With all of the hype from fans and players going into last nights game between the Falcons and Eagles, you just knew something was bound to go wrong. The NFL season kicked off with a stormy start, literally, as the game was delayed 45 minutes from an 8:20pm kickoff until 9:05pm. The Eagles won the game 18-12 but that was no thanks to great play. Sloppy game all around as the offenses struggled immensely to move the ball.
The game started off with a false start penalty by the Falcons and that set the tone for the rest of the game as the refs took control from there on out. With 16 penalties taking place in the first half the game seemed like it was never going to end as each play had a, “yellow piece of laundry” as Al Michaels likes to call it, on the field. In total the Falcons had 15 penalties for 135 yards (most in a game for them in 19 years!!) and the Eagles had 11 for 101 yards. Many people will throw blame on the refs and I am all in for that as they had some bad calls last night, but I also think this is mostly due to the fact that NFL week 1 starters play minimal time together in the preseason. There is no way for a team to get in rhythm if they are not playing together for a full game let alone even a half of a game during the preseason. Both offensives looked out of sync and Nick Foles looked atrocious for most of the game.
On the other hand Julio Jones did Julio Jones things for the Falcons and took them down the field throughout the game making some great plays. The first drive he lead them all the way down to the red zone and than was taken out of the game for the 4 plays inside the 10 yard line. Listen, I know it has been scorching hot in the northeast lately and it was 87 degrees in Philly last night but you need your best player out on the field inside the 10 yard line for at least 2 of those plays. If he was not hurt there is no reason for him not to be out there and set a good tone for the season with a touchdown on the first drive. Matt Ryan was HORRENDOUS in the red zone, he was 1-9 with and interception and 0-3 targeting Julio with the interception being when Julio was targeted, inexcusable.
6-3 Falcons going into halftime is not what the fans were expecting as the first game of the year. The last 8-9 minutes of the 4th quarter is about the only intense football we had last night. Two quick interceptions back to back ended with the falcons in the end zone with 9 minutes left in the game to take a 12-10 lead. Eagles came down the field a few drives later to take an 18-12 lead which ended up holding as the final score.
The game ended just as the Falcons season ended last year, a lob up to Julio in the corner of the end zone from Matt Ryan that did not connect. The season ended for the Falcons last year with the picture shown below on 4th and goal.
And the season opener ended with a loss on 4th and goal with the picture shown below.
So the Eagles pick up where they left off as World Champions, although it was sloppy, a win is a win in the NFL and can go a long way down the stretch. One last complaint I have about last nights game, did anyone else hate these damn camera angles NBC was using in the 3rd quarter?? Half of the time I had no idea what was going on when they used the behind the offense camera angle, get it together NBC!!!