The Eagles defeated the Falcons in a barn-burner by the final score of 18 to 12. The reigning Super Bowl champions are 1-0! Big win to start the season.
Read on for a recap of the game.
Falcons 12th drive: Ryan to Jones to move the Falcons to the Eagles’ 33-yard line. This is shaping up to be a repeat of last year, huh? Ryan sacked to bring up 3rd-and-17 after a failed screen play. Long is bearing down on Ryan ... but the quarterback gets it off and it’s complete to Jones for a first down. Atlanta calls their second timeout with 1:18 remaining and the ball on the 22-yard line. Ryan completes a pass to Jones to set up 1st-and-goal from the 10-yard line with 24 seconds remaining. Oh boy. Ryan’s first down pass is thrown out of the end zone. 16 seconds remaining. Same deal on second down. 11 seconds remain. Pressure by Cox up the middle forces another incompletion. 4th-and-10 from the 10-yard line with 7 seconds left. It’s incomplete! But there’s a penalty. Illegal contact by Jordan Hicks. Falcons at the 5-yard line with one second left. Ryan’s pass to Jones along the sideline in the end zone is ... INCOMPLETE FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS YEAR! THE REIGNING SUPER BOWL CHAMPS WIN! EAGLES WIN, 18-12.
Eagles 11th drive: Foles’ deep pass for Wallace was tipped down by a Falcons defender. Would’ve been a big one. Underthrown. Sproles pick up a crucial first down by making a defender miss after a short reception. Clement gets a HUGE hole to run up the middle into the red zone. Eagles o-line parted the sea with that one. Then Ajayi has a big run for a touchdown! His second of the night. Good guys take the lead. Eagles go for two points ... and Ajayi punches it in for two! EAGLES LEAD, 18-12.
Falcons 11th drive: Sidney Jones blows up a screen to knock the Falcons back to 2-and-25 on their own 18-yard line. Chris Long strip sacks Ryan but the Falcons recover to bring up 3rd-and-28. Fletcher Cox did a great job of collapsing the pocket there. Falcons get 14 on a dump off and then have to punt. Nice job by the D.
Eagles 10th drive: Foles completes a 3rd-and-4 to Agholor but Ertz is called for offensive pass interference. Bull. Eagles back to 3rd-and-14. Foles’ pass to Ertz is dropped. Not a good game for the Eagles’ starting tight end. Punt coming.
Falcons 10th drive: Tevin Coleman rushes for a 9-yard touchdown. Eagles defense makes it look way too easy. Atlanta takes the lead. But they miss the extra point! FALCONS LEAD, 12-10.
Eagles 9th drive: Agholor gets a carry for a nice gain. Goedert immediately gets drilled as he catches a pass over the middle and the ball is picked off by Deion Jones. Crap!
Falcons 9th drive: 3rd-and-5 and Ryan gets SACKED! But Barnett gets called offsides for the second time in this game. Ugh. Falcons have third down from the Eagles’ 15-yard line ... and IT’S PICKED! Rasul Douglas comes up with the clutch interception. Beauty.
Falcons 8th drive: The Falcons have to punt after McLeod forces a pass breakup. But then Tre Sullivan decides to be dumb and touches the punted ball with his foot and the Falcons recover. So, so stupid.
Eagles 8th drive: Ertz drops a would-be first down catch over the middle on third down. Brutal.
Falcons 7th drive: Darby breaks up a Ryan pass to Jones on third down and the Falcons have to punt. Great play by Darbs.
Eagles 7th drive: Goedert makes his first NFL career catch to put the Eagles at 3rd-and-1. Then Ajayi powers forward for a conversion. Then AGHOLOR THROWS A PASS TO A WIDE OPEN FOLES! PHILLY SPECIAL REDUX! You gotta love Dougie P. Foles then completes a pass to an open Ertz over the middle to move into goal-to-go territory. Ajayi takes a 1-yard carry for an Eagles touchdown. Boom! EAGLES LEAD, 10-6.
Falcons 6th drive: Jalen Mills bites hard on a double move and allows a deep reception to Julio Jones. The play is originally ruled an incompletion due to Jones bobbling the ball but Jones secured it and was in. Easy decision for Atlanta to challenge. BUT WAIT! It’s called incomplete. Wow. Big break for the Eagles there. Ryan gets called for intentional grounding on second down to bring up 3rd-and-22 from the Falcons’ own 20-yard line. Atlanta checks down and then has to punt.
Eagles 6th drive: Jason Kelce back at center after limping off near the end of the first half. Foles completes a pass to Ertz and then Ajayi runs for a first down. Robert Alford drops a SURE pick from Foles. Ertz was wide open but the ball was out so late. Eagles end up having to punt.
