Late miscues cost Eagles in season-opening loss to Falcons

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Remember that season opener against the Jaguars last season? The 2015 season got off to a similar start for the Eagles with Chip Kelly's bunch playing from behind.

It took a resilient third quarter and a fourth-quarter push to move in front.

But late miscues proved costly as a loss slipped through the Eagles hands, sending them to 0-1 to start the season with a 26-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night at Georgia Dome.

  1 2 3 4 Total
Eagles 0 3 14 7 24
Falcons 3 13 0 6 26

On their first six drives, the Eagles were forced to punt five times, with one lone field goal by Cody Parkey from 29 yards putting the Eagles on the board.

The Falcons had a 10-0 lead at that point on a 41-yard field goal by Matt Bryant and a four-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones.

The Falcons would add 10 more points late in the second half. After a key stop by the Eagles held Atlanta to a 39-yard field goal, Sam Bradford's first pass on the ensuing drive was intercepted. The Falcons turned that into another touchdown for Jones, this time from 22 yards out.

At the half, the Eagles trailed 20-3.

The Falcons opened the second half with the ball, but it was the Eagles defense that helped turn the tide. An interception by Walter Thurmond gave the Eagles prime field position inside the Atlanta 10 and the Eagles cashed in two plays later on an eight-yard run by DeMarco Murray.

After another defensive stop, the Eagles charged down the field on a 13-play, 95-yard drive that included four penalties. The Eagles held their composure and capped it off with a five-yard pass from Bradford to Murray, cutting the lead to three.

Bryant added another field goal for the Falcons from 44 yards with 10:49 to play.

The Eagles followed with a six-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Ryan Mathews, giving the Eagles their first lead of the game.

The Falcons responded as Jones made his first catch of the second half for 44 yards to move the Falcons into Eagles territory. The Eagles managed a defensive stop to force another field goal from 47 yards, putting the Falcons back in front by two with 6:37 to play.

The Eagles were driving again into Falcons territory when the drive stalled at the Falcons 35. Rather than go for it on 4th-and-1, the Eagles sent Parkey out for a 44-yard field goal. The kick was wide right. 

A huge stop defensively gave the Eagles a chance with under two minutes to play. Facing 3rd-and-8, Bradford's pass went through the hands of Jordan Matthews and was intercepted by Ricardo Allen


Passing Summary:

Eagles

  • Sam Bradford: 36/52, 336 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 77.1 RTG

Falcons

  • Matt Ryan: 23/34, 298 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 90.1 RTG

Top-Performing Receivers:

Eagles

  • Jordan Matthews: 10 rec, 102 yards
  • Darren Sproles: 7 rec, 76 yards
  • Zach Ertz: 3 rec, 46 yards

Falcons

  • Julio Jones: 9 rec, 141 yards, 2 TD
  • Roddy White: 4 rec, 84 yards
  • Devonta Freeman: 3 rec, 29 yards

Top-Performing Rushers:

Eagles

  • Darren Sproles: 5 car, 50 yards
  • DeMarco Murray: 8 car, 9 yards, 1 TD
  • Ryan Mathews: 3 car, 4 yards, 1 TD

Falcons

  • Tevin Coleman: 20 car, 80 yards
  • Devonta Freeman: 10 car, 18 yards
  • Matt Ryan: 5 car, 7 yards

Breakdown:

First Downs: Eagles – 23, Falcons – 21
3rd Down Efficiency: Eagles – 3-for-12, Falcons – 4-for-14
4th Down Efficiency: Eagles – 1-for-1, Falcons – 0-for-0
Total Plays: Eagles – 68, Falcons – 70
Total Yards: Eagles – 399 yards, Falcons – 395 yards
Passing Yards: Eagles – 336 yards, Falcons – 290 yards
Rushing Yards: Eagles – 63 yards, Falcons – 105 yards
Redzone: Eagles – 3-for-4, Falcons – 1-for-3
Penalties: Eagles – 10 penalties, 88 yards; Falcons – 7 penalties, 57 yards
Turnovers: Eagles – 2, Falcons – 2
Time Of Possession: Eagles – 24:33, Falcons – 35:27


What's Next:

  • Sunday, September 20, 2015: vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.
    • Lincoln Financial Field; TV: FOX; Radio: 94 WIP

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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