The Falcons kicking game was revamped this week as Jason Elam and Brian Pittman were released veterans Matt Bryant and Joe Zelenka were signed to handle the kicking and snapping duties. Errors in the kicking game contributed to some losses, so look to Bryant and Zelenka to turn that around. Each having experience with several teams.
The Eagles offense is dynamic; ranking seventh in points per game averaging 26.6 and 11th in both total and passing yards per game,. But, the Eagles lead the league in field goals not touchdowns. The Eagles have attempted 28 field goals and made a league leading 24. At 7-4 Philadelphia has three close losses with an average margin of defeat at 5.3 points per game.
In their four losses the Eagles kicked 11 field goals and scored five touchdowns. If the Falcons defense can continue their dominance from the second half of last week against the Buccaneers and keep the Eagles kicking field goals, the Birds will have the chance to get their second-straight win at home.
With the confirmation earlier this week that Matt Ryan will not play, Chris Redman is making his first start of the 2009 regular season. With the return of Michael Vick to Atlanta there is no doubt attention will fall on the quarterbacks. Last week Redman filled in for the injured Ryan and didn't miss a step. Redman completed 23 of 41 pass attempts for 243 yards and two touchdowns. He put together a game winning drive in the fourth quarter. The veteran has shown the ability to get the job done, with another late fourth-quarter drive to win a preseason game. However, defense has been the killer for the Eagles. The group ranks third overall with 18 interceptions on the year and is led by Asante Samuel (seven interceptions).
Vick has seen limited action this season with nine passing attempts and 15 rushing attempts. Vick hasn't had a big role in an Eagles offense that ranks 7th points per game. McNabb, on the other hand, hasn't missed a beat since the Eagles bye in Week 4. He has thrown for 15 touchdowns, 2,189 yards and has a passer rating of 94.0. But the stats don't tell the entire story.
MORE FALCONS-EAGLES COVERAGE:
THE BEAT BLOG:Falcons news and updates from John Manasso * J. MIKE'S MISSIVES:Thoughts and commentary from the managing editor * MULTIMEDIA:Interview videos and highlights from AtlantaFalcons.com * QUOTABLE:Falcons players talk about Sunday's game with the Eagles * ASK A QUESTION:Safety Erik Coleman takes fan questions via Voices Heard * INJURY REPORT:Click here for Falcons and Eagles injury updates * WHAT TO WATCH:Some key things to watch for in Sunday's game * GAME INFO:Information for fans attending the game from AF.com * PREVIEW PACK:Stats, preview information and more from the Falcons (PDF) * EXPERT'S TAKE:Rick Stroud discusses the Falcons playoff chances