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Week 10 Game Recap: Atlanta Falcons 15, Philadelphia Eagles 24
What you need to know
This was a game where Atlanta moved the ball easily between the 20s, but could not finish drives. Atlanta had two drives stall in the first quarter after getting inside the Eagles’ 30. The culprits were penalties, sacks, and a dropped pass and Atlanta only came away with six points during the first half despite three clear scoring opportunities. Julio Jones
, Devonta Freeman
, and Taylor Gabriel
paced the offense with big plays, including a 76-yard touchdown by Gabriel off a double move against Leodis McKelvin. But the Falcons could not keep Ryan clean in the pocket and the Eagles forced several pressures, two sacks, an intentional grounding penalty, and a game-sealing interception by McKelvin.
The Eagles managed to slow down a red-hot Atlanta team today, moving to 5-4 on the season with a hard fought 24-15 home win. Carson Wentz
limited the mistakes and the Ryan Mathews
show took over the offense as the offense finally started to click again. Mathews accounted for the majority of the scoring, but the real star of the game was the Eagles' defense that held the leagues' leading scoring offense to just 15 points. The Eagles travel to Seattle to take on the Legion of Boom as they try and keep pace in a very tough NFC East division.
|QB Matt Ryan, 50 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 33 - 267 - 1 TD / 1 INT|
The offense began the game with three plays for 18 yards to reach midfield, but a false start penalty led to a punt after Ryan overthrew Jones on a go route on the resulting third and long. Atlanta began with a false start on the second series. Ryan then overshot Jones on a deep route off a fake reverse on the following play. Pressure force Ryan to rush a target to Mohamed Sanu
on 3rd and 11 and the receiver couldn’t earn enough after the catch for a first down. Sacks, dropped passes, and penalties were a common theme for many of Atlanta’s stalled drives due to good pressure by the Eagles. Ryan kept Atlanta in the game with good throws under pressure. He found Jones for 29 yards on a fade up the left sideline. He also delivered a 28-yard strike with his feet off the ground while avoiding pressure in the pocket, hitting Jones on the deep cross. There was also the 76-yard streak up the right sideline to Taylor Gabriel
for his only touchdown of the afternoon.
|RB Devonta Freeman, 43 offensive snaps, Rush: 12 - 49 - 0, Rec: 3 - 32 - 0 (3 targets)|
The Falcons back was productive in the first half but the Eagles’ lead forced Atlanta from its game script and the Atlanta runner couldn’t earn the type of carries needed for a productive day. Even so, routinely earned 4-6 yards on inside runs, broke tackles, and made the first or second defender miss. He also had gains of 15, 8, and 11 as a receiver, including an 8-yard screen on the third play of the game and a 15-yard reception on a scramble drill with Ryan. There was a long pass up the left sideline to Freeman in the fourth quarter that would have earned him at least 25-30 yards, but rookie Joshua Perkins committed a pass interference penalty on the play and it nullified Freeman’s gain.
|RB Terron Ward, 7 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0 (1 targets)|
He was stuffed for a short loss off right tackle in the mid-third quarter on his first carry in relief of Freeman. He dropped a short out after contact in the left flat on 2nd and 11 of the next play. This was the extent of his use.
|WR Julio Jones, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 135 - 0 (16 targets)|
He faced rookie Jalen Mills for much of the day, even before Nolan Carroll suffered a concussion and missed the second half. Jones caught a mix of slants, go routes, deep crossing routes, and a fade. Jones routinely got a step on Mills and had two deep targets overthrown that could have gone for huge gains. When safety Malcolm Jenkins covered Jones, the receiver had more difficulty getting open. Jones also had an uncharacteristic drop late in this game on a wide open corner route that gave the Eagles another late-game drive to extend the lead beyond Atlanta’s reach. The game ended with Jones running a hitch and not anticipating Matt Ryan
to target him. When Ryan did, Jones was late to work back to the ball and Leodis McKelvin undercut the target for the game-sealing interception.
|WR Mohamed Sanu, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (2 targets)|
He caught hitch on 3rd and 11 during the second drive for the Falcons and the Eagles stopped him short of the marker. He was also stopped on third down on a slant route against Malcolm Jenkins to force a field goal on the third drive of the game for Atlanta. Once again, Sanu is earning a minimal number of targets and his targets are restricted to routes that don’t require a high degree of timing.
The Falcons’ other new addition was targeted twice on deep routes in this game. The first was a play-action throw on a corner-post route. Gabriel’s coverage, Leodis McKelvin played off coverage and didn’t get fooled on the double move, cutting off the route near the goal line on this deep throw. But Gabriel got the best of McKelvin in the second half, running a terrific stutter-and-go route that forced the corner to bite hard on the short route. Gabriel left the corner in his dust with a catch up the right sideline where at least 45 of those yards came after the reception—a 76-yard score.
Stuffed on a tunnel screen for a minimal during the third drive of the game, this two-yard catch was the only target he saw.
The rookie dropped a pass in the middle of the field on 3rd and 18 with 3:03 in the half and it led to a 43-yard FG. Hooper caught a short pass in the flat in the fourth quarter for eight yards to set up a 3rd and 12 with less than 6 left and down by 5. It was the extent of his production.
|QB Carson Wentz, 79 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 36 - 231 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0|
Aside from the one fumble lost late in the second quarter, Wentz played a mistake-free brand of football. Wentz also improved vastly on the inaccuracy from a week ago and connected with 6 different receivers on the day. The reads have gotten much better later in the season as Wentz consistently found his check down receivers and safety valves to keep the chains moving. Wentz favorite targets on the day were Jordan Matthews
and Daren Sproles who both saw 10 attempts. Wentz may not have found the end zone today, but he did everything he needed to get the come from behind win.
|RB Ryan Mathews, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 109 - 2, Rec: 2 - 30 - 0 (2 targets)|
Mathews was finally used as the feature back, receiving 19 touches and racking up over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mathews also converted a 2-point conversion taking the ball right up the middle after Atlanta was flagged for defensive holding on the first attempt. Mathews took the ball in from 4 and 5 yards out and had a 20-yard reception and 21-yard rush on the day to set up scores. After being used sparingly for the majority of the season, Mathews was finally utilized like a feature back and put up the numbers the Eagles expected when bringing him in.
Smallwood makes his first appearance on this list as he took touches away from Daren Sproles in the running game today. The rookie back was second to only Ryan Mathews
out of the backfield today and played his biggest role of the season. Smallwood ripped off 19 and 12 yards rushes off the left end on the first drive of the third quarter to help set up a field goal. Smallwood is a back to watch going forward to see if his role with the team increases.
|RB Darren Sproles, 31 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 19 - 0, Rec: 8 - 57 - 0 (10 targets)|
Sproles took a backseat to Ryan Mathews
today and only had 10 total touches. With the success of Ryan Mathews
, Sproles was only used in clear passing situations. This also marks the first game he did not have a punt return. After Sproles had been trending into the lead back duties, he was relegated to more of an afterthought in this one. Sproles should see his role expand again next week as they will need a good change of pace back against a stout Seattle rush defense.
Matthews kept his firm grasp on the top receiver spot in Philadelphia again this week as he tied the team lead in targets with 10. He was kept out of the end zone again this week, but converted some key third downs and helped Wentz and company move the ball down the field. The big play came on a 20-yard reception deep down the right side to kick off the second quarter. Matthews will face a stiff test with Richard Sherman next week in Seattle.
Agholor was mostly a non-factor today as he just did not look ion rhythm with Carson Wentz
today. The young receiver was targeted 5 times, but could not cash in. Agholor has not looked comfortable with Wentz and showed it again this week.
Green-Beckham was a complete non-factor today as he did not so much as register a target today.
|TE Zach Ertz, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 55 - 0 (7 targets)|
Coming off a big game last week, Ertz continued to show the new found chemistry with Carson Wentz
and helped lead the Eagles to victory. Ertz was third on the team with 7 targets and converted some key third downs. Ertz found some room up the seam for a nice 18-yard gain in the 4th quarter and continues to provide a big target for his rookie quarterback. Ertz is finally starting to get back to form after the early rib injury and will look to do the same next week in Seattle.