Open Thread: Eagles vs. Falcons

The Eagles kick off the regular season against Dan Quinn and the Falcons.

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

The wait is finally over. Real football has arrived, as the Eagles kick off the regular season in Atlanta this evening against the Falcons. We’ll pop in with some updates and thoughts from time to time. Feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.

10:12 – A Bradford throw goes through Jordan Matthews’ hands on third down and eight in Eagles territory, and is intercepted by Ricardo Allen. The Falcons kneel down and win, 26-24. The Eagles begin the season 0-1. It’s the Birds’ first season-opening loss in six years.

10:09 – Atlanta opts to run the ball three times, and the Eagles manage to hold them to a three-and-out. 27 seconds bleed off the clock during the short drive. The Eagles will receive the ball, down 26-24, with 2:00 to play.

10:04 – After a big-play drive into Atlanta territory, the Eagles come up empty-handed. A third-and-one RB draw is stuffed, and a rushed Cody Parkey field goal from 44 yards flies wide right. The Falcons regain possession with under three minutes to play.

9:54 – Another Atlanta drive ends in a Matt Bryant field goal. The Falcons reclaim the lead, 26-24, with six and a half minutes to play. Julio Jones continues to ream the Eagles’ secondary; he now has nine catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

9:47 – Ryan Mathews punches in the Eagles’ third touchdown of the second half from one yard out to cap off a six-play, 80-yard drive that took less than two minutes. The Eagles now lead the Falcons, 24-23, midway through the fourth quarter. The Eagles have piled up 198 yards after picking up just 125 in the first half.

9:38 – A diving Connor Barwin deflection halts a seven-minute Atlanta drive deep in Eagles territory and forces the Falcons to kick a 44-yard field goal. Atlanta leads the Eagles, 23-17, with 10:49 to play.

9:31 – One quarter to go. The Falcons lead the Eagles, 20-17.

9:26 – More good perspective from Reuben Frank.

9:21 – A penalty-ridden Eagles drive ends with a four-yard touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray. It’s Murray’s second touchdown of the evening. Murray makes a smart move at the two-yard line to avoid a Falcons defender, reverse course and walk into the end zone. The Eagles trail the Falcons, 20-17, with 3:39 to play in the third quarter. The Eagles marched 95 yards in 13 plays, eating up over six minutes of game clock.

9:06 – Another interception slips through Malcolm Jenkins’ hands. The Eagles’ defense stifles the Falcons and forces a punt, but a Jenkins interception would’ve given the Birds the ball in Atlanta territory. As it stands, the Eagles take the ball from their own five-yard line.

8:58 – After a key Walter Thurmond interception in Atlanta territory, DeMarco Murray punches it in for a touchdown and the Eagles trim Atlanta’s lead to 20-10 early in the third quarter.

Murray has a rushing touchdown in eight straight regular season games, the longest streak in the NFL.

8:40 – Halftime: Falcons 20, Eagles 3. Atlanta out-gains Philadelphia, 244-125, in the first half.

8:34 – A Kiko Alonso illegal contact penalty negates a fumble forced by Fletcher Cox. Cox reached Matt Ryan in the pocket and forced a fumble, but Alonso contacted Jacob Tamme past five yards in coverage. On the very next play, Matt Ryan finds Julio Jones on the right for a touchdown pass, and the Falcons lead, 20-3.

8:33 – Sam Bradford throws the first interception of his Eagles career, in Atlanta territory. Atlanta’s pass rush gets to Bradford and forces him into a bad throw, missing a safety sitting in coverage, who steps in front of Zach Ertz for the easy pick.

8:30 – Walter Thurmond and the Eagles’ defense halt Atlanta late in the second quarter and hold the Falcons to a 39-yard field goal with 1:05 to play in the second half. The Falcons lead, 13-3, late in the half.

8:22 – After a three-and-out from the Falcons, the Eagles answer with a three-and-out of their own. Donnie Jones has punted five times for an average of 45.2 yards so far.

8:20 – The long-lost Mr. Kapadia chimes in with an update from the state of Washington.

8:19 – Good insight from Josh, on a Chip Kelly offensive tendency.

8:10 – The Eagles are on the board for the first time this season. Cody Parkey boots a 29-yard field goal after the Eagles’ offense stalls in the red zone. Sam Bradford has already attempted 21 passes.

8:01 – Julio Jones takes a screen pass from the six-yard line into the end zone, and the Falcons lead the Eagles, 10-0, early in the second quarter. Atlanta has 180 yards in 13:28 of action this evening. Julio Jones has 66 yards and one touchdown.

7:52 – Good context from Reuben Frank on the Falcons’ success through the air this evening.

7:49 – The Eagles finally cross midfield, but their timing continues to be off as Bradford’s third-down pass to Nelson Agholor sails past the rookie wideout’s hands on the sideline. Donnie Jones punts the ball away for the fourth time this evening, pinning the Falcons at the 11-yard line.

7:44 – Barstool Big Cat brings us a good video of Alonso’s end-zone interception. Impressive hands.

7:42 – Byron Maxwell and the Eagles force Atlanta’s first three-and-out of the night. On third down, Maxwell comes within an inch of an interception. The Falcons still lead, 3-0, late in the first quarter.

7:38 – The Eagles pick up a first down on their third drive of the game, but Bradford and the offense remain unable to cross midfield and the Eagles are forced to punt it away for a third time in the first quarter. Through three possessions, the Eagles have 24 yards on 10 plays. The Falcons, meanwhile, have 97 yards on 13 plays through two possessions.

7:32 – Kiko Alonso comes up with a key interception in the end zone to prevent more points from Atlanta. After another productive drive, Matt Ryan looked for Roddy White in the middle of the end zone, but Alonso plucked the ball from the air with his left hand.

7:25 – Another Eagles drive goes three-and-out after DeMarco Murray loses 12 yards on a broken first-down run. The Eagles have four yards on six plays so far.

7:19 – A strong Atlanta drive moves into Philadelphia territory quickly before the Eagles stop them around the 20-yard line. Malcolm Jenkins drops an interception on third down, something he had trouble with at the tail end of last season. Matt Bryant kicks a 41-yard field goal to put the Falcons up, 3-0, with 10:55 to play.

7:14 – Bradford’s first drive at the helm of the Eagles’ offense goes three-and-out. His third down pass, intended for Zach Ertz, goes incomplete, and the Eagles punt it away.

7:11 – The Eagles win the toss and choose to receive. The Sam Bradford era begins with the ball.