The Atlanta Falcons posted their first win of the season last night, after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles with 24-20. It was indeed a magnificent game for watching, with a dramatic finish.
Julio Jones delivered a 54-yard touchdown on a fourth down with 2:10 until the end of the event, setting the final score. The Falcons were behind three points and were in a tough position due to fantastic defense of the guests. However, Matt Ryan’s moment of inspiration made it possible for Jones to reach the endzone. Matty Ice recognized Philly’s defensive set up and immediately changed the action. Once Jones got the ball, there was no way of stopping him, as he developed a speed of more than 20 mph.
“OK, it’s a footrace now,” Jones said. “That was it. It really wasn’t like I had to try hard or anything like that. I just had to stay on course.”
JULIO JONES FOR THE LEAD!
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 16, 2019
The Eagles had a chance to respond, and Carson Wentz led his team almost until the end. Zach Ertz was inches short of converting a fourth down inside the 10-yard area, which would almost definitely mean another TD for the visitors. Previously, Wentz threw a 43-yard pass to Nelson Agholor on a fourth-and-14, bringing the Eagles to just 18 yards away from the endzone.
Philly had their two top receivers DeSean Jackson, and Alshon Jeffrey injured, and that no doubt affected the final result. At one point the 2017 champions had momentum on their side, following their swift comeback after trailing 11 points. However, a shorter rotation and limited options in attack eventually cost them a win.
“This is going to really unite this football team,” Eagles’ head coach Pedersen told at the press conference regarding all the injuries his team faced in this match. “No one should hang their head. They battled, it was in our hands at the end to win, and again we came up short.”
Wentz ended the night with 231 yards, completing 25 of his 43 passing attempts. He had a touchdown and two interceptions but was instrumental in the fourth period once he bossed the Eagles’ attack and posted a TD himself by sneaking into the endzone.
Agholor scored a TD, and collected 107 yards in 8 receptions, but in the crucial moments of the match, during Philly’s last attack the ball went through his hands without any of the Falcons players ahead of him. Without a question that would be a touchdown, if he caught the football.
On the other side, Ryan had 320 yards, 27 of 43, for 3 TDs and 3 interceptions. He was the one who made it possible for the guests to come back into the match, but when mattered the most, Matty Ice rose up to the occasion.
Julio Jones had 5 receptions for 106 yards and two TDs, while Calvin Ridley had one yard fewer, and one TD. Jones became the no.1 on the Falcons all-time receiving yards list, jumping over Rodney White. JJ now had 10,868, five more than White. The new massive deal Atlanta gave Jones started to pay off immediately.
Ryan also reached a nice landmark in this match. With 300 touchdowns, he tied at the 11th place of the all-time TD list with John Elway.
Both teams now have one win and loss after the first two weeks. The Eagles are heading back home, where they have a clash with the Detroit Lions next Sunday. Matthew Staford and his crew defeated the Chargers yesterday at home, 13-10.
Meanwhile, the Falcons are going to Indianapolis, to face the Colts who were better than Tennessee Titans in Nashville, 19-17.