Eagles Most Impressive Win Came Over...

Eagles Most Impressive Win Came Over... Eagles Most Impressive Win Came Over NFC Champion Falcons  

The Atlanta Falcons have been dominant this postseason enroute to their first Super Bowl appearance since losing to Denver, 34-19 during Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999.

Which makes the fact that the Falcons struggled mightily during a regular season loss to the Eagles, one of those unexpected happenings during an unpredictable NFL season.

The Philadelphia area angle will be Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan playing in his first Super Bowl. Ryan was a three-sport standout at Philadelphia's Penn Charter High, who played in a run-oriented attack his senior season.

He went on to star at Boston College and then was the No. 3 pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Ryan is expected to be the NFL's MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl.

During the regular season he completed 69.9 percent of his passes for 4,944 yards, 38 TDs and just seven interceptions.

Yet against his home town team Ryan wasn't his dominant self.  

What is interesting is that the Eagles during a 7-9 season, had one of their most impressive showings of the season during a 24-15 home win over the Falcons on Nov. 13.

To show how impressive a performance that was for the Eagles defense, it was the Falcons lowest scoring game of the season. Atlanta's second lowest total came in a 23-16 win over the Denver Broncos.

Atlanta averaged 33.75 points during the regular season, which makes the Eagles defensive showing against them even more impressive.

That Falcons were just 2 of 13 on third down conversions.

Against the Eagles, Ryan had a below average game, although the Falcons dropped several catchable passes. Against the Eagles, Ryan completed 18 of 33 passes for 267 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Julio Jones, who is among the top three receivers in the NFL, had 10 receptions for 135 yards but had a major drop that hurt a potential scoring rally.

Meanwhile Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz enjoyed a solid game, completing 25 of 36 passes for 231 yards, no touchdowns or interceptions.

The player who really hurt the Falcons was running back Ryan Mathews. While he has battled injuries not only during his two Eagles seasons, but his entire career, Mathews has been an effective runner when healthy.

Against the Falcons he rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. That was part of the Eagles 208 yards rushing.

The fact that the Eagles beat a Super Bowl team doesn't take the sting out of what was a disappointing season, but it showed on any given week what can happen in the NFL.

The losing team would eventually earn a Super Bowl berth and the winner hopes to get there someday.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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