Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
September 6, 2018
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia EaglesThe 2018 season kicks off on Thursday, September 6 (8:20 PM ET, NBC) as the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field in a rematch of the 2017 NFC Divisional Playoffs, which the Eagles won 15-10. The Falcons and Eagles meet for the 31st time in the regular season, with Philadelphia holding a 16-13-1 series advantage. The Eagles, who won their first Super Bowl with a 41-33 victory over New England in Super Bowl LII, have won their past two home openers played on Kickoff Weekend and six of their past seven overall in Week 1. Philadelphia ranked third in the NFL averaging 28.6 points per game last season and were the only team to have three players with at least eight touchdown catches each – wide receivers ALSHON JEFFERY (nine) and NELSON AGHOLOR (eight) and tight end ZACH ERTZ (eight).
On the path to Super Bowl LII,
the Eagles finished the regular season with a 13-3 record and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Philadelphia won the NFC East a season after finishing in last place with a 7-9 record in 2016, joining the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (AFC South) as teams to complete a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2017. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons.
Atlanta advanced to the postseason
for the second consecutive season in 2017 and has won three of their past four season openers. Falcons quarterback MATT RYAN passed for 4,095 yards last season, his franchise-record seventh consecutive season with at least 4,000 passing yards, and tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Linebacker DEION JONES led Atlanta’s defense with 138 tackles, which tied for fourth in the NFL, and safety KEANU NEAL led all NFC safeties with 113 tackles in 2017.
REGULAR-SEASON SERIES HISTORY
LEADER: Eagles lead all-time series, 16-13-1STREAKS: Falcons have won 3 of past 4
LAST GAME: 11/13/16: Falcons 15 at Eagles 24LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/13/16
• FALCONS advanced to playoffs for 2nd consecutive seasonin 2017.
• QB MATT RYAN has 41,796 career pass yards, most by player in his 1st 10 seasons in NFL history. Passed for 4,095 yards in 2017, his franchise-record 7th consecutive season with 4,000+ pass yards & tied for 2nd-longest streak in NFL history. In his past 4 games vs. Phi., has 10 TDs vs. 5 INTs for 100.3 rating.
•RB DEVONTA FREEMAN totaled 1,182 yards from scrimmage (865 rush, 317 rec.) & 8 TDs in 2017, his 3rd consecutive season with 1,000+ scrimmage yards. RB TEVIN COLEMAN had 927 scrimmage yards & 8 TDs (5 rush, 3 rec.) last season.
•WR JULIO JONES led NFC with 1,444 rec. yards last season, his 5th career season with 1,000+ rec. yards. Incl.playoffs, aims for 5th in row with 100+ rec. yards vs. Phi.WR MOHAMED SANU had career-high 67 receptions last season. Rookie WR CALVIN RIDLEY was No. 26 overall selection in 2018 NFL Draft.
• LB DEION JONES was 1 of 3 players in 2017 (LUKE KUECHLY & TELVIN SMITH) with 100+ tackles (138) & 3+ INTs (3). LB VIC BEASLEY, JR. had 2 sacks & FF in last meeting. LB TAKKARIST MC KINLEY was only NFL rookie in 2017 with 5+ sacks (6) & 2+ FFs (2). Had sack in NFC Div. at Phi. S KEANU NEAL led NFC safeties with 113 tackles last season.
• EAGLES won 1st SB in franchise history, defeating New England 41-33 in SB LII. Ranked 3rd in NFL averaging 28.6 points per game last season.
• QB NICK FOLES earned SB LII MVP honors & became 3rd QB to start & win SB after starting 3 or fewer games in reg. season. Completed 77 of 106 (72.6 pct.) for 971 yards (323.7 per game) with 6 TDs vs. 1 INT for 115.7 rating in 2017 postseason.
• RB JAY AJAYI had 98 scrimmage yards (54 rush, 44 rec.) in 2017 NFC Div. vs. Atl. Had 130 rush yards in his last game vs. Atl. (10/15/17 with Mia.). RB COREY CLEMENT had 100 rec. yards & TD catch in SB LII. RB DARREN SPROLEShas 100+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. Atl.
• TE ZACH ERTZ led NFC TEs with 74 receptions & 824 yards & had career-high 8 rec. TDs last season. EAGLESbecame 11th team in NFL history with 3 players with 8+ rec. TDs in same season – Ertz (8), WR ALSHON JEFFERY(9) & WR NELSON AGHOLOR (8). Selected rookie TE DALLAS GOEDERT in 2nd round (49th overall) of 2018 NFL Draft. Set South Dakota State record with 92 catches in 2016.
• DE BRANDON GRAHAM led team with career-high 9.5 sacks in 2017. Had sack in last meeting. DE MICHAEL BENNETT makes Phi. debut. Had 8.5 sacks with Sea. last season. DT FLETCHER COX had sack in 2017 NFC Div. vs. Atl. S MALCOLM JENKINS has 4 PD in his past 3 vs. Atl. LB NIGEL BRADHAM led team with 88 tackles in 2017. Had sack in 2017 NFC Div. vs. Atl.