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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2010
*CLE at PIT *BAL at NE *SEA at CHI *IND at WAS
*NO at TB KC at HOU *OAK at SF *TEN at JAC
*MIA at GB *DET at NYG NYJ at DEN ARI, BUF
*Updated *SD at STL ATL at PHI *DAL at MIN CAR, CIN

Prediction: ATL 13, PHI 23

The Falcons are on a four game winning streak and have the lead in the AFC South. The Eagles are 3-2 and in a three-way tie for the NFC East. No arguing that the Falcons are on a roll but the Eagles are playing well even without Michael Vick. Oddly enough, the Eagles are 0-2 at home and 3-0 on the road.

The Eagles won 34-7 in Atlanta last year when both Matt Ryan and Michael Turner were out and Michael Vick had a chance to run up the score on his old team.

Atlanta Falcons (4-1)
Homefield: Georgia Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @PIT L 9-15 10 BAL --
2 ARI W 41-7 11 @STL --
3 @NO W 27-24 12 GB --
4 SF W 16-14 13 @TB --
5 @CLE W 20-10 14 @CAR --
6 @PHI -- 15 @SEA --
7 CIN -- 16 NO --
8 Bye - 17 CAR --
9 TB -- - - -
Falcons Report | Statistics | Roster
ATLANTA at PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Ryan - - 210,1
RB Michael Turner 80 - -
RB Jason Snelling 20 10 -
TE Tony Gonzalez - 40 -
WR Michael Jenkins - 30 -
WR Roddy White - 80,1 -
WR Harry Douglas - 40 -
PK Matt Bryant 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Falcons are cruising now with a four game winning streak and only a close loss in Pittsburgh in the opener to prevent an unbeaten record. The offense is hitting on all cylinders and getting back injured players. The defense has only once allowed more than 15 points to an opponent. But a four game winning streak means the Falcons are way overdue for a loss in a season of so much inconsistency.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Ryan is the perfect backup fantasy quarterback and he can serve as a starter but his consistency remains below where you want your quarterback to be. Each week he will throw for at least one score and rarely much more. He will throw for around 220 yards or so each week on average. He is exactly that - average. Almost never has a bad game or a really good one either.

Matt Ryan was out in week 13 last year when these teams met and Chris Redman passed for 235 yards and one score.

The Eagles secondary has been outstanding before and yet has allowed two opponents to throw for over 300 yards and multiple scores. But playing in Philly is always a better defensive showing so expect just Ryan's standard game.

RUNNING BACKS: Of course it makes no sense, but Michael Turner has only ran for more than 100 yards twice this year and both were in road games. But Turner was also injured before and is now playing healthy. He has only scored one touchdown so far but that came in New Orleans. Jason Snelling has returned to only around six carries per game and has no fantasy value until Turner is hurt.

Snelling and Jerious Norwood combined for 21 carries for 53 yards against the Eagles last year. The Eagles at home this year have been giving up scores to running backs but no runner has gained more than 88 yards on them. Expect a lower game from Turner this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Roddy White continues to have either a score or 100 yards (or both) in every game this season. He reeled off five catches for 101 yards and one score in Cleveland and has never turned in less than 69 yards in any game. He is one of the most consistent receivers in the league. Michael Jenkins is expected back after missing the first five weeks of the season with a shoulder injury. That will impact the already low numbers of Harry Douglas but it could help the rushing game since Jenkins is a good blocker. There is never any reason to consider any Falcons wideout besides White.

White caught nine passed for 104 yards and one score against the Eagles last year.

The Eagles have been very good against wide receivers overall but usually the #1 guy from the opponent has a decent game if not scores. White continues to be a workhorse wideout and there is no reason to stop this week.

TIGHT ENDS: No one discusses it but Tony Gonzalez has clearly lost a step and lost his place on this team. He has only one game with more than 41 yards and just one score. He gets nearly as many targets as Roddy White but in most weeks not much happens. He's becoming a marginal fantasy starter.

Gonzalez snared eight passes for 72 yards versus the Eagles last season.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ATL 14 4 15 16 2 9
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 18 27 3 25 9 9
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) ATL 4 23 -12 9 7 0


Philadelphia Eagles (3-2))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 GB L 20-27 10 @WAS --
2 @DET W 35-32 11 NYG --
3 @JAC W 28-3 12 @CHI --
4 WAS L 12-17 13 HOU --
5 @SF W 27-24 14 @DAL --
6 ATL -- 15 @NYG --
7 @TEN -- 16 MIN --
8 Bye - 17 DAL --
9 IND -- - - -
Eagles Report | Statistics | Roster
PHILADELPHIA vs ATL Rush Catch Pass
QB Kevin Kolb - - 250,2
RB LeSean McCoy 80 40 -
TE Brent Celek - 40,1 -
WR DeSean Jackson - 40 -
WR Jason Avant - 30 -
WR Jeremy Maclin - 60,1 -
PK David Akers 3 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Eagles went to San Francisco without Michael Vick and still won the game. It appears likely that Vick will miss this week as well even though he faces his ex-team of the Falcons. But the win last week kept the Eagles in the thick of the division race and they only have this game and one in Tennessee before their bye week. Starting in week nine, they still have five of their remaining divisional games left to play so even a few more wins won't guarantee anything for now.

QUARTERBACK: Michael Vick was out last week and Kevin Kolb took the start with solid results. He passed for 253 yards and one score in San Francisco with no interceptions and even rushed for 17 yards. The early word from Philly is that Vick will likely miss this week as well so I will project for Kolb again.

Donovan McNabb passed for 238 yards and a score in Atlanta last year. Vick added a score via a pass and a run since it was his first meeting with his old team back in Atlanta.

The Falcons have been very good against the pass but haven't faced many teams that pass well. While all others were held to no more than one score and marginal yardage, Drew Brees passed for 365 yards and three scores on them two weeks ago. LeSean McCoy is running well but Kolb will want to have a good showing here in front of the hometown fans in what may be his final start. Look for a good game this week with a chance for big numbers if a shootout happens.

RUNNING BACKS: There was a concern that LeSean McCoy would not play last week because of his fractured rib but he only only played, he excelled. McCoy rushed for 92 yards and a score on 18 carries and added five receptions for 46 yards. He's running with all the speed and moves of before and at least is not showing any outward signs of pain. Mike Bell would have replaced him had McCoy been inactive but ended up with his usual weekly fare of three or four runs for less than ten total yards. McCoy has truly stepped up to fill the "Westbrook" role and is looking a lot like him.

The Falcons have been playing against the run very tough in recent weeks but opened the season with both Rashard Mendenhall (22-120, TD) and TIm Hightower (11-115, TD) gashing their defense. McCoy is at home and should manage at least decent numbers this week if not a big game. He's playing with pain and gaining lots of yards.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Kevin Kolb threw nine passes to Jeremy Maclin who caught six for 95 yards but DeSean Jackson only came up with 24 yards on two catches and he only had three passes thrown his way. That the start of a bad trend too because the previous week when Kolb took over from the injured Vick, Jackson only had three catches for 19 yards. The two weeks previous with Vick at the helm, Jackson had 130+ yards and a score. Not a good sign for Jackson.

Since Kolb re-involved the tight ends more, that makes Jackson a risky start though one with tremendous upside anyway. The Falcons have been about average against wideouts but only one has scored on them and most end up with 60 yards or less each week. It is still more speculation than educated guess, but Maclin should be a starter here with a chance for good numbers. Jackson is a hard one to bench but so far he has just not meshed with Kolb who is more comfortable going elsewhere.

TIGHT ENDS: Kolb has taken to using Brent Celek much more than Vick had. Celek had nine targets last week to tie for most with Jeremy Maclin and he caught three for 47 yards and one touchdown. He also just missed a second score. The Falcons have only faced two decent tight ends so far and both scored against them. Consider this a second straight week you can start Celek and it may be his last for the year if Vick returns next week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 2 10 7 19 22 10
Preventing Fantasy Points ATL 9 14 9 16 2 5
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) PHI 7 4 2 -3 -20 -5

WEEK 6
2010
CLE at PIT BAL at NE SEA at CHI IND at WAS
NO at TB KC at HOU OAK at SF TEN at JAC
MIA at GB DET at NYG NYJ at DEN ARI, BUF
  SD at STL ATL at PHI DAL at MIN CAR, CIN
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