Halftime stat: Hey, I really like DeAndre Carter, but uh, what is up with this playing time distribution here?
I’d say this isn’t the best personnel usage decision. https://t.co/LlVd3f2z0T— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) September 7, 2018
Eagles 5th drive: Foles targets Wallace deep and it looks like there might be penalty but no call. Foles targets Wallace along the sideline but the ball is out of bounds. Eagles have to punt, but Johnston draws a roughing the kicker penalty. Eagles get the first down and kneel to mercifully end the first half. Ugly.
Falcons 5th drive: The Falcons start at their own 11-yard line after a 58-yard punt by Johnston. The Eagles’ punter sure has a leg. Rodney McLeod almost makes an incredible play by jumping in front of a route but the safety drops it. Gotta catch that one, Rod. Darby forces a pass breakup on third down to force the Falcons to punt.
Eagles 4th drive: Gibson makes a real bad decision to take the ball out of the end zone. An Eagles special teams penalty forces the offense to start at their own 5-yard line. Not good. Foles completes a pass and the refs call a (bad) roughing the passer penalty on the Falcons to put the ball out to the 24-yard line. Sproles drop a short pass on 2nd-and-3 despite being wide open. Foles’ third down throw to Zach Ertz is high and off target. Cameron Johnston time.
Falcons 4th drive: Jones turns Ronald Darby around in coverage (yikes) to move the Falcons to the middle of the field. Falcons complete a pass for eight yards and then a roughing the passer penalty on Chris Long makes it 15 more. Jordan Hicks trucks the crap out of Freeman in pass protection and takes down Ryan. The guy is a BEAST when healthy. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Matt Bryant makes his 52-yard field goal attempt, because of course he does. FALCONS LEAD, 6-0.
Inject this into my veins. God I love football. pic.twitter.com/zbcExf4h5S— Aaron Nagler (@AaronNagler) September 7, 2018
Eagles 3rd drive: Foles hits a tightly covered Agholor for a first down. Good ball, great catch. Agholor snags another contested ball. Then Foles completes a ball to DeAndre Carter (first NFL catch!). Ajayi powers forward with a strong run. Boy does he run hard. Sproles takes a handoff to convert on 3rd-and-inches. Foles has a third down throw to Mike Wallace broken up but the Falcons corner got flagged. Desmond Trufant had a handful of Wallace’s jersey before the ball arrived. Kind of a bail out there with Wallace playing that route soft. Foles almost completed a great ball to Dallas Goedert along the sideline in the end zone but it was just a little too far out where Goedert couldn’t keep his feet in. I like the idea there. Jake Elliott makes a 26-yard field goal to cap off the 14-play drive. TIE GAME, 3-3.
Falcons 3rd drive (continued): Atlanta’s screen pass on third down goes nowhere. Fletcher Cox helps to blow it up. Falcons have to punt.
Falcons 3rd drive: Ryan’s throw to Julio Jones over the middle goes through the receiver’s hands and almost gets picked off by McLeod. The Eagles are getting close to a turnover but just haven’t been able to capitalize. Brandon Graham comes firing off the edge to notch a tackle for loss. He makes at least one of those plays in every game.
Eagles 2nd drive: Gibson with a nice 30-yard return to give the Eagles solid starting field position. Eagles get a first down on a Foles completion to Agholor. Breaking out the old RPO. Then Foles is sacked by Briane Poole on a Falcons corner blitz. Still no Jay Ajayi; both Sproles and Corey Clement getting touches ahead of him. Foles drops a perfect shotgun snap from Jason Kelce on 3rd-and-long and gets sacked. Womp. Eagles have to punt again.
Falcons 2nd drive: Shelton Gibson gets called for a 15-yard penalty after running out of bounds as a gunner on punt coverage. Falcons take over around mid-field. Falcons convert a 3rd-and-5 thanks to a Ryan run for a first down. A Falcons screen play completely fools Jim Schwartz’s defense and Atlanta drives into goal territory again. Doug Pederson challenges a Falcons catch but it’s unsuccessful. Bad challenge decision considering it was only a difference of about four yards and it wasn’t clearly NOT a catch. Good coverage from the Eagles on second down forces the Falcons into 3rd-and-7. Ryan is sacked, but Derek Barnett moved early and that moves the Falcons to the 4-yard line. Ryan’s third down pass is incomplete. Falcons settle for a 21-yard field goal instead. FALCONS LEAD, 3-0.
Eagles 1st drive: Darren Sproles gets the start at running back and runs for a 2-yard gain. Then Nick Foles hits Nelson Agholor for a 4-yard gain. Foles’ third down pass is off target, Eagles have to punt.
Falcons 1st drive: Jake Elliott JUST avoided having his opening kick go out of bounds. Yikes. Falcons false start on first play of the games. Eagles fans setting the tone early. Destiny Vaeao starting at defensive tackle with Nathan Gerry at linebacker. Rodney McLeod fails to tackle Julio Jones in the backfield on a reverse. Sidney Jones fails to make a tackle on a toss play to Devonta Freeman. Jordan Hicks and Jalen Mills combine to drill a Falcons receiver and force a drop. Eagles get the Falcons into third down ... but Matt Ryan hits Julio Jones to move the Falcons into goal-to-go territory. Breakdown in the secondary there. Eagles force Falcons into 3rd-and-goal from the 1. Ryan’s pass is incomplete. Falcons go for it on 4th-and-goal. The toss play to Freeman is ... STOPPED IN THE BACKFIELD. Turnover on downs. I’m gonna say the Falcons might not be good at converting goal-to-go situations against the Eagles. Big stand by the defense. Kamu Grugier-Hill (my guy!) in on the stop.
Coin Toss: Eagles win the toss (Super Bowl repeat confirmed) and elect to defer. Falcons set to receive first.
Weather Delay: Aaaand this game isn’t starting on time because there’s a weather delay. Fun! Not.
Pregame: This is your live updates thread. Check back for highlights/commentary/score changes/etc. If you’re looking to talk about the game in the comments, you can CLICK HERE for the first quarter open thread and follow along for the remaining threads throughout the game.
BEFORE THE GAME
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES FOOTBALL IS BACK.
It’ll be pretty awesome to see the Eagles raise their world championship banner into the rafters prior to the game. But then it’s right down to business because the Eagles have a tough challenge right out of the gate on their quest to repeat.
The Falcons will be entering the Linc hungry and motivated to avenge their nail-biting playoff loss from back in January. The Eagles need to bring their A-game, especially since they’ll be missing some key players such as Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, Mack Hollins, and Timmy Jernigan.
Though it’s incredibly early, this game could end up being very important in terms of playoff seeding in a loaded NFC conference. Philadelphia needs another big night from reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Hopefully the good version of Foles shows up instead of the bad one we’ve seen in the preseason.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch tonight’s game.
Date: Thursday, September 6, 2018
Time: 8:20 PM ET
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michelle Tafoya
Location: Lincoln Financial Field | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NFL Network replay: Friday, September 7 at 4:00 AM, 8:00 AM, and 2:00 PM ... Saturday, September 8 at 4:00 PM
Radio: SportsRadio 94WIP | Full listings here
Live on NBC Sports Live Extra
Per Bovada, the Eagles are barely favored in this game.
Atlanta Falcons +1 (-110)
Philadelphia Eagles -1 (-110)
The Eagles are 16-13-1 in 30 all-time regular season appearances and 3-1 in four all-time playoff appearances against the Falcons. These two teams last played earlier this year in the Divisional Round of the 2018 NFL playoffs, when the Eagles won in Philadelphia by a final score of 15 to 10.
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Eagles 2018 Regular Season Schedule
Week 1 - vs. Atlanta Falcons (Sept. 6, 8:20 PM ET, NBC) NFL Kickoff Game
Week 2 - at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sept. 16, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 3 - vs. Indianapolis Colts (Sept. 23, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 4 - at Tennessee Titans (Sept. 30, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 5 - vs. Minnesota Vikings (Oct. 7, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)
Week 6 - at New York Giants (Oct. 11, 8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFLN) Thursday Night Football
Week 7 - vs. Carolina Panthers (Oct 21, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 8 - at Jacksonville Jaguars (Oct. 28, 9:30 AM ET, NFLN) London Game
Week 9 - BYE (Nov. 4)
Week 10 - vs. Dallas Cowboys (Nov. 11, 8:20 PM ET, NBC) Sunday Night Football
Week 11 - at New Orleans Saints (Nov. 18, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 12 - vs. New York Giants (Nov. 25, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)
Week 13 - vs. Washington Redskins (Dec. 3, 8:15 PM ET, ESPN) Monday Night Football
Week 14 - at Dallas Cowboys (Dec. 9, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)
Week 15 - at Los Angeles Rams (Dec. 16, 8:20 PM ET, NBC) Sunday Night Football
Week 16 - vs. Houston Texans (Dec. 23, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)
Week 17 - at Washington Redskins (Dec. 30, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)