The Falcons have more than just a 7-0 record to improve to when they go on the road this week to Philadelphia. They're also searching for a win in The City of Brotherly Love for the first time in over a decade.
Sunday's Week 8 contest will be the 5th straight time the two teams have faced off in the regular season and the Falcons have the most recent taste of victory between the two NFC contenders. Last year the Falcons hosted the Eagles in Atlanta and Matt Ryan tied a career high with four touchdown passes as the Falcons edged out a 35-31 win in what was one of the most physical games played last season.
It's been a different story in Philadelphia. The last time the Falcons won there was 1988 and in 15 visits to Philly since 1966, the Falcons have been victorious only five times with one tie (1970).
With each win against an undefeated mark, the Falcons continue to set franchise records for the best start in their history. Improving to 7-0 would earn them more notoriety, but it's just a record and it's all part of the process on their road to a win in the playoffs and then some.
"It's a special feeling," Tony Gonzalez told NFL.com. "I've been there before. It doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things as far as our goals are concerned. But it's a great start and we've got to build off of it."
Coming off their bye last week, the Falcons are gaining health with the week off. In addition to the return of Michael Palmer, the Falcons face the possibility of welcoming back , who has missed the first six weeks of the season.
Under head coach Mike Smith, the Falcons are 3-1 after the bye with their one loss coming in 2008, ironically enough at the hands of the Eagles. To bring things full circle, the Falcons are once again facing the Eagles off the bye in Week 8, just as they did in '08. Furthermore, the Eagles are coming off their own bye week as well, just as they were in '08.
Under head coach Andy Reid, the Eagles have won their game after the bye week for 13 straight seasons, the longest win streak since the bye week was introduced in 1990. The Falcons enter Philly expecting to change a lot of the history that has been written against the Eagles. One of the biggest factors will be Atlanta's plus-10 turnover differential (3rd in the NFL) against the Eagles' minus-9 differential (tied for 30th), carried largely by their 17 turnovers this season, tied for the second-worst mark in the NFL.