Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
Sunday, October 17, 2010, 1:00 pm EST, TV: FOX
Opening Line: Eagles -3
Current Line: Eagles -2.5
Opening Total: 41.5
Current Total: 42.5
Money Line: Eagles -145 / Falcons +125
The Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) might not know who their starting quarterback will be until kickoff on Sunday, but they are confident either Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick will help them beat the Atlanta Falcons (4-1). The favored Eagles (-2.5) still have not ruled out Vick, who is recovering from a rib injury but would love nothing more than to play against his former team. The Eagles are currently favored by 2.5 points on the NFL betting lines.
Kolb is coming off a solid performance in a 27-24 victory at San Francisco last Sunday night, completing 21 of 31 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown. However, Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid has publicly stated that the starting job will go to Vick when he is healthy enough to return. Whether or not that will be this week remains to be seen, but the Eagles are dealing with more injuries than just Vick. Defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley (elbow), left tackle Jason Peters (knee), cornerback Asante Samuel (concussion), wide receiver Riley Cooper (concussion) and running back LeSean McCoy (rib) are among the other wounded players in Philly.
McCoy rushed 18 times for 92 yards and scored a touchdown against the 49ers despite playing with a broken rib and got some help in the offensive backfield with the acquisition of Jerome Harrison in a trade with Cleveland on Wednesday. Harrison has rushed for 91 yards this year and will take Mike Bell’s spot as the primary backup to McCoy after Bell was dealt for him.
Vick starred in last year’s meeting with Atlanta, throwing a touchdown pass and running for another in a 34-7 road win. But the Falcons are a much different team defensively this season, allowing just 14 points per game and leading the NFL with 10 interceptions. They have also surrendered only six points in the fourth quarter, which is the lowest in the league.
Offensively, Atlanta has done a great job running the ball with 148.8 rushing yards per game. Running back Michael Turner rushed for 140 yards on 19 carries in a 20-10 win at Cleveland last week, and he leads the team with 421 yards this season. Quarterback Matt Ryan will try to help the Falcons win five games in a row for the first time since 1998 and did not play against the Eagles last season. Ryan missed that meeting with a turf toe injury and was replaced by Chris Redman, who threw two interceptions, including one that was returned 83 yards for a touchdown.
Philadelphia has won seven of the last eight meetings with Atlanta, including the playoffs. The Eagles have won the last five games with the Falcons at home, going 4-1 against the spread. The UNDER is 6-0-1 in the last seven games between the teams.
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