Thursday July 18th, 2019 11:51PM

Falcons set for season-opening kick tonight at Philly

By The Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons kick the 2018 season off tonight at the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

Philly knocked Atlanta from last season's playoffs in a battle to the end en route to the title.

Here's a look at how the latest battle of the birds shapes up...


WHEN/TV - Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

OPENING LINE - Eagles by 4 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - Atlanta 8-10, Philadelphia 13-5-1

SERIES RECORD - Eagles lead 19-14-1

LAST MEETING - Eagles beat Falcons 15-10, NFC divisional playoff, Jan. 13

AP PRO32 RANKING - Falcons No. 8, Eagles No. 1





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Eagles were underdog as No. 1 seed in divisional-round win over Falcons. ... Falcons averaged 22.1 points per game and allowed 19.7 in 2017. ... Falcons averaged 364.8 yards per game and allowed 318.4 and 5.93 yards per play, second highest in franchise history. ... Falcons QB Matt Ryan completed 64.6 percent of passes for 4,095 yards, 20 TDs, 12 picks and 91.4 passer rating. ... RB Devonta Freeman had 865 yards rushing and seven TDs. ... WR Julio Jones caught 88 passes for 1,444 yards and three TDs. ... Freeman and Jones were held out of preseason games. ... RB Tevin Coleman had 927 scrimmage yards and eight TDs. ... Falcons' defense ranked in the top 10 in total yards and scoring for first time since 1998. ... LB Deion Jones had three picks. ... LB Vic Beasley Jr., had two sacks and forced fumble in last meeting. ... Keanu Neal led NFC safeties with 113 tackles. ... K Matt Bryant made 34 of 39 field goals (87.2 percent) and all 35 extra-point tries. ... Eagles coming off first Super Bowl victory in franchise history. ... Doug Pederson tries to become fourth head coach in team history to win three straight season openers. ... Eagles 15-3 at home since 2016. ... Philly finished with second-most points (463) in team history in 2017. ... Eagles tied for first in NFL in point differential (plus 162), led league in rush defense (79.2 yards per game) and ranked first in NFC in turnover differential (plus 11). ... Eagles averaged 28.6 points per game and allowed 18.4. Averaged 365.8 yards per game and allowed 306.5. ... QB Nick Foles was 5-1 filling in for Carson Wentz. Foles was Super Bowl MVP and will start Thursday with Wentz still recovering from knee injury. ... RB Jay Ajayi had 873 yards rushing and one TD combined with Dolphins and Eagles. ... TE Zach Ertz had 74 catches for 824 yards and eight TDs. ... DE Brandon Graham had 9 1/2 sacks in regular season and strip-sack to seal Super Bowl win. ... K Jake Elliott made 26 of 31 field goals (83.8 percent) and 39 of 42 extra points. ... Fantasy Tip: Jones has 500 yards receiving vs. Eagles in past four games, including nine catches for 101 yards with 16 targets in playoff game.

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