Free NFL Picks Atlanta at Philadelphia 10-17-2010

October 14, 2010


Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday October 17th, 2010 1:00 PM EST

Line: Philadelphia -3


The Falcons are 4-1 and are becoming a popular pick to take hold of a wide open NFC. They take on a Philadelphia team that has gone 3-2. The odd thing is, Philadelphia hasn’t been able to put it together at home this year. Both teams are at the forefront of their division. Slipping up at this point of the season for either team could cost them their division title, as they both have teams nipping at their heals.

Keys to the Game:

  • The Eagles have quarterback issues. Unlike the Browns, 49ers, and Raiders, both quarterbacks on the Eagles have proven their worth. Andy Reid is in a win win situation. Think Joe Montana Steve Young. Maybe Vick and Kevin Kolb aren’t going to be first ballot hall of famers, but both give you a chance to win and both have the respect of their locker room. Vick came in for Kolb when Kolb went down and retained the spot upon Kolb’s return. Now it is Vick that is down with the injury. Kolb led the Eagles to a victory against the 49ers and the Eagles have not ruled out a possible Vick return. This could be all strategy. Think of the headache Vick gives defensive coordinators. Try your defensive backs to play off because Desean Jackson can beat you deep, your linebackers to keep an eye on Lesean McCoy while staying home because Vick can take off if anyone vacates, and your defensive line to apply pressure without forcing Vick outside the pocket and not getting sucked into the inevitable screen pass. Sounds complicated right? So what if you went through the entire defensive game plan for a week and then realized Kolb was starting at quarterback. There aren’t enough hours to draw up to separate game plans and perfect both of them. Vick and Kolb run completely different offenses with the same personnel. They have different strengths, so not knowing who you going to see on Sunday is trying for the opposition. Vick would love to see his old team, but even if he is going to sit out with no intention of forcing himself back in the lineup, it doesn’t hurt to make the Falcons guess a little bit.
  • Matt Ryan throws the ball to Roddy White. If that doesn’t work, he still throws the ball to Roddy White. White leads the league in targets. He gets the ball tossed his direction between eleven and twelve times a game. White has posted 100 yards in three games out of five this season already. White abuses corners at times. The Falcons throw at him so much he is bound to put up big numbers, even if he only catches it half the time they throw at him. Ryan makes it no secret who his go to guy is. Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs are going to get the ball thrown their way. Often. It is imperative the Eagles give them some help. White is going to come down with the ball. If the Eagles can control him and keep everything in front of them, they should be able to contain him.
  • Michael Turner has been consistently inconsistent. He puts up an average game, explodes for a big game, has a sub par performance, and then goes for 144 yards. Part of it is the caliber of defense he is going up against. Falcons fans shouldn’t be to concerned, but there is one alarming stat. Turner has only found the end zone once this season. For a running back who averaged a touchdown since he began his tenure in Atlanta to have one measly touchdown through five games, he has to be disappointed. Turner will surely find the end zone in the near future more frequently, but the Falcons are doing just fine without him. If he returns to form, they will be a force to be reckoned with. They seem to be targeting their receivers in the red zone. Matt Bryant has been busy this season, kicking at least two field goals in every single outing. Turner needs to get the ball rolling by turning some of those Bryant field goals into a Michael Turner touchdown.

Wrap Up:

The Falcons are going into Philly, but Philly hasn’t been a tough place to play. If Vick plays, their defense is in bigger trouble, as they don’t have the raw speed at linebacker to chase him from sideline to sideline. Regardless of what happens, Atlanta will be prepared. They win this one outright.

Free NFL Pick: Atlanta +3

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