2018 NFL Week 1 Preview: the Philadelphia Eagles start their title defense against the Atlanta Falcons
Source: 94wip.radio.com

2018 NFL Week 1 Preview: the Philadelphia Eagles start their title defense against the Atlanta Falcons

The Eagles and the Falcons are both out to start their seasons with a win.

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Kudzi Musarurwa

The Philadelphia Eagles begin their 2018 regular season with an opener against the Atlanta Falcons. The Eagles, who are the current Super Bowl champions, will be without starting quarterback Carson Wentz who is still recovering from his season ending injury.

The last time the two teams met, the Eagles knocked off the Falcons with a 15-10 win in the NFL Playoffs and the Falcons will be looking for some measure of revenge for that defeat.

Foles set for starring role once again

Nick Foles will look to lead the Eagles to victory tonight | Source: cbssports.com
Nick Foles will look to lead the Eagles to victory tonight | Source: cbssports.com

When Wentz went down late last season, Nick Foles took up the mantle and led the team to their first franchise Super Bowl championship since 1970. Foles gets the call to lead the team once again this season as Wentz is still not ready for action and he goes up against the team that he helped knock out of the playoffs on route to the Super Bowl.

Foles did not feature much for the Eagles this pre season but when he has, the results have not been pretty to watch. In his first pre season match against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Foles completed three of nine passes for 44 yards before being withdrawn and against the Cleveland Browns, Foles completed 13 of 17 passes for 127 yards but also threw two interceptions. Nick Foles has never been a great pre season performer and usually regains his rhythm in the regular season and that is what the Eagles management will be hoping is the case this season as well.

Atlanta look to use their new acquisitions well

The Atlanta Falcons struggled with red-zone offense last season which is why they did not make it to the Super Bowl for a second consecutive season. During the offseason, the Falcons looked to address those issues by drafting wide receiver Calvin Ridley and guard Brandon Fusco to add to the talent already on the roster in the likes of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman.

Calvin Ridley has progressed well in pre season | Source: atlantafalcons.com
Calvin Ridley has progressed well in pre season | Source: atlantafalcons.com

The three more senior players are known quantities and will be looked at to lead the Falcons to another playoff run this season. Both Ridley and Fusco have performed well when called upon and Ridley managed to get his first National Football League career touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in Atlanta's second pre season game. As both rookies continue to progress and learn not just how the Falcons play but how to adapt to the NFL, Atlanta hope that they will add to an already impressive offense.

Predictions

Atlanta have the firepower to cause the Eagles some trouble but the same can be said for Philadelphia as well. The first game of the 2018 NFL season will be decided on which defense adapts quickest to the competition of a regular season game fastest and shuts down two of the best offenses in the NFL right now. With how well the Eagles have added to their strong roster and also had returning veterans come back healthy again, the Eagles have just enough to pip the Falcons this Thursday night.

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