Rarely do we see as much intrigue to start an NFL season as we do tonight, when Atlanta (Pick Em) travels to Philadelphia to play the defending Super Bowl champions. Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, this game has plenty to spark us — intrigue at quarterback for Philly, and a potential Hall of Fame quarterback on the other side.
Super Bowl hero Nick Foles gets the start while Carson Wentz, who was ranked No. 1 in the NFL for QBR last season, is still rehabbing his knee. Foles, who was brilliant in the Super Bowl, has been less than stellar this preseason. But, the operative word here is preseason. Nick Foles always seems to take it up a notch when he is pressed into duty.
Atlanta, two years removed from one of the greatest collapses in Super Bowl history, is going to try to ride experienced QB Matt Ryan and an explosive offense. Ryan was fifth in the NFL last season in quarterback QBR at 67.1. Ryan readily admits last season was a hangover for Atlanta after blowing their big Super Bowl lead the year before against New England. But, he is expecting big things from the Falcons this season.
“We’ll be ready,” said Ryan.
Both teams finished in the top-10 in total team defense last year. Philly was ranked 4th overall defensively, while giving up 18.4 points per game. Atlanta was almost just as good, giving up just over 19 points per game.
What it really comes down to tonight is execution. These are two evenly matched teams with experience on both sides of the ball. I am going with Philly, simply because they are playing at home.
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles – Pick Em.