ATLANTA — Matt Ryan connected with Julio Jones for a 54-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-3 with 2:10 left in the game, and the Atlanta Falcons rallied for a 24-20 home win over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday night.
After Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz scored on a 1-yard touchdown dive with 3:13 left to cap a 13-play, 73-yard drive and hit Zach Ertz with a 2-point conversion pass to give the Eagles a 20-17 lead, Ryan (27 of 43 for 320 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions) came through with his own heroics.
He hit Jones (five receptions, 106 yards, two touchdowns), who took the receiver screen and sprinted more than half the field for the eventual winning score. The Falcons improved to 1-1, the same as the Eagles, who got down to the Atlanta 16-yard line before Ertz was held a yard short on fourth-and-8 with 38 seconds left.
Wentz, who took a shot to the ribs and spent time in concussion protocol during the first half, was 25 of 43 for 231 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He spent most of the game minus his two top receivers Alshon Jeffery (calf) and DeSean Jackson (groin), who left in the first half with injuries.
Calvin Ridley caught eight passes for 105 yards with a touchdown for the Falcons, who went up 3-0 at the 9:28 mark of the first quarter with a 50-yard field goal from Matt Bryant. Philadelphia tied it in the second quarter on Jake Elliott’s 34-yard field goal.
Desmond Trufant picked off Wentz for the second time, and Atlanta scored five plays later when Ryan hooked up with a leaping Ridley for a 34-yard touchdown connection to make it 10-3 with 4:56 left in the half.
Backup Josh McCown started the Eagles’ final drive of the first half while Wentz was in concussion protocol and got them into the Atlanta red zone. Wentz returned, but Philadelphia settled for Elliott’s 41-yard field goal.
Things got worse for the Eagles right out of halftime as Corey Clement fumbled the kickoff, which Atlanta recovered at the visitors’ 33. Three plays later, Ryan found Jones for a 4-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-6.
However, Ronald Darby intercepted Ryan in Falcons’ territory, and Philadelphia went for it on fourth down from the 4. Wentz drilled a bullet to Nelson Agholor (eight receptions, 107 yards) for the touchdown. It stayed 17-12 after Wentz failed to score on the 2-point try with 4:57 left in the third. — Reuters