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20
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Philadelphia 0 6 6 8 20
Atlanta 3 7 7 7 24
24
5:20 PM PT6:20 PM MT7:20 PM CT8:20 PM ET0:20 GMT8:20 5:20 PM MST7:20 PM EST7:20 PM CT4:20 UAE (+1)20:20 ET23:20 , September 15, 2019
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia  Attendance: 72,443

Eagles-Falcons Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons

  1. The Falcons have lost each of the last three meetings, including a Divisional Round matchup in the 2017 postseason, but those were all in Philadelphia. The Eagles blew fourth-quarter leads in their last two trips to Atlanta and lost both, last winning there in 2009 in Mike Vick's return.
  2. The Eagles did not commit a turnover in Week 1 and improved to 10-1 under Doug Pederson when not having one, the NFL's fourth-best record since 2016. The Falcons have forced only 57 turnovers in that span, tied for third fewest in the league, after failing to cause one last week.
  3. Carson Wentz's 313 yards passing in the season-opening win over Washington was the seventh-best total of his career; the Eagles are 0-6 when he throws for more. If Wentz throws for two touchdowns on Sunday in what would be his 42nd NFL game, he'll be the second-fastest active player to reach 75 TD passes - Matthew Stafford did it in 41 games.
  4. Matt Ryan is three touchdown passes shy of becoming the 12th player all-time with 300 and has thrown one in 16 straight games, the second-longest active streak behind Kirk Cousins (17). The last time Ryan didn't have a TD pass was against the Eagles in the 2018 season opener, an 18-12 Falcons loss.
  5. Julio Jones became the 47th player in NFL history to reach 700 career receptions last week in his 112th game. The only player to reach that mark in fewer games was Antonio Brown (111).
  6. Jones has had 99 catches of 25+ yards in his career, third most of any active player behind DeSean Jackson (127) and Larry Fitzgerald (121). Two of Jackson's receptions last week went for 25+ yards and a TD in his Eagles return after having none of either in his final five games with the Bucs last season.
Team Comparison

Philadelphia
 
Atlanta
32.0 Points 12.0
313.0 Pass Yds 304.0
123.0 Rush Yds 73.0
0 Takeaways 0
(AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

ATLANTA (AP) Dan Quinn brushes off any suggestion that he's starting to feel some heat.

That might change if the Atlanta Falcons don't turn things around.

Like, now.

Coming off a dismal 28-12 loss at Minnesota in the season opener, the Falcons coach has now lost 11 of his last 18 games going back to the playoffs at the end of the 2017 season. In the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately NFL, Quinn taking this team to the Super Bowl has become a rapidly fading memory.

"There's nothing pressure-wise that would be more than we normally feel because of all the people in that locker room, all the fans - we're doing it for everybody," Quinn said. "We want to make sure we do it right. So when we miss the mark like we did, yeah, it stings. It stings bad."

The Falcons (0-1) have a chance to change the narrative Sunday night when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) in the home opener at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

But it's clear that Year 5 of Quinn's tenure is crucial.

Owner Arthur Blank expects results after spending hundreds of millions of dollars locking up key players such as quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones. Blank is undoubtedly mindful that his other team, Atlanta United, won a Major League Soccer championship last December in only their second year of existence.

The Falcons have been around since 1966 but have never won a title, their closest call coming at the end of the 2016 season when they infamously squandered a 28-3 lead to New England in the Super Bowl.

"You want to do right ... but not any more than any other time," Quinn said. "That's our bond to Arthur, that's our bond to the city that we want to put out and do right by them, so they have a team that we're all proud of."

Some things to watch for when the Falcons host the Eagles in prime time:

THREE-HEADED MONSTER

Darren Sproles, Jordan Howard and rookie Miles Sanders combined for 116 yards rushing on 26 carries in Week 1 against Washington, helping the Eagles rally from a 17-point deficit for a 32-27 win. Coach Doug Pederson prefers to rotate his backs and likes to take advantage of mismatches, so it's likely he'll continue mixing it up.

The Eagles should have opportunities to run more against Atlanta. The Vikings gashed the Falcons for 172 yards on the ground. "Obviously, the Vikings did a great job in the run game," Pederson said. "But they're going home, they're going to play in front of their crowd. It's going to be a different atmosphere for us, and it's going to be a different team that we're going to see."

QUESTIONS UP FRONT

The Falcons struggled mightily on offense in their loss to the Vikings and are still trying to sort out things on the offensive line. First-round pick Chris Lindstrom went down with a broken foot and is expected to miss at least eight weeks, forcing Jamon Brown to take over at right guard after he was beaten out for the left guard spot by James Carpenter during the preseason. "Of course I wanted to start," Brown said. "Now, it's here. My opportunity is here. I've got to make the most of it."

Atlanta is also using a rotation at right tackle with rookie Kaleb McGary and Matt Gono. McGary will eventually be the full-time starter, but he's still working himself into game condition after undergoing a heart procedure during training camp. "It's going to take some time to catch up," he said. "But when I do catch up, no one is going to be more excited about it than me."

TIGHTENING UP THE COVERAGE

The Eagles finished 30th against the pass last season and showed no signs of improvement in Week 1. Washington's Case Keenum threw for 380 yards against a suspect secondary that didn't get much help from the pass rush. The defense only sacked Keenum once and gave him way too much time to throw. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz doesn't blitz much, so he relies on the front four to get pressure on quarterbacks. When they don't, the secondary is expected to do more.

"We needed to cover better to be able to get the pass rush home," Schwartz said. "We can do better certainly in pass rush, but I think in coverage we can make the quarterback hold the ball a little longer and buy time for our guys to get home."

FLY, DESEAN, FLY

DeSean Jackson shows no signs of slowing down at age 32, giving the Eagles' offense yet another weapon in the deep passing game. He caught eight passes for 154 yards in his first game back in Philadelphia since being cut by former coach Chip Kelly following his third Pro Bowl season in 2013. "They've got a lot of different weapons," Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant said.

INVISIBLE JULIO

While Jackson had a huge game, Jones was merely a blip in the Falcons' offense after an offseason dominated by protracted negotiations for a new contract. The two sides reached agreement on a three-year, $66 million extension just 24 hours before the season opener. Then Jones was held to 31 yards on six catches by the Vikings, his longest play covering 10 yards. The Falcons will be looking for Jones to a play a much bigger role in this game.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated September 12, 2019

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