Don't expect to see too many stat lines like the one that Jeremy Maclin had last Sunday in St. Louis.
Maclin's 2011 season got off to a modest start with just one catch for 20 yards. He was targeted only three times in the game as the Rams brought a heavy dose of blitzes throughout the course of the game forcing quarterback Michael Vick to rely on his legs more.
Sure, there was the crossing route that left Maclin open underneath just before the end of the first half, but Vick tried to thread the ball into the hands of tight end Brent Celek at the goal line.
Nonetheless, Maclin was held to one catch just twice in 2010. Yes, Maclin did not play in the preseason due to his illness, but his health is certainly not going to bring his numbers down.
"I'm already back," Maclin said confidently on Thursday. "There's nothing that's stopping me. I got back up to speed pretty fast."
On Sunday, the Falcons talented cornerback duo of Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson will attempt to hold down Maclin and the rest of the Eagles receivers.
"They're good corners. We understand that," Maclin said. "I feel and I'm pretty sure the team would tell you the same thing, if we go out there and take care of our business there's not too many people that can cover us."
The Eagles are coming off a convincing 31-13 over the Rams while the Falcons, also one of the NFC favorites entering the season, were humbled by the Bears, 30-12 in Chicago. It's the home opener for the Falcons and they also have last year's game against the Eagles on their minds. The Eagles, with Kevin Kolb at quarterback instead of Vick, tarred the Falcons 31-17 at Lincoln Financial Field. Maclin had a career-day with 159 yards and two touchdowns.
"We didn't catch them by surprise. On that day, we were better than them," Maclin said when asked if Kolb starting let the Falcons' guard down.
The Falcons lost just three regular season games a year ago on their way to the top seed in the NFC playoffs. What would a win this Sunday night, on prime time, mean for the Eagles?
"It's a chance to show everybody else that the Eagles are for real. That's kind of the statement we want to send out and hopefully we get the job done," Maclin said. "We're very confident in ourselves and recent success has boosted that confidence. I think we'll be all right."
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