3 reasons why the Philadelphia Eagles will lose to the Atlanta Falcons Thursday night The Atlanta Falcons are squaring off against the Philadelphia Eagles tomorrow Youth Alex Mack Jersey
, and there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about that matchup. There are, for the optimistic, also plenty of reasons to feel confident.To help us feel even better, Brandon Gowton from Bleeding Green Nation stopped by to give us three reasons why the Eagles are going to lose this game from his Philly-centric perspective. All are good reasons, and we’re sure he’s absolutely correct. #1: Super Bowl HangoverThe Eagles will be dealing with a Super Bowl hangover. But not so much mentally as physically. Philadelphia’s roster is far from being 100% healthy heading into the 2018 season. Carson Wentz, who easily could’ve been the regular season MVP if he didn’t get hurt in mid-December, is obviously out for this game. Starting defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan is opening the season on the NFI list. 2017 special teams captain Chris Maragos is on the PUP list. Then there’s the fact that two of the Eagles’ top four wide receivers, Alshon Jeffery and Mack Hollins, will be out on Thursday night. That leaves Mike Wallace, Nelson Agholor, Shelton Gibson, DeAndre Carter, and Markus Wheaton as Nick Foles’ options at wideout. And then there are other guys who are healthy enough to play but might not be at 100%. Take Super Bowl hero Brandon Graham, for example, who had offseason ankle surgery and spent most of training camp on the PUP list. Old veterans such as Jason Peters and Darren Sproles are coming off ACL tears that took place in 2017. A number of players, such as Agholor and Corey Clement, will be ready for Thursday after missing significant time in training camp. As a result, this Eagles offense might lack cohesion out of the gate. #2: The Nick Foles factorI mentioned in our Q&A exchange that Foles is a very high variance quarterback. He’s obviously capable of achieving some great things: Super Bowl MVP, seven touchdown passes in one game, etc. But he’s also capable of looking downright awful at times. He stunk up the joint in preseason this year. Foles figures to be better with Peters instead of Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was an absolute sieve this summer Womens Ricardo Allen Jersey
, at left tackle. He’ll also benefit from Doug Pederson actually game-planning for an Eagles opponent unlike in preseason. But it’s still very possible he has some struggles. We saw him not look very good in the first half of the Eagles-Falcons game earlier this year. If Keanu Neal manages to pick off that terrible pass attempt instead of having the ball go off his knee, the Eagles probably don’t even win that game. If Bad Foles shows up on Thursday night, it could be tough sledding for the reigning Super Bowl champs. #3: The Eagles defense could be vulnerable in the slotRookie corner Sidney Jones has shown some nice potential as a nickel cornerback to this point, yes, but he also hasn’t had to go up against arguably the best receiver in the game in Julio Jones. If I’m the Falcons, I’m looking to test Philadelphia’s 2017 second-round pick early and often. This will be the first time Sidney, who turned 22 years old this offseason, is playing in an NFL game that actually matters. It remains to be seen how he’ll respond to the pressure while playing at a position that is relatively new to him. There could be some growing pains for the Washington alumnus. Something strange is happening with Manchester United. Something unexpected; something unsettling. Something that you might almost — impossibly, unthinkably— call competent.Martin Keown, on the television, called it United’s best ever result in Europe. Martin Keown, on the television, was being silly. Still, United’s 2-1 victory over Juventus was a cracking result, and it came attached to a performance that wasn’t perfect, that creaked and groaned in places, but that made quite a lot of sense.Beating Juventus in Turin is, however you manage, a decent achievement. Nobody else has managed it this season; only Lazio, Napoli, and Real Madrid managed it last. As a win it relied on a few excellent saves from David de Gea Youth Deion Jones Jersey
, some profligate finishing from Juventus, and some magnificent late Arsenal-ing from Wojciech Szcz臋sny. But United went 1-0 down to Juventus a few weeks ago, and meekly accepted their fate. Here they didn’t.Indeed, it’s becoming a habit: concede, then come back. It’s probably not as useful a habit as taking the lead, controlling a game, and winning, but it’s not a bad placeholder in the meantime. Since Jose Mourinho woke up on the morning of Oct. 6 to find the story of his imminent sacking all over the papers, United have played six games. They’ve conceded first in five of them, and haven’t kept a clean sheet in any. But they’ve only lost the one.A kind of attacking shape is starting to appear as well, predicated on a move away from the tired, goal-shy figure of Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian may be injured, or may just be taking a moment to gather his thoughts, but in his absence United’s attack has been a shifting thing. Alexis Sanchez started against Juve, with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard for company, which meant that United had nobody to fire low-percentage long balls and inaccurate crosses towards. In place of that, there was movement, pace, energy, a little bit of trickery. Even Sanchez looked a little revived, causing more problems for his opponents than his teammates. Meanwhile Youth Grady Jarrett Jersey
, Martial is starting to purr again. Admittedly, this didn’t lead to a grand weight of chances against Juventus’ brutal central defenders, and both goals came from set pieces. But it did mean that United looked a better kind in their toothless. A team with teeth coming, perhaps, not long gone. Teething problems, not gummy decrepitude. We’ve probably spent too much time talking about teeth. Let’s move on.Add to that a settled central defensive partnership — of all the defenders Mourinho despises, he despises Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof the least — the re-emergence of Ander Herrera in midfield, and a sudden happy knack for substitutions, and United are starting to come together into something. This thing may not be good enough to win the Champions League. It may not even be good enough to qualify for it next time around. But it’s already better than whatever that was that lost to West Ham.There’s a simple test for when United are in a good moment: If we take it as a given that Mourinho will always be acting up, come rain or shine, win or lose. And in Turin, as he ambled around the pitch with his hand to his ear, then laughed about it in the press conference afterwards, he looked like he was having fun again.This may not be particularly concerning to Europe’s settled big beasts. Manchester City, in particular, will be eyeing United’s still-rickety defense hungrily ahead of Sunday’s derby. But over the last month and a half, ever since rumors of Mourinho’s imminent dismissal came to a head, United have looked like a team getting better. Which is nice. Because before that they looked like 11 men with a headache, being shouted at by a man with a toothache. And that’s not a Super League that anybody’s signing up for.