Atlanta's CBs versus Philadelphia's WRs
With Desmond Trufant (shoulder) out, the Falcons will count on Jalen Collins to take on a lot of defensive snaps against the Eagles. The second-year pro fared well last week and, with a vote of confidence from head coach Dan Quinn, looks poised to take on an expanded role.
"He's somebody we have a lot of confidence in and his teammates have a lot of confidence in him as well," Quinn said about Collins. "Early on we didn't have him dress at times and he missed some ball games. We thought C.J. Goodwin was participating on special teams better, but as it played down in the game Collins had a really good ball game. No bigger play for us than the really physical fit play down by the goal line."
OLB Beasley versus RT Vaitai
Vic Beasley Jr. has been on a tear since Week 5. In that time, he's gained 6.5 sacks and established himself as one of the best young pass rushers in football. On Sunday he'll likely spend a lot of time lined up against Eagles tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who, in filling in for the suspended Lane Johnson, has struggled of late. The rookie out of TCU has allowed two sacks in four games, according to Pro Football Focus, in addition to three QB hits and 10 QB pressures.
"I'll tell you what, this kid — he knows how to rush the passer," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said about Beasley. "He's quick, he's aggressive off the ball, a quick-twitch guy. I like everything about him. A good player, a kid that's explosive. And, as a unit offensively, the offensive line, you kind of have to know where he lines up."
Atlanta's TEs versus LB Bradham
The Falcons tight end corps has been a big reason why Kyle Shanahan's offense is at the top of the league in many categories. Together, Jacob Tamme, Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo have recorded 43 catches for 578 yards and seven touchdowns — a regular-season pace that, if continued, would lead to 76 receptions, 1,027 yards and 12 scores.
One Eagle who will likely cover that position on Sunday is linebacker Nigel Bradham. The 6-foot-2, 241-pounder has been targeted 32 times this season and has allowed 26 receptions for 207 yards, per PFF.
"All four of them are good players and do about everything," Shanahan said about Tamme, Hooper, Toilolo and Joshua Perkins, who made his regular season debut last week. "And they're all subtly different in certain areas. One's just a little bit better at the passes than the others, one's a little bit better at the blocking than the others.
"There's not really one guy specifically who can only do this. So it makes them very versatile. It allows us to do a lot of different things — personnel groupings and move them around. We try to put guys in position to do what they're best at, but it's not real drastic with all those guys. They're all good with everything."