The NFL Season is finally back as Week 1 is finally upon us. Week 1 the Falcons will be defending Mercedes Benz Stadium against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Falcons and Eagles are both debuting brand new coaching staffs and plenty of new additions for each roster. So let’s take a look at the key matchups to keep an eye on this Sunday:
Falcons DLine vs Eagles OLine
The Falcons are bringing in new defensive coordinator Dean Pees to help bring a new life to the defense. And he will have a real test week 1 against the Eagles. The Eagles have some good talent on the offensive line when they’re healthy in Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, and Landon Dickerson. When looking at the Falcons defensive line the real star is obviously Grady Jarrett but he won’t be able to do it himself. It will be up to Dean Pees and the rest of the defensive line to disrupt the Eagles offense. The game will come down to the trenches and the Falcons DLine will need to step up in order to win the game.
Jalen Mayfield vs Fletcher Cox
Falcons 3rd round pick Jalen Mayfield is getting his first start at Left Guard this week against the Eagles. Mayfield was drafted out of Michigan where he played his career at Right Tackle, but he has been getting reps in the preseason at Left Guard. But this is the start of the gauntlet for the young guard against Fletcher Cox, the Eagles elite DT. Cox has been one of the top interior defensive lineman in the NFL for years now, and Mayfield will be getting a real test against him. Once again, the Falcons victory will come down to the trenches and Mayfield will be a key piece of the Falcons offensive line.
Calvin Ridley vs Darius Slay
Calvin Ridley is stepping into the WR1 role for the Falcons this season after the departure of Julio Jones. Ridley is an elite route runner who can make corners look absolutely silly. Which will be very entertaining to watch against Darius Slay. Slay was one of the top corners for a few years while in Detroit, but his first season in Philadelphia was not as good as his time in Detroit. If Slay is back to the level we know he can play at, it’ll be interesting to see how he competes against a player of Ridley’s caliber.
Arthur Smith vs Nick Sirianni
Both the Falcons and the Eagles replaced Head Coaches who brought them mixed results in Dan Quinn and Doug Pederson and replaced with both Arthur Smith and Nick Sirianni, respectfully. Both Smith and Sirianni are offensive minded coaches who are getting the reigns of their own teams in Atlanta and Philadelphia. It’ll be interesting to see the game plans and strategies that these coaches and their staffs cook up to attack each other.
This Week 1 matchup will be an awesome way to see how close both teams are to competing for their own division and for playoff spots. What do you expect to see from both of these teams? How do you think the Falcons will fare against the Eagles? Did I miss any key matchups to be watching? Let me know!
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