Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
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Eagles beat Falcons 18-12 in sloppy NFL opener

Eagles beat Falcons 18-12 in sloppy NFL opener

In this version of the iconic fourth-and-1 touchdown play from Super Bowl LII, quarterback Nick Foles handed the ball off to running back Corey Clement, who tossed the ball on an end-around to wide receiver Nelson Agholor with the Eagles facing third and five just over midfield.

Eagles running back Jay Ajayi celebrates scoring the game's first touchdown in the second half of Thursday's National Football League opener in Philadelphia.

First was the odd decision not to have the team's best player, Julio Jones, on the field during the first failed red-zone trip. The Eagles carried that momentum into the end zone five plays later when Ajayi pushed through for a score. Down to the final play and the game on the line, the Falcons ran the same exact play they did past year in the playoffs; a pass to Julio Jones, who ended up catching the pass but was pushed out of bounds, ultimately running out the clock & ending the game 18-12.

The Eagles unveiled their championship banner above Lincoln Financial Field following a rain and lightning delay. Wearing his gold Hall of Fame jacket, former safety Brian Dawkins riled up the sellout crowd with owner Jeffrey Lurie by his side and led a chorus of "Fly Eagles Fly".

The defense fed off that energy with a strong goal-line stand on the opening series, stopping the Falcons three times at the 1.

They did it again at the end.

After Ajayi's 11-yard TD run and 2-point conversion gave the Eagles a lead with 2:25 left, Ryan led the Falcons down the field. He completed a 36-yard pass to Jones and connected with him again for 18 yards on third-and-17.

They pressured Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan into making some pretty bad throws all night.

Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks had 1½ sacks in his first game since rupturing his Achilles tendon last October.

The Philadelphia Eagles ran the "Philly Special" in an important game again, this time they remixed it, and 2.0 resembled a play that could have changed the outlook of the Super Bowl.

Foles, the Super Bowl MVP still filling in for Carson Wentz, played it safe and the offense was conservative until Pederson turned to his favorite play on third-and-5 midway through the third quarter. The gain was 15 yards to the Atlanta 26 in the third quarter, with Foles stumbling out of bounds. It set up the Eagles' first touchdown of the season, and gave them their first lead, 10-6, when Jay Ajayi scored from a yard out with 4:37 left in the third quarter.

Philadelphia's defense overcame a pair of blunders to temporarily preserve the lead.

Safety Tre Sullivan kicking the ball late in the third quarter on a punt return, which gave the Falcons possession at the Eagles' 32. Philadelphia Eagles' defensive back Rasul Douglas stepped in for the interception.

"It's never discouraging", Jones said/ "We just got to keep working, stick together and make plays and get things called down there". Matt Bryant hit the right post on the extra point.

That's not to mention the sloppiness of the game which looked like a glorified preseason showdown at least during the first two quarters.

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