Football season is right around the corner. We are only 46 days away from the Philadelphia Eagles’ home opener on Thursday, September 6! In order to help pass the time, we’ll be breaking down the Eagles’ opponents on a game-by-game basis with the help of writers from corresponding SB Nation NFL blogs.
The Eagles will have the honor of being the home team in the first regular season game of the 2018 schedule. This is due to the Eagles being the reigning Super Bowl champions. It’ll be fun to see the championship banner raised into the rafters of Lincoln Financial Field before the game.
It won’t be as fun for the team that lost to the Eagles during Philadelphia’s Super Bowl run: the Falcons. Atlanta will be looking for revenge after narrowly losing in the NFC Divisional Round.
The Falcons present a strong test for the Eagles right out of the gate. Atlanta has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball.
The Eagles could potentially be without some key players in this matchup. We already know that Nigel Bradham will be out due to a one-game suspension. Then there are a number of players still recovering from injury, such as Carson Wentz, Brandon Graham, Alshon Jeffery, Tim Jernigan, etc.
All eyes will be closely monitoring Wentz’s status this summer. All current indications point to him being able to play Week 1. We’ll see if he continues to progress in that direction or if it’ll be Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles starting under center.
No matter who is playing, the Linc will be rocking as the Eagles look to start their quest to repeat on a good note.
Here’s a more in-depth look at the Falcons from our SB Nation colleagues over at The Falcoholic.
Notable free agent additions: G Brandon Fusco, S Ron Parker, CB Justin Bethel, DT Terrell McClain
Over / under: 9 wins
Rookie I’m most excited about: For this year, it’s Isaiah Oliver. The rangy rookie cornerback has the length, coverage ability and willingness to attack the football that Dan Quinn and company love, and he’s joining a loaded secondary where he’ll have ample opportunities to make plays. Oliver could prove to be one of the better cornerbacks in this class, and he might be an immediate impact player given his skill and his likely role as the outside corner opposite Desmond Trufant in nickel sets.
Best position battle heading into camp: Fullback, because it’s wide open. Rookies Luke McNitt and Daniel Marx, as well as free agent addition Ricky Ortiz, are all relative unknowns with blocking talent, meaning this battle should be heated and we simply don’t have good guesses as to who the winner will be.
Biggest storyline heading into camp: How are the Falcons going to use rookie receiver Calvin Ridley? The surprise first round pick is a gifted, pro-ready player, but with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu established, no one’s sure just how much he’s going to play and what his role will look like.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into camp: Is everyone healthy? Devonta Freeman’s coming off a league injury and two concussions in the span of several months, Andy Levitre is returning from a triceps injury that cost him most of the last weeks of the season, and Takk McKinley is also working his way back. Injuries are the number one concern heading into this year for Atlanta, given their strength basically everywhere on the roster, and we’ll be watching to make sure everyone’s healthy.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Oh, I kind of answered this already. There’s no one who seems doubtful to be sidelined for the season opener at the moment, at the very least.
Do you think the Eagles will beat the Falcons?
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