Here are the top stats to know about the Eagles’ roster turnover and a Falcons team hoping its new head coach can turn the defense around.
Big changes to Eagles roster
The Eagles traded LeSean McCoy, who is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso in early March. Alonso missed all of last season with a torn ACL, but in 2013, he became one of four players since 2001 with 150 tackles and four interceptions in a single season. The others are Luke Kuechly (2013), Donnie Edwards (2004) and Ray Lewis (2003).
DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews both signed with the Eagles to help replace McCoy. Murray led the NFL with 1,845 rush yards last season. Among players who started the following season with a different team, Murray’s 2014 rush yardage total ranks first all time. Clinton Portis ranks second with 1,591 yards in 2003. Portis played for the Denver Broncos that season before being traded to the Washington Redskins prior to the 2004 season.
The Eagles traded quarterback Nick Foles to the Rams for Sam Bradford, who has only played in seven games in the last two seasons after tearing his ACL twice. Despite such little time on the field, Bradford's salary cap hit of $12.99 million is still 16th among quarterbacks in 2015.
Jeremy Maclin led the Eagles in receiving last season but signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency. The Eagles drafted wide receiver Nelson Agholor with the 20th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Agholor and Maclin are the same height (6-foot”) and weight (198 pounds) and nearly had the same reception total in college (Maclin – 182, Agholor – 179). They were drafted one spot apart in the first round (Maclin – 19th in 2009).
On top of a near complete overhaul at the offensive skill player positions, no team lost more snaps from their secondary than the Eagles this offseason. Only 40 percent of their defensive back snaps from 2014 will return this season.
Quinn tasked with turning around Falcons defense
The Falcons hired former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as their head coach. Quinn’s defense in Seattle became the fourth team in NFL history to lead the NFL in fewest points and yards allowed in consecutive seasons. They were the first team to accomplish that feat since the Chicago Bears in 1985-86.
Over the same time period, the Falcons defense ranked last in the NFL in yards per game (389), yards per play (6.1), third down conversion percentage (46 percent), sacks (54) and Total QBR (70).
The Falcons drafted linebacker Vic Beasley out of Clemson with the eighth overall pick to help a pass defense that has 116 sacks over the last four seasons, the fewest in the NFL. Beasley was one of two FBS players to record double-digit sacks in each of the last two seasons (Washington’s Hau'oli Kikaha).
On offense the Falcons will look to get improved play from their tight ends. They added Jacob Tamme and Tony Moeaki during the offseason after their tight ends ranked 31st in receptions (33), last in receiving yards (241) and tied for 25th in receiving touchdowns (3) last season.
The Eagles have a 50.6 percent chance of winning Monday night, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). It is the closest projected matchup in Week 1.