Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
When: 8:20 PM ET, Sunday, September 15, 2019
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
ATLANTA – The Philadelphia Eagles aim to begin a season with a 2-0 mark for the second time in four years on Sunday night when they visit the Atlanta Falcons, who are looking to avert an 0-2 start for the first time since 2007. The Eagles were able to overcome a 17-point deficit in their 32-27 win over Washington while Atlanta was unable to climb out of a four-touchdown deficit in its 28-12 setback to Minnesota.
Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz established quick chemistry with the returning DeSean Jackson on a pair of long scoring strikes to highlight his three-touchdown performance versus the Redskins. “Once again, this is his show, and he is driving the car,” said the 32-year-old Jackson, who reeled in eight receptions for 154 yards against his former team.
Pennsylvania-born Matt Ryan was intercepted twice and sacked four times to put the Falcons in a sizable hole versus the Vikings while a banged up offensive line did little for Devonta Freeman, who had eight carries for 19 yards and a fumble. “I don’t want to make (it about) one game … that’s not indicative of who I think we will be. Or, who we were in that game,” Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Eagles -1.5. O/U: 52.5
ABOUT THE EAGLES (1-0): While it’s transparent that wideout Alshon Jeffrey (receiving and rushing touchdown) and tight end Zach Ertz will have significant impacts on the passing game, it’s not exactly clear how Philadelphia’s congested backfield will play out this season. Speedy rookie Miles Sanders and veteran Darren Sproles each had 12 touches in the opener while offseason acquisition Jordan Howard amassed 55 scrimmage yards on just 17 plays. “Sometimes it’s the hot hand,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said, “but sometimes it’s based on game plan and who is in at that particular time.” Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who is nursing a toe injury, has registered 3.5 sacks in his past four games against Atlanta and had 7.5 of his 10.5 sacks last season on the road.
ABOUT THE FALCONS (0-1): Julio Jones, who found the end zone in the fourth quarter to salvage his season-opening performance, has recorded five 100-plus-yard efforts in six all-time meetings with Philadelphia. Another such performance would be Jones’ 50th of his career and likely push his receiving yard total (10,762) past former teammate Roddy White (10,863). Fellow wideout Calvin Ridley also scored a late touchdown against Minnesota and returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, where he collected six receiving scores in eight games during his rookie season in 2018. Tight end Austin Hooper continues to provide a trusted outlet for Ryan after reeling in a team-leading nine catches in the opener.
- Ryan has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 16 consecutive contests dating to Atlanta’s 18-12 loss to Philadelphia in the 2018 season opener.
- The Eagles agreed to terms with Akeem Spence and placed fellow DT Malik Jackson (foot) on injured reserve.
- Atlanta’s Jamon Brown will play RG in place of first-round pick Chris Lindstrom, who was placed on injured reserve with a broken foot.