Yesterday's Scores: Falcons 26, Eagles 24; Nationals 8, Phillies 7 (F/11)
Today's Schedule: Nationals @ Phillies - 7:05 PM (CSN / 1210 WPHT, 94 WIP)
EAGLES FALL TO FALCONS 26-24, LOTS OF WORK AHEAD
There was a ton of optimism for the Birds entering this game. They were sure favorites against Atlanta, a team many said were rebuilding. The Eagles were going to put up over 30 points tonight and start off on a really good note!
But the game finally began, and it showed that the Eagles we saw in the preseason was not what we saw tonight. The Birds offense was slow to come out, only scoring a field goal in the first half. Atlanta's offense was very good, mainly because of Julio Jones. Byron Maxwell, the team's new heavily paid cornerback, was exposed for most of the night. Sounds familiar? Maybe like Nnamdi Asomugha?
It was only 20-3 at the half, and the Eagles found themselves in a similar hole to last year's season opener against Jacksonville, as in both cases, the team was done by 17. But the offense exploded, and it seemed like the Birds were going to pull off another comeback victory. DeMarco Murray scored twice in the 3rd to cut the Falcon lead to three. After an Atlanta field goal, Ryan Matthews scored on a short one-yard rush to give the Eagles their first lead of the night with 8:37 to play. But the defense struggled yet again with Jones, giving up a 44 yard completion on the first play of the drive, which would result in another field goal four plays later.
On their next drive, Philly drove all the way to the Atlanta 26 and faced a 4th and 1 situation. Either go for it or put Parkey in for a 44-yard field goal attempt. Head coach Chip Kelly went conservative and put Parkey in, and with pressure coming from Atlanta's line, he went wide right. The Eagles held Atlanta to a three-and-out the following possession, and Sam Bradford went out for possibly his final drive of the game. It was, as Bradford targeted Jordan Matthews on 3rd and 8 and the ball hit Matthews on the gloves and was intercepted by Atlanta's Ricardo Allen.
I thought Sam Bradford played a very good game. He wasn't like how he was in the preseason, looked a little rusty some times, but he played a huge part in the second half comeback. He went 36/52 for 336 yards with a touchdown and two picks. The first pick to William Moore was somewhat his fault, maybe, although he was under pressure because of a miscue on the offensive line. Other than that, I thought he played great.
Other things regarding the offense are the penalties, mainly on the offensive line, the dropped balls, and the lack of running the ball. The penalties almost killed offensive momentum in some parts, and Jason Kelce's hold on that missed field goal drive was one of the possible "what ifs" that the Eagles had all night. No hold, possible touchdown? Second, the dropped balls really killed momentum, especially early. One to Miles Austin (who I think will be a sleeper on the team) which might have been slightly overthrown, but a catch might have meant a touchdown. Another was to Ryan Matthews in Atlanta territory, which might have meant big yards or a score. The Birds managed to get a field goal on that drive. Finally, Philly ran the ball nine times in the first half, four on the last possession. In total, the Eagles ran the ball 16 times the entire game, compared to Atlanta's 35 carries. Darren Sproles had five carries for 50 yards, while DeMarco Murray had eight carries for nine yards and a touchdown, and Ryan Matthews had three carries for four yards and a score. We spent a ton of money to bring both of these guys over this offseason and we use them like this? You gotta run the ball more!
Receiving wise, Jordan Matthews looked pretty good albeit the final interception, Sproles is such a weapon, and Zach Ertz looked fine out there.
THOUGHTS ON THE GAME - DEFENSE
Where to being? Oh, Byron Maxwell, that's a good place to start! I was getting flashbacks of Nnamdi Asomugha last night. I hope he doesn't turn out like that, because he got flat out embarrassed by Julio Jones. Jones caught nine passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns and was really the main catalyst of the Falcon offense for QB Matt Ryan. Roddy White also looked good for Atlanta, but it was mainly Jones that was the problem. Thank god Dez won't be playing next week for Dallas, that doesn't sound good.
Also, where was the pressure on Matt Ryan during most of the game, especially the first half? The defense recorded only one sack (the game's only sack) for eight yards and hit Ryan three times. To put that to perspective, Atlanta hit Sam Bradford eight times. Ryan had a ton of time out there to find his receivers and throw the ball. That can't happen next week, and it only gets tougher with a very good Dallas o-line.
Oh, and don't forget Malcolm Jenkins dropping another easy pick on the first Atlanta drive. Picking up right where he was from last season. That can't happen.
Some positives on the defense were the run defense, Kiko Alonso playing very well, and Walter Thurmond. The legend of Kiko Alonso in Philly has begun, and he channeled his inner Odell Beckham Jr.
