It took three tries, but Matt Ryan finally got a victory in his hometown of Philadelphia.
The Atlanta Falcons improved to 7-0 Sunday as they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 30-17. The Eagles have now lost three straight games and are currently 3-4. Also, it was the first time head coach Andy Reid has lost coming off the bye week. Coming into the game, Reid was 13-0 in the game following the bye.
The win marked the first time Atlanta has won in Philadelphia since 1988.
Atlanta talked about “starting fast,” and that’s exactly what they did. Ryan finished 22/29 for 264 yards and three touchdowns. He led the Falcons on six straight scoring drives, and the team didn’t punt until 5:35 left in the game.
Ex-Eagle Asante Samuel didn’t get an interception, but he did get the last laugh by being on the winning team. After the game, Samuel said he tried to talk to his former head coach but was ignored.
Michael Vick, who has been a turnover machine this season, didn’t turn the ball over at all. However, he wasn’t too spectacular: he finished 21/35 for 195 yards and one touchdown. He was also sacked three times.
Atlanta was ranked 28th against the run going into the game, giving up 143.8 yards per game. The team had a huge test in running back LeSean McCoy, and they responded by holding McCoy to just 45 yards on 16 carries.
The Falcons opened the game with a punishing 16-play, 80-yard drive that lasted 8:44 and was capped off with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Drew Davis, who was filling in for the injured Harry Douglas. On the drive, the Falcons converted five third downs.
After forcing an Eagles three-and-out, the Falcons finished off the next drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Jason Snelling.
The Eagles would respond, capping off a 13-play drive with a two-yard run by McCoy.
However, Atlanta returned fire quickly in just three plays: Ryan found Julio Jones deep on the left side for a 63-yard touchdown. Jones beat Nnamdi Asomugha on the play.
Matt Bryant was automatic as usual: he hit field goals from 43, 29, and 30.
With the victory, Mike Smith became the winningest head coach in Falcons history with 50 wins.
For some reason, the Falcons were three-point underdogs in this game. The Eagles had to be favored because of Reid’s bye week streak. In any case, it was a nonsensical point spread.
Next up for the Falcons are the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night in the Georgia Dome.