Thursday July 18th, 2019 1:24PM

Foles shows off catching skills, Eagles beat Falcons 18-12

By The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nick Foles could end up playing a new position when Carson Wentz comes back if he keeps this up.

Foles caught another pass in a clutch spot to spark a sputtering offense that looked out of sync and the defense picked up right where it left off last time it faced Atlanta.

After seeing their "world champions" banner unveiled, the Philadelphia Eagles took the first step toward trying to become the first team to repeat in 14 years by stopping Matt Ryan to Julio Jones on the final play again in an 18-12 victory over the Falcons on Thursday night.

Foles hardly looked like Super Bowl MVP until coach Doug Pederson called his number in the third quarter when the offense needed a spark. Foles caught a 15-yard pass from Nelson Agholor to extend a drive that ended with Jay Ajayi scoring the first of his two touchdown runs.

"It's great to have it at the right time if you can catch a team (off guard)," Foles said. "Everybody loves a good trick play."

Foles caught a 1-yard TD pass from tight end Trey Burton in