It's Cody Parkey. Last year in Washington, he missed two field goals and the Eagles lost by three points. Parkey missed a 44-yard attempt late in the game to give the Eagles back the lead and shanked it to the right. I thought Chip made the right call to go for the points. He said that his groin was fine and the snap and hold were both perfect. "I'm human. I missed." There is a concern with him after a very impressive rookie year that saw him go to the Pro Bowl. He missed a new extra point against Indianapolis and did have a slight groin injury during the preseason. Let's hope he's not a Brad Lidge and be a one-year wonder.
The Eagles host the Dallas Cowboys in their home opener Sunday at 4:25 on Fox. Let's hope the Birds can rebound against the 'Boys. (RECAP)
PHILLIES FALL TO NATS, BUT BLOW PAPELBON'S SAVE
There was a baseball game that some people decided to attend, and the Phillies (56-89) lost in extra innings to the Nationals (73-70). It didn't look good to start, as Anthony Rendon hit a lead off homer to start the game in the top of the 1st off Aaron Nola. The rookie pitcher ended up giving up six runs on the night, four in the 5th, but did strike out eight. Ryan Howard hit his 23rd homer of the season, but left the game with a left knee contusion. He left the ballpark on crutches.
But the best moment came in the bottom of the 10th, when Jonathan Papelbon came on to close for Washington. Little did he know, Freddy Galvis was going to somewhat ruin his night with a solo shot to tie the game at seven. It was Pap's first blown save since September 14th (yesterday) of last year. You probably don't remember how he did it, but it's most memorable for this...
MATAKEVICH, THOMAS WIN AAC POTW HONORS
After Temple's 34-26 road win over Cincinnati, senior linebacker Tyler Matakevich and junior running back Jahad Thomas are getting honored with AAC Player of the Week honors. Matakevich won his second straight Defensive Player of the Week honor with two crucial second-half interceptions and 13 tackles. Thomas was honored with as the conference's Special Teams Player of the Week with 132 yards on returns, including a 100-yard kickoff return to open the third quarter. He also gained 193 yards on the ground. Temple travels to take on UMass on Saturday. (REPORT)
DOLPHINS SIGN RB RAHEEM MOSTERT
According to agent Brad Tessler, it looks like the Miami Dolphins will sign Raheem Mostert from the team's practice squad. The Dolphins are signing him for the team's 53-man roster. He was a fan favorite during the preseason, but lost the final RB spot to Kenjon Barner, who was inactive last night. (REPORT)
ELI MANNING TOLD RASHAD JENNINGS NOT TO SCORE
Hi, I'm Eli Manning, and I have DirecTV. And I'm "I have no sense of clock management" Eli Manning, and I have cable. Manning apparently told RB Rashad Jennings not to score on the team's final full offensive drive of the game, when the Giants were inside the Cowboys five yard line. Then, Eli made an incompletion on third down, resulting in a field goal, Dallas marched all the way back to score a touchdown, and Tom Coughlin was an angry old man. (REPORT)
MORE FIFA INDICTMENTS LOOK TO BE COMING, SEPP BLATTER ONE OF THEM?
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in Zurich, Switzerland that there may be more indictments in FIFA coming shortly. No clue on if Sepp Blatter will be one of those getting indicted, although the head of FIFA is afraid of coming to the United States and Canada. (REPORT)
UVA CLUB HOCKEY GOALIE CHUGS BEER ON ICE, GETS EJECTED
UVA club hockey goaltender Jake Anderson and his team were up 7-0 in the third period of a game. I think he might have been bored. So one fan decided to throw a Keystone Light onto the ice. Anderson chugged the beer, and was given a five minute major and was ejected. He's probably a legend.
- 1821: Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica jointly declare independence from Spain.
- 1851: Saint Joseph's University is founded. THE HAWK WILL NEVER DIE!
- 1959: Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States.
- 1978: Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks to become the first boxer to win the world heavyweight title three times at the Superdome in New Orleans.
- 2004: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announces the 2004-05 season would be cancelled due to a lockout with the players union and owners.
- 2008: Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.
- Saint Joseph's University (164) - THE HAWK WILL NEVER DIE!
- Gaylord Perry (77)
- Tommy Lee Jones (69) - He starred in Natural Born Killers, which was directed by Oliver Stone.
- Oliver Stone (69) - He directed Natural Born Killers, which starred Tommy Lee Jones.
- Theodore Long (68) - PLAYA!
- Pete Carroll (64)
- Joel Quenneville (57)
- Dan Marino (54)
- Jason Terry (38)
- Patrick Marleau (36)
- Carlos Ruiz - the former Union attacker (36)
VIDEO OF THE DAY
From Aimless Adventure Podcast: A crazy Madden NFL 16 fumble glitch. Looks like he's in franchise mode, because why would someone want Blake Bortles over Carson Palmer?