Good & Bad After Atlanta Falcons Win Over Eagles

Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Falcons took down the Philadelphia Eagles in what was a thrilling, sloppy affair from both teams. With the win, the Falcons avoided the dreaded 0-2 start that all but dooms a team’s playoff hopes. Now, with a record of 1-1, the Falcons have a new lease on the season.

In a very up and down game for both the Falcons and Eagles, the Falcons were saved by a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Julio Jones that went 54 yards to give the Falcons a 24-20 lead, a lead that would hold for the home team. The Eagles did drive the ball down the field on their final drive, looking as if they would retake the lead, but were stopped by a dropped pass and a defensive stand from the Falcons. With the win, there should be much more positive coming from the game, but this game was marred with plenty of negative for the Falcons. Here are some of the good with the bad.

Good: Julio Jones & Calvin Ridley

Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley put on a show last night, catching 13 passes for 211 yards with three touchdowns between the both of them. It was a stellar performance that the Falcons needed from their star wideouts. With the two touchdowns in the first two games, Ridley is on pace to score more touchdowns than he did in his rookie season. Julio Jones is always Mr. Reliable and that hasn’t changed this season. With Jones and Ridley looking unstoppable, the Falcons boast some of the most dangerous offensive weapons in all of the NFL.

Bad: Matt Ryan

It’s funny to see Matt Ryan turn up in the bad portion of this, but there is no way of denying how bad he was last night. In the end, Ryan ended the night 27/43 with 320 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions. One interception was a tipped ball which can’t be completely blamed on him. The other two were ugly passes, particularly the pick in the end zone that was intended for Austin Hooper. This can’t be said often for the Atlanta Falcons, but they won in spite of Matt Ryan last night. I don’t expect him to continue this downward spiral as the season moves on but it’s troubling how bad Ryan has been to start the season.

Good: All-Around Defense

The Philadelphia Eagles came in with one of the more potent offenses in all of football. However, as the game progressed, Alshon Jeffery, Desean Jackson, and Corey Clement all suffered injuries that would take them out of the game. Even Carson Wentz, after taking a massive hit from Deion Jones, exited the game before the first half ended.

Even with all the injuries, the Falcons still did their job, holding the Eagles to 20 points. Desmond Trufant surpassed his INT total of last year with his first interception then doubled it by picking off another Wentz pass. Vic Beasley, Adrian Clayborn, and Grady Jarrett all recorded a sack. Takk McKinley was a nuisance all night. It was a great performance by the Falcons defense.

Bad: Sloppy Play

In a game that should have been wrapped up a lot earlier than it was last night, the Falcons have themselves to thank for that. Three turnovers, Ryan’s INT’s, were discussed earlier. Ryan will have to try to not turn over the ball as much this early in the season. Ryan is going to blow by his total last season, 7, with 5 in the first two games.

Penalties continue to plague this Falcons team. Last night, the Falcons racked up 10 flags for 58 yards, most of those coming in the first half. The Falcons roster is arguably one of the best in the NFL, but no team is good enough to overcome shooting yourself in the foot. Dan Quinn will have to do a better job getting his team to understand discipline. The Falcons were fortunate to win last night’s game. Next time, they may not be so fortunate.

The most positive thing from last night is the Falcons getting their first win of the season. If the Eagles had scored, the Falcons would be looking at an 0-2 record and an uphill battle for the playoffs. Since 2002, only 14 teams, 11 percent, have made the playoffs after starting the season 0-2. Starting in a hole is not where the Falcons wanted to be. With the win, the Falcons will look to build on the momentum with the Indianapolis Colts next week. The Falcons will be traveling to Indy to have Jacoby Brissett and the Colts.