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Headlines: Ryan to Start for Falcons

Jeff: It's official. Matt Ryan will start the season opener for the Falcons on September 7 against the Detroit Lions. He will be the first rookie to start for any team since David Carr started for the Texans in 2002. We all know how Carr fared, will Ryan do any better?

Brian: Ryan will be fine. Have you seen some of these highlights from the preseason?

As every Eagles fan is intimately familiar with, Ryan has the leadership and the intangibles to do well with the young Falcons. The schedule is fairly manageable. The Falcons get the Lions at home, followed by a road trip to Tampa Bay, Kansas City, at Carolina and Green Bay, then home vs. the Bears before their BYE week. There are some winnable games in that bunch. Also, we'll get to see Ryan in his last preseason tune-up in Baltimore opposite the other quarterback taken in the first round, Joe Flacco.


Jeff: We get to see our first ACC Atlantic opponent in action Thursday night on ESPN when NC State takes on South Carolina. Tom O'Brien just announced that redshirt freshman Russell Wilson will be the starting quarterback for the Wolfpack. A win against an SEC opponent right off the bat would be great for the ACC especially since NC State is a clear underdog in this one. Do you give them a realistic chance against the Gamecocks?

Brian: Let's see. A redshirt freshman quarterback starting for Tom O'Brien versus an experienced and very talented Gamecock defense. A renewed rivalry game (the teams played annually from 1956-1991, but only once since) with Spurrier up against Tom O'Brien and ex-Eagle offensive coordinator Dana Bible. The game is in Columbia and the Cocks came out of the gate strong last season (6-1 with a win in Athens against Georgia - I'm expecting them to get off to a strong start this year as well. Add it all up, and I think there's no realistic change NC State comes back from Columbia with a win.

Jeff: You give South Carolina and Spurrier way too much credit. NC State is no great team but I give them a good 40% chance of winning Thursday.