Falcons vs. Eagles: 5 Matchups to Watch in Week 1

Philadelphia Eagles, Brandon Graham, Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan
(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2018 NFL season kicks off with a prime-time matchup between the Falcons and Super Bowl-defending champions, the Eagles. Here are five matchups you’ll want to watch on game day.

In a rematch of the 2018 NFC divisional game at the tail end of last season, the Atlanta Falcons visit the Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagles to kick off the league’s regular-season campaign.

Both teams have some pretty lofty expectations heading into this year. For Philly, head coach Doug Pederson’s squad wants to back up last year’s impressive championship run with another playoff push. Meanwhile, the Falcons hope they can retain prowess within one of football’s toughest divisions, the hotly contested NFC South.

“Inconsistent” might be the word to describe Atlanta’s offense last year. But with a full season’s worth of tutelage under offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, the Falcons look to be more consistent and potent in 2018.

Possibly returning to the kind of levels they saw under then-coordinator Kyle Shanahan back in 2016.

The Eagles have their own question marks too, namely at quarterback where Carson Wentz remains doubtful after tearing his ACL late last season. That means No. 1 QB Nick Foles, last season’s Super Bowl hero, who didn’t exactly look sharp in the preseason.

Atlanta will look to exploit that. But as is the case with any NFL game, the contest will come down to matchups and which team is able to master the most of them.

Here are five matchups that will ultimately determine the outcome of the game on Thursday night.