Falcons vs. Eagles: Final Game Grades and Player Analysis for Atlanta
Making this win even more impressive is that unlike their others victories on the season, the Falcons won without forcing a single turnover on defense to beat an Andy Reid team that was previously 13-0 coming off a bye.
Here's a look at the Falcons' final postgame grades and evaluations.
Ryan finished 22-for-29 for 262 yards and three touchdowns through the air to bounce back from his terrible showing against the Raiders.
This was despite receiving pass protection that seemed to deteriorate as the game went on, forcing Ryan out of the pocket and throwing the ball away on more than a few occasions.
Nonetheless, Ryan kept his composure to stay mistake-free throughout the game, and return to the MVP-like quarterback we saw at the beginning of the season.
Ryan's only pass of the quarter was incomplete on the sideline to Tony Gonzalez, but he wasn't called upon to do much more than hand the ball off to Turner and avoid turnovers throughout the quarter.
No touchdowns this quarter, but Ryan didn't take any unnecessary risks in : He threw the ball away when needed and scrambled when no one was open deep.
Ryan threw crisp, accurate passes for just about all but one pass that almost was intercepted. Balancing that one play out however, was a perfect pass in stride to Julio Jones for 63 yards on the offense's opening drive of the quarter.
Ryan continued to show good vision and poise, notably doing his best Vick impersonation when he sided-stepped three would-be tacklers for a pass to Rodgers that unfortunately was called back on a penalty.
Ryan was virtually perfect in the first quarter, going 10-of-11 for 80 yards and two touchdown passes. He went through his progressions, simply taking what the defense is giving him. The only thing keeping this grade from being higher is a few passes that, while caught thanks to great plays by his receivers, could have been a bit more accurate.
Great performances by Ryan, Jones and Rodgers were integral to the Falcons' offensive dominance, but the team continues to be hindered by an offensive line that still has room for improvement after allowing two sacks and struggling to consistently open running lanes.
The Falcons didn't do much offensively this quarter, gaining just a few yards after Turner was given the ball play after play, but that was more due to cautious play-calling than poor execution.
Things went well to begin the quarter, with a perfectly executed 37-yard screen pass to Jones eventually leading to a field goal.
The second drive was marked by a great run by Rodgers that at first looked as though he was going down in the backfield before juking his way into the secondary for a 43-yard gain.
Nonetheless, this quarter was marked by very poor pass protection, with Ryan forced out of the pocket more often than he'd like, and even worse run blocking, with Turner and Rodgers repeatedly stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage.
The offense executed well throughout, scoring a touchdown on the opening drive and marching from their own 9-yard line deep into Eagles territory with just under three minutes left in the half that led to a field goal. Ryan isn't facing too much pressure yet, while the offensive line opened a few good running lanes on the ground. The receivers are catching everything they can get their hands on.
As a whole the offense is rolling on all cylinders, scoring touchdowns on both their drives and dominating the time of possession 13:02 to 1:34.
However, the offensive line struggled to open consistent holes for the running backs. Nonetheless they're getting the job when needed to—namely, pushing the pile for a first down on a 3rd-and-1 run on the game's opening drive, which ended on an elite-level toe-dragging grab in the corner of the endzone from Drew Davis.
Only three sacks will show up on the stats sheet, but that doesn't do justice to the Falcons' pass-rush, which was in Vick's face all game long. Atlanta held him to just 21-of-35 passing for 191 yards and a touchdown through the air, while holding him and the Eagles' running game in check overall.
They didn't record any turnovers today, but the Falcons showed they didn't need them after holding the Eagles to just 17 points on the day.
John Abraham got things started on the right foot with a sack on the quarter's opening play. But that would be it on a drive that saw McCoy unleashed, gaining first down after first down before getting in the end zone on a seven-yard touchdown pass to narrow the gap to 30-17.
Nicholas then gave the Eagles 15 free yards on the second drive after a late hit on Jeremy Maclin, but everything ended well for the Falcons after keeping the Eagles from scoring any more points on the day.
Asante Samuel got burned on a short pass to DeSean Jackson that went for 32 yards in the quarter's opening drive, which led to a field goal.
However, Atlanta forced a three and out on the second drive to make up for it, generally continuing to blanket the Eagles' receivers.
To begin the quarter, the defense gave up a touchdown on a 13-play, 66 yard drive that included two third down conversions. They tightened up on the second drive, however, forcing an Eagles punt near midfield.
Despite the touchdown, the defense is playing virtually mistake-free, keeping everything in front of them and making it difficult for the Eagles to get anything going on offense.
The defense was only on for one full possession, but they did their job, forcing an incomplete pass on first down, swallowing up LeSean McCoy for a one-yard loss on second, and sacking Michael Vick on third.
That one awful fourth quarter aside, special teams was very efficient today, punting the ball deep, giving up few return yards and converting on all field goal attempts.
Rodgers had trouble picking up the ball on a kickoff, the Falcons were lucky Brandon Boykin slipped for a short gain on his first punt return of the game, and Bosher's second punt was blocked.
Bosher continued to kick the ball deep and Bryant converted his second field goal attempt of the day.
However, the kickoff coverage team allowed returns of 20 and 25 yards, keeping this quarter's grade from being perfect.
Bosher booted a kickoff through the endzone, Matt Bryant made his 43-yard field goal, and the coverage team did their job covering a squib kick to end the half. Can't ask for much more.
Two good kickoffs from Matt Bosher, but the coverage team giving up returns of 19 and 28 yards lowers this grade a bit.
The Falcons scored on their first six offensive possessions of the game and shut down the Eagles both through the air and on the ground.
They were penalized an uncharacteristic six times on the day, but that is the only blemish in an otherwise convincing win.
Up 30-17 when the Falcons got their first offensive possession of the quarter, Koetter kept it safe on offense with two runs, eventually leading to the team's first punt of the afternoon with just over five minutes left in the game.
Letting up the attack worked today, but the Falcons shouldn't make a habit of doing so up just two possessions with half a quarter of play remaining.
Koetter continues to keep Eagles defense guessing after adding two different wide receiver screen passes and a fake toss-shovel pass to arsenal of play-calls on the day.
Meanwhile, Nolan continued to counter the Eagles' every play call, allowing just a field goal this quarter.
Koetter attacked the defense incessantly until he called a swing pass to Jacquizz Rodgers with just 40 seconds left in the half that went for just two yards, killing momentum on a great-looking drive from the Falcons. Then again, it's hard to criticize a man whose calls have resulted in 24 points in the first half alone.
On defense, while Nolan allowed a touchdown he didn't allow Vick anything deep and forced him and the Eagles to fight for every yard.
A balanced gameplan from Dirk Koetter so far, calling 13 runs to 11 passes. A good mix of run, play-action, and short-drop passes has been effective, not to mention a cheeky slip-screen to Jason Snelling inside the redzone that went for a touchdown.