The Atlanta Falcons are simply stunning on Offense, but on the other side of the ball, things aren’t quite as simple. The team have given up the 2nd highest amount of passing yards per game in the NFL and an average of over 28 points per game. Despite the Eagles desire to balance the Offense, this may be the game where they need to simply turn Carson Wentz loose..and here’s why.
When it comes to the run game, the Eagles simply aren’t rushing frequently enough or efficiently enough to scare anyone. Ranking 18th in the league when it comes to total rushing attempts, the birds have struggled to find their identity on the ground.
Atlanta’s Defense has improved in recent weeks, most notably hitting Winston seven times during their Thursday Night Football win over the Bucs. If Vic Beasley, (who has 26 tackles and 3 forced fumbles this season) has his way with a wounded Offensive line, then a spike in rushing the ball isn’t going to be much use here.
The Falcons will look to get pressure on Carson Wentz and anticipate plenty of short passes designed to tire out the Defense..if the Eagles can contrast that view with some play-action looks and a more pass-based Offense for just one more week, the advantage should be in the Eagles favor.
Falcons are licking their wounds Defensively:
Sure, the Falcons have been impressive as of late, but their Defense as noted has been less than stellar. Winston was able to pass for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Bucs loss to Atlanta and it’s a pattern that has been tessellated over the last few weeks. Aaron Rodgers was able to throw for 4 touchdowns, while the yardage from Rivers and Lynch were just as intimidating.
The bad news doesn’t end there for the Falcons, with Desmond Trufant sidelined, the Eagles will be licking their lips at a chance to make things happen deep down the field.
Bryce Treggs was able to stretch the field massively for the Eagles in his rookie debut last week..and with Zach Ertz finally producing in the way a franchise tight end should, the passing Offense has opened plenty of new doors for Carson Wentz to explore.
The Eagles receivers have been limited prior to last week. With such esteemed, versatile route runners on the team, short curls and slants just aren’t getting the job done. When the wideouts are allowed to run freely down the sidelines for Wentz to drop it in the bucket, that’s when we see just how dangerous they can become. The Eagles receivers aren’t traditionally playmakers who can make things happen on short routes after the catch..they need that space in order to make things happen, so why not take what the Defense is serving and let it rip?
That’s not to say that the Eagles should be calling hail-mary’s every other play, but the birds have a huge advantage when it comes to attacking the deep ball against a struggling secondary.
Realistically, the Eagles are going to have to be conservative for most of their remaining games. From play-calling to coaching decisions, the birds will be have their backs against the wall if they fall short of the mark here. Three more divisional matchups and games against the Seahawks, Packers, Bengals and Ravens leave the Eagles in a position where they simply have to dominate time of possession and come up big on Defense if they have a chance of winning, whereas the Falcons matchup offers them a rare lifeline to allow Carson Wentz to make mistakes.
The Falcons Defense is on a platter for Carson Wentz..and while running their traditional Offense will be effective, giving Wentz a rare opportunity to take deep shots and find his feet on longer passes after attempting so few in the early stages of the season will not only aid his development, but increase the Eagles chances of winning what’s poised to be a brutal shootout.
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports