Philadelphia Eagles travel to Atlanta to face Falcons on Sunday night
Watch live on Sky Sports Action or Main Event from 1.10am on Monday; kick-off is at 1.20am
By James Simpson - @JS_Football
Last Updated: 16/09/19 12:20am
The Atlanta Falcons will hope to avoid an 0-2 start when they host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football, exclusively live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event. Here is what to expect...
Form guide and team news
The first quarter and a half of the Eagles' (1-0) season was a disaster. They gave up 48 and 69-yard touchdowns to the division rival Redskins, who managed to build a 17-0 lead in Philadelphia. Then, DeSean Jackson struck with the first of two deep bombs, and they turned it around.
Quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns, leading his team back back to a 32-27 win. The defense held Washington rushers to just 28 yards, but the Eagles suffered a big loss with defensive tackle Malik Jackson being placed on injured reserve.
- Vikings and Packers kick off Sunday's NFL
- 'Bad blood' in Saints-Rams rivalry
- The NFL's best young quarterbacks
Meanwhile, Atlanta (0-1) lost 28-12 in peculiar fashion to the Vikings, with Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins throwing just 10 passes. Dalvin Cook and company managed 172 yards as the Vikes ran away with it on the ground.
Matt Ryan was sacked four times, threw two interceptions, Devonta Freeman managed only 19 yards on eight carries, and Julio Jones was mostly shut down (6-31 and a late touchdown). Like the Eagles, they lost a starter for the year - guard Chris Lindstrom was placed on IR.
Ones to watch
In the battle of the birds, both teams feature high-flying, game-changing receivers.
Historically in this fixture, Julio Jones has played supremely well against the Eagles. The Falcon has 100+ receiving yards in five consecutive games against the Eagles, one away from the Super Bowl era record for most by any player against any opponent (six by Rod Smith vs KC).
And, Jones's 116.3 career receiving yards per game against Philadelphia is the most by any player against the Eagles in the Super Bowl era.
DeSean Jackson, who made his return this offseason to the team that drafted him in 2008, is a special deep threat. After his two 50-plus-touchdown performance last week, Jackson became the second player in NFL history with 30+ all-purpose TD of 50+ yards. He trails only Jerry Rice (36).
Wentz has been craving a deep threat like Jackson, and the 32-year-old looks every bit as fast as when he first came to Philly 11 years ago.
Where will the game be won and lost?
The last two times these teams have met, the game has gone down to the final play - with Ryan unable to connect with Jones on both occasions as the Eagles managed narrow 15-10 and 18-12 victories.
This time, however, we look set up for a shootout as both teams should be able to move the ball. What can Atlanta do to avoid being shutout until the fourth quarter like last week? Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Calvin Ridley and company should have a much better day against an Eagles secondary capable of giving up big plays.
Get NFL news on your phone
Want the latest NFL news, features and highlights on your phone? Find out more
- Wentz had 154 pass yards, two TDs, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeting Jackson in Week One (93.9 when targeting other players)
- Wentz was 12-13 for 197 pass yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INTs on third down in Week One
- Since 2015, Ryan has 6,381 pass yards when targeting Jones - 842 more yards than next-closest QB-WR duo
- The Eagles are 3-0 against Atlanta since Doug Pederson took over as head coach in 2016, including the playoffs
- The Eagles held the Falcons to their season-low point totals in both the 2016 and 2018 seasons (15 and 12 points, respectively)