It wasn't pretty, but the Eagles got the job done.
The 3 things we watched
1. Team chemistry/new faces
A big thing for me coming into this game was the team chemistry factor. However, it didn't play much of a role last night.
Jason Peters was one of the stories of the game. He didn't look like he missed a beat.
Doug Pederson leaned on Darren Sproles a lot more than anyone could have predicted. Sproles looked better as the game went on.
Dallas Goedert and Shelton Gibson showed their youth a bit last night, but that is to be expected.
The offense is so banged up that it was tough to see if a new offensive coordinator played a role or not. I personally didn't think it did.
This team will continue to gel as the season goes on.
2. The pass rush battle
The Eagles won this battle in a big way. It felt like they were in Matt Ryan's face all night long. They were able to sack him four times, while the Falcons were only able to get to Foles twice.
3. Doug Pederson vs. Dan Quinn
On the Falcons very first drive of the season Dan Quinn and Steve Sarkisian decided to go for it on 4th and goal from the Eagles 1 yard line instead of attempting a field goal.
Devonta Freeman got stuffed and the Eagles took over.
The Falcons red zone play calling was atrocious all night.
While the Falcons were stagnant, the Eagles were innovative.
On 3rd and 5 from the Atlanta 41 with 7;42 left in the third quarter, Doug Pederson ran the freaking Philly Special!!!!
This completely turned the game around. Jay Ajayi would cap off the drive with a 1 yard TD giving the Eagles a 10-6 lead.
The Eagles clearly had the coaching advantage on both sides of the ball.
Foles was 19/34 for 117 yards 0 Tds and 1 interception.
Obviously he wasn't great, but he didn't cost the Eagles the game. He was able to tread water and get the W.
On the first touchdown drive he made two big time plays on third down. He caught a 15 yard pass. Then three plays later he made his best throw of the night, hooking up with Zach Ertz on 3rd and 8 from the Atlanta 24 for 18 yards and a first down.
I think Foles looked better as the game went on. He has a good opportunity to get back on track next week in Tampa.
The use of the running backs was a little strange in the first half, but it evened out as the game moved along.
Sproles and Ajayi both ended up playing 40 percent of the snaps, while Corey Clement played only 18 percent.
Clement made the most of his snaps, especially on the game winning TD drive when he broke off a 21 yard run on 3rd and 2 from the Atlanta 35.
I was a bit shocked with how much Sproles played, but it was great to see him back at full strength.
Ajayi looked great in the second half. He had 11 carries for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
It's tough playing without your # 1 WR, but someone other than Nelson Agholor needs to step up.
Mike Wallace didn't look great. Shelton Gibson looked overwhelmed. He only played 6 percent of the offensive snaps, while DeAndre Carter played 74 percent of the snaps.
Goedert only had 1 catch for 4 yards and dropped a pass that was intercepted.
Ertz dropped a few passes as well. He only had 5 catches for 48 yards. The Eagles need Ertz to be the # 1 guy while Alshon is out.
Agholor looks like he could be headed for a breakout season.
O line: A
Jason Peters is a freak of nature. The fact that he looked that good at age 36, while coming off of an ACL injury is absurd.
Atlanta has a really good front seven, but for the most part the Eagles dominated them.
This is the best o line in football. Let's just hope they can stay healthy.
D line: A
This Defensive line is MEAN. Fletcher Cox was on the field all night long (he played 93 percent of the snaps) and looked like a one man wrecking crew. He had one sack but should have had two, or more.
Chris Long is a STUD. 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
The only negative was Derek Barnett. Two costly offsides penalties, and was caught out of position a couple of times.
But overall this D line is just as nasty as we thought they would be.
Welcome back Jordan Hicks! 5 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He played 100 percent of the snaps in his first game back. When this guy is on the field he is one of the best middle linebackers in football.
Kamu Grugier-Hill stoned Devonta Freeman on 4th and 1.
Nate Gerry wasn't great, but looked better as the game went on.
Grugier-Hill played 40 percent of the snaps while Gerry played 37 percent.
Bradham will be back next week, and Eagles only play two LBS anyway. This unit will be just fine.
You can't stop Julio, you can only hope to contain him. Ronald Darby did that for the most part.
I think Darby played really well despite 169 yard for Jones. The main thing is that he was held out of the end zone... again.
Minus a few dropped interceptions, Rodney McLeod really stood out.
Malcolm Jenkins played everywhere. Safety, slot corner, LB. This guy does it all. Of course played 100 percent of the snaps.
Sidney Jones looked good when he was on the field. He should only continue to get better.
Rasul Douglas also got into the action with a pick.
This defense is scary.
Special teams: C-
Tre Sullivan.... POISON!! GET AWAY FROM THE FOOTBALL!
It almost looked like Elliott missed that 26 yard FG.
It was nice to have Sproles back as the punt returner.
The Coaches: B+
Jim Schwartz owns Steve Sarkisian. He was dialing up the blitz when needed. His gameplan with Julio is perfect. Julio gets his, but doesn't make his way into the endzone.
And as mentioned earlier, Doug Pederson outcoached Dan Quinn again. He is now 3-0 vs Quinn.
The one knock I had with Pederson was the usage of the running backs. I felt he used Sproles a little too much, and didn't use Ajayi enough. However, he did use Ajayi more in the second half.
I would also like to see a little more Corey Clement.
Other than that I don't have any complaints.
This was far from perfect, but the Eagles got the job done.
It was just an ugly game for both teams. The first month of the season is extended preseason. I'm sure we'll see more ugly football on Sunday.
The Eagles o line and d line is outrageous.
I think the Eagels D was the story of this game. The Falcons are a really good offense and the Eagles held them to just 299 total yards (225 passing, 74 rushing.)
Their third down defense was outstanding. The Falcons were 4-15 on third down!
Just a great effort from the defense all night long, and the offense did just enough.
Now they can sit back and relax this weekend, continue to get healthy, and get ready for Tampa Bay.