Mike Tanier of SportsOnEarth.com predicts a 24-20 Eagles victory:
The Eagles are 13-0 after the bye week under Andy Reid. There are fans throughout the Delaware Valley who are shivering under their beds, clutching their commemorative Brian Dawkins Wolverine posters from Week 4, repeating those very words like a mantra. Reid has never been a popular character among Philly fans, even during the Super Bowl runs (the phaithful prefer coaches who have tempers somewhere between an Africanized honey bee and Larry Bowa), but Reid’s decision to fire defensive coordinator/loyal company man Juan Castillo last week actually increased the head coach’s approval ratings. Also, the Aztecs loved a good human sacrifice.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com goes with the Eagles, 27-24:
The Eagles are losers of two in a row and now they get the Falcons followed by games at the Saints, home vs. the Cowboys and at the Redskins. One could make the argument that this week’s game against Michael Vick’s former team is the most important regular-season game in either the quarterback or the head coach’s NFL career. Philly needs to get back on track. I think they do. I know, I know — I’m in the minority — but I’m just not sold on Matt Ryan on the road in a big spot. He’s not in that Rodgers-Brees-Roethlisberger-Eli-Peyton-Brady class, yet. Win some games like this — and maybe one in January at some point — and Ryan could be in that conversation.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com likes Atlanta, 27-23:
Both teams are coming off a bye, and the Eagles are very good doing that under Andy Reid, going 13-0. The Eagles have a new defensive coordinator in Todd Bowles and his first game is a tough one against a really good offense. The Falcons haven’t played well at Philadelphia under Mike Smith, but that changes in this one. The Falcons stay undefeated.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com goes with the Eagles, 29-27:
Atlanta goes to 7-0 on a late Matt Bryant field goal. Scratch that. Andy Reid gives LeSean McCoy the rock 25 times and exploits one of the league’s worst run defenses. Atlanta is giving up 143.8 rush yards per game and 5.23 yards per carry — not good. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan will play a solid game, getting the Atlanta Falcons in position for the win versus the new-look, Todd Bowles rendition of the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense. But ultimately, Bryant misses at the buzzer … or the gun … the rooster? … whatever NFL games end with.
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk predicts a 24-23 Eagles win:
The Eagles know their backs are against the wall, and the Falcons have been scraping by with three straight close wins. This looks to me like the day when the Falcons’ luck runs out, and the last unbeaten team in the league gets beaten.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com thinks Michael Vick is playing pretty well. He predicts a 34-28 Eagles victory:
I’m probably in the minority on Michael Vick. I believe he’s been playing a lot better than he’s been credited for, and think the turnovers are fixable. He’s certainly moving the Eagles’ offense. Philly ranks seventh in the NFL in yards per game, a respectable 13th in passing, and tenth in rushing offense. Aside from Vick’s fumbles and interceptions, Philadelphia’s biggest problem has been an inability to get into the end zone. And I think the touchdowns will come. The Falcons’ defense is heavily dependent on the takeaway because opponents can gash them with the run and have passing success by attacking RCB Dunta Robinson.
Four of eight CBSSports.com experts think the Eagles will cover the 2.5-point spread.
All six wins by the Falcons are against teams currently .500 or less, which is no fault of their own obviously, simply a commentary on the fact they haven’t played a tough schedule. The Eagles, obviously, are the seventh, and a deceiving 3-3. I do believe Mike Vick, as he says, will play angry this week, not only because this is his old team but because he knows Andy Reid isn’t going to put up with his 2.2 turnovers per game, the highest quarterback average in the league.
Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.