A potential preview of the NFC Championship game, Philadelphia faces a much bigger test this week against the Atlanta Falcons. The men and/or computers that figure the odds like the Eagles by 2.5 points in the all-avian bowl. The Eagles' speedy weapons like DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy relish the opportunity to play inside a dome for the second week in a row.
Pregame hype centers on the quarterbacks. Michael Vick returns to the Georgia Dome not as a backup this time, but as the unquestioned leader of the Eagles offense. Drafted in 2008, Matt Ryan has been tasked with moving the Falcons franchise beyond the shadow of Vick, and has so far done a fine job of that as the team flies back to winning skies. Ryan will be under the national microscope this week.
Quarterback narratives make for nice television, but the Falcons' greatest hope for beating the dream team is Michael Turner. Peter King picks the Falcons to win this week, bringing the quarterback story back to Michael Turner.
They can't have Mike Vick come into his old house and own it, and Matt Ryan has to prove he can take the pressure of a game like this. The nuts and bolts here may come down to whether Michael Turner can run enough to keep Vick's possessions down to nine or 10.
Seven out of eight experts and one of two computers at ESPN also pick the Falcons in this game. Ditto Andrew Sharp at SB Nation. Albert Breer and Pete Prisco both pick the Falcons as well. With so many picking the Falcons, they have to win, right?