yards for a TD.

Notable numbers: Eagles lead series 17-12-1 and have won eight of the last 10 meetings. ... Eagles are 8-2 against the Falcons under Reid and are 5-0 at home in that span. ... Eagles are 13-0 in games after a regular-season open week under Reid. ... Falcons are 6-0 for the first time in franchise history. ... Falcons are tied for third in the NFL with 10 interceptions. ... Eagles tied for 31st with a minus-9 turnover ratio. ... Falcons are third with a plus-10.

Assessing the offenses

Eagles: Vick threw two interceptions against the Lions but also threw two TD passes and gave the team a lead in the fourth quarter. He leads the NFC with 13 turnovers and is second with eight interceptions. McCoy was a non-factor the last two games. Rookie Dennis Kelly is expected to start at right guard in place of injured Danny Watkins. King Dunlap is expected to replace Demetress Bell as the starting left tackle. Jackson leads the team with 29 receptions.

Falcons: Ryan leads a well-balanced offense. The Philadelphia native and Wildwood summer visitor is ranked among the top quarterbacks in the NFL. Tony Gonzalez leads NFL tight ends with 43 receptions. Wide receivers Roddy White and Jones have combined for 65 receptions and eight TDs.

EDGE TO FALCONS

Assessing the defenses

Eagles: They blew a pair of fourth-quarter leads, which led to defensive coordinator Juan Castillo's firing. Todd Bowles takes over. The Eagles may blitz more to help generate pressure on quarterbacks. The Eagles have just seven sacks this season. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks could be the extra pass rusher. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is coming off his best game. The Eagles' coverage and return units on special teams are still struggling.

Falcons: They have played well, but haven't faced many elite offenses. Only Chicago (21), New England (18) and the New York Giants (18) have more takeaways than the Falcons (17). Safety Thomas DeCoud is tied for the NFL lead with four interceptions. End John Abraham is tied for eighth with six sacks.

EDGE TO FALCONS

Assessing the coaches

Eagles: Reid has never lost after a regular-season open week.

Falcons: Mike Smith is tied with Dan Reeves for most wins (49) in franchise history.

EDGE TO EAGLES

Intangibles

Eagles: They desperately need a win to get back on track.

Falcons: They have lost five straight in Philly.

EDGE TO EAGLES

Other views

D. Orlando Ledbetter, Atlanta Journal Constitution:

"The Falcons are 6-0 for the first time in franchise history and the only team in the NFC with a perfect record. Their star players get their due, and various media power rankings have them near the top. Yet there might be nagging skepticism about the Falcons' staying power."

Key matchup

Jackson (10) vs. Samuel (22). DeSean Jackson and Samuel used to face off against each other quite often during training camp with mixed results. Jackson is having a solid season but has yet to really break loose. The weather may keep that from happening.

Contact David Weinberg:

609-272-7186

DWeinberg@pressofac.com

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