Falcons Took it to the Eagles

Falcons Took it to the Eagles
The Eagles appeared to be a potential Super Bowl contender in the preseason and that still remains the case despite Sunday’s 24-20 loss at Atlanta to the suddenly physical Falcons.
 
The Falcons had been so soundly outplayed during their opening 28-12 loss in Minnesota, that Eagles fans might have gotten a false sense of security.
 
Minnesota pushed around the Falcons in taking a 28-0 lead before surrendering two fourth quarter touchdowns, one with just 1:05 remaining.
 
Atlanta allowed 172 yards on the ground for a healthy 4.5 average against the Vikings.
 
So the Eagles seemed like they would be able to run the ball, but that wasn’t the case.
 
The Eagle averaged just 2.3 yards per carry in rushing for 49 yards.
 
It was a total about-face by the Falcons, who did all the pushing around in one of the most physical games the Eagles were part of in quite some time.
 
The Eagles lost receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery during the game to injury. Tight end Dallas Goedert injured his calf during pre-game warmups and didn’t play.
 
What was most surprising was the beating the quarterback Carson Wentz took. He was sacked three times and Atlanta also had 10 quarterback hits.
 
Wentz, whose injury history is well-documented, having been unavailable for the end of the last two seasons, including the playoffs, showed tremendous courage.
 
He took a beating but kept hanging in there and made several big plays down the stretch.
 
Despite all the injuries, the Eagles battled until the end when Wentz’s seven-yard completion to Zach Ertz fell one yard short on fourth down, giving the Falcons the ball on their own 9-yard line with just 30 seconds left.
 
The Falcons got away with quarterback Matt Ryan throwing three interceptions. Ryan’s short pass on fourth-and-3 to Julio Jones that the superstar receiver turned into a 54-yard touchdown, with 2:10 left gave the Falcons the 24-20 lead. It might be looked on as one of the back-breaking plays of the Eagles season.
 
What this game showed was Wentz’s true toughness, but he also missed several passes in an evening in which he was under duress for long stretches.
 
Now the Eagles have to worry about getting healthy as they host the Detroit Lions (1-0-1) on Sunday. What the Eagles also have to do is regroup after losing the physical battle to the Falcons, who were playing like a desperate team.
 
It’s never easy to win on the road, especially in a raucous building, and especially against a Falcons team that appears to be a playoff contender.
 
That said, this was still a win for the taking and the Eagle weren’t able to do it.
 
It will be interesting if the Eagles are able to rebound from a missed opportunity. On a night when so much went wrong, they still had a chance to win at the end and couldn’t quite get the job done.
 
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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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