The Eagles face basically another must win game tomorrow when they visit Atlanta to play the 6-5 Falcons, who also must win this game. The Eagles enter this game 1 back back of the Dallas Cowboys, and 1 game ahead of the New York Giants in the NFC East, who play each other this weekend. This will also be Michael Vick's first visit back to play against Atlanta since all of his drama.
Certain players will need to step up their games for both teams, as both teams are facing injuries to key players. For the Falcons, local boy Matt Ryan is out with a turf toe, and the Falcons will send out backup QB Chris Redman. All-pro running back Michael Turner is questionable. For the Eagles, obviously Brian Westbrook will be out, but the Birds will also be without playmaker DeSean Jackson. The Eagles' receivers will need to step up their game without Jackson in the lineup. Not only is Jackson the #1 wide receiver on the team, he has made a lot of big plays in just about every game. The Eagles only healthy wide receivers on the roster this game are Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, Reggie Brown, and the just called up from the practice squad rookie Jordan Norwood. Maclin and Avant will both need to have big games.
The Eagles offense will need to score points to win this game. The Falcons defense is not very good against either the run or the pass, and thus McNabb, and the young guys like Shady McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin will need to take advantage of a poor Falcons defense. On defense, the Eagles will try to confuse Chris Redman, and probably throw a confusing blitz package his way. With or without Michael Turner, the Falcons can run the ball effectively, so the Eagles will need to take their run game away. The Falcons will most likely be trying to run the ball a lot without Ryan.
This game will go a long way in the NFC for the playoff push for both teams, and with the Giants playing the Cowboys, the Eagles have a great opportunity to either catch up to the Cowboys in the standings, or move another game ahead of the Giants.