The NFL 2018 season officially kicks off today as the Philadelphia Eagles square off against the Atlanta Falcons in a rematch from last year’s playoffs. For that fact, it’s only right that we look back at their NFC Divisional Round clash.
Uncertainty is a common theme once again for these two teams. Just as fans and analysts are unsure of how the Eagles will look while either missing or starting some impact players that are banged up, the first matchup with the Falcons was concerning for Eagles fans. With breakout QB Carson Wentz unable to play under center after tearing his ACL, Nick Foles had done a great job of keeping the prolific Eagles offense on track. But this was the NFL playoffs and it was no sure thing that Philadelphia would be able to defend their home turf against the Falcons.
On the other side, Matt Ryan was in the midst of a down year by his standards, especially considering he was the league’s MVP the season before. But the Falcons offense was among the league’s most inconsistent last year, looking unstoppable at some points and lethargic at others. In the windy Lincoln Financial Field, the Falcons offense failed to get any momentum going. Julio Jones would end up with a great stat line but he had to make a few big plays preventing Eagle DBs from intercepting Ryan’s errant throws early in the game.
Both teams would see the pendulum of momentum swing in their favor as the game went on but the game remained close. The Eagles would eventually go up 15-10 and hold on to the lead as the Falcons failed to capitalize on a red zone opportunity late in the game, including some questionable play calling.
Nick Foles – 23/30, 246 yards
Jay Ajayi – 15 rushes, 54 yards (LeGarrette Blount would have the team’s only TD)
Corey Clement – 5 rec, 31 yards
Alshon Jeffery – 4 rec, 61 yards
Jake Elliott – 3/3 FGs
Matt Ryan – 22/36, 210 yards, 1 TD
Tevin Coleman – 10 rushes, 79 yards
Julio Jones– 9 rec, 101 yards
Devonta Freeman – 5 rec, 26 yards, 1 TD