Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Prediction: Falcons, 34-21
Atlanta opens up week 1 against a new look Eagles squad. Old faces like Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy are gone and new faces like Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray are in. The Eagles seemingly regressed last season after winning the NFC East in 2013, so Chip Kelly decided to make major changes. However, it has yet to be determined whether all of this change will pay off. Bradford is coming off multiple knee surgeries and has still yet to prove himself in the NFL despite his tremendous talent. Murray is coming off the best year of his career behind one of the best lines in the NFL, but is coming to a team with an offensive line that has a few more flaws in their game than the Cowboys. The Eagles line lost Pro Bowl guard, Evan Mathis, so Murray will not be finding as many holes as he did in Dallas.
It has been a long time since Bradford has played in a regular season NFL game. On Monday night in the Georgia Dome on the opening weekend of the regular season, Bradford will be facing a Falcons defense ready to get after it. They have already shown signs of improvements in the pre-season, and Quinn seems to have gotten through to the players. The defense will play with a lot of fire and be fast and physical with a rowdy crowd behind them. It will be enough to force Sam Bradford to make a couple mistakes early and put the Eagles in an early whole. The Falcons will hold on and win, 34-21.
New York Giants vs. Atlanta Falcons
Location: MetLife Stadium, Meadowlands
Prediction: Falcons 30-24
The Falcons and Giants faced off last season at the same location. The Falcons held the lead going into the 4th quarter, but Eli Manning and company took over in the 4th quarter and defeated the Falcons 30-20. Not a lot of fond memories have been made in MetLife stadium thus far, but the Falcons have a great shot to go on the road and get their first win in the new MetLife stadium.
Coming off a victory in week 1 versus the Eagles, the Falcons will be looking to go 2-0 in their first road game of the season. The Giants are a tough team to beat at home, but a depleted Falcons team last season gave the Giants a run for their money. A much improved Falcons squad should be able to snag their first road victory of the season in the Meadowlands, 30-24.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons
Location: AT&T Stadium, Dallas
Prediction: Cowboys, 37-24
The Cowboys are coming off one of their best seasons in recent memory. Tony Romo finally won a playoff game, although it did happen in very controversial style against the Detroit Lions. However, the Cowboys then turned around and lost in controversial fashion to the Green Bay Packers. The catch that was not stopped the Cowboys dream ride just short of the NFC Championship.
The Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray this offseason, who was perhaps the best running back in the NFL last season. Although, most people would say it was the line that was the cog to the Cowboys running game. The line is still intact, and the Falcons will have a tough time stopping the Cowboys running game.
This will likely be the Falcons first game in which their defense gets exposed. In the first two games, the defense will create problems for the lesser quarterbacks, but Romo and company will be able to move the ball on the improved Falcons defense. Expect the Cowboys to be the first team to beat the Falcons this season, 37-24.
Atlanta Falcons Vs. Houston Texans
Loacation: Georgia Dome, Atlanta
Prediction: Falcons, 23-17
The Falcons return home to face J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans. The Texans are currently still figuring out who will be the starting quarterback for them on opening day, but by Week 4 either Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallet should have full control of the position. Hoyer looks like he might get the nod due to his experience and relationship with head coach Bill O’Brien. The Falcons faced off with Hoyer when he was a member of the Browns last season. Hoyer struggled, but got the last laugh by leading a game winning field goal drive right down the Falcons throats.
The Texans have a stout defense, but the Falcons at home should find a way to put some points on the board. Meanwhile, the Falcons’ defense should be able to stop what will be a weak Texans offense this season. With weak quarterback play, the Texans will look to rely on their running game. However, star running back Arian Foster will not be on the field against the Falcons due to a groin injury. His replacement Alfred Blue is no slouch, but will not be enough to carry the Texans past Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. Falcons, 23-17.