Eagles Impressed By Falcons

Drew Hallowell/ Philadelphia Eagles

ATLANTA, Ga.- – In a game where it looked like the Falcons had every chance to run away with their first win of the season, the Eagles fought back. Philadelphia added 21 second half points to at one point take the lead.

It was an opportunity for the Falcons to show their opponent and the league that they truly are a new football team, with the offseason changes. When we went into the Eagles locker room, they told us that the team they played Monday night is a good team.

Even though the Eagles were able to intercept quarterback Matt Ryan twice, he still got praise from veteran linebacker for the way that he attacked their defense.

“He did a good job of getting the ball out quick,” Ryans said. “It was hard to get pressure on him, because he got the ball out so quick. I don’t know if it’s by design or him just being the good player that he is.”

This Falcons defense was a group that many looked at to see if new head coach Dan Quinn could work his magic to improve their field performance. In the first half, they looked like a totally different group than what we’ve seen the past couple of seasons.

In the second half, they started to show some weaknesses against the up-tempo Eagles offense. That said, they still played a pretty good game in their first game of 2015. They held Philadelphia’s offense to 399 total yards.

After the game, former Georgia Tech/Sandy Creek offensive lineman Andrew Gardner said that Quinn’s influence is being seen on that defense.

“He’s got them playing hard,” Gardner said. “They’ve got a lot of those guys playing with a high motor, chasing the ball. Like he did in Seattle, he does the full line swaps as an effort to keep everybody fresh. Just the effort and energy that team played with was good. I think that will serve them well going forward.”

On the offensive side for the Falcons, Eagles veteran defensive Connor Barwin says that they ran a lot of “max protect” to keep Matt Ryan clean. It’s not exactly something that surprised him, given what Kyle Shanahan has done in the past.

“He did the same thing in Houston, did the same thing in Washington, and same thing in Cleveland,” Barwin said. “That’s just what they do. They run the ball with the outside zone, second down they’re going to play-action and then try to get the linebackers to suck up to hit the digs for 15-18 yards. There’s a lot of people that run that offense, because it’s good.”

Barwin and Ryans both played in Houston with the Texans, when Shanahan served as the team’s offensive coordinator. They also got familiar with him during his time with the Redskins.

All that being said and the familiarity that goes with the Falcons OC, Ryans thinks that Shanahan is a huge asset for Atlanta.

“It was all new,” Ryans said. “He’s doing some new things, some new wrinkles. Kyle’s a really good play caller and one of the bright young minds in the league. He’s done a good job.”

Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford finished the night with 336 yards passing. The Falcons were able to take away the running game on Monday night, with Philadelphia only able to run for 63 yards.

Newly signed running back DeMarco Murray was held to just nine yards rushing on eight carries. Ryan Mathews could only get four yards on three rushes.

The Falcons showed some very good things on Monday night inside the Georgia Dome. They also caught the attention of the team they were able to beat 26-24 to open the 2015 regular season.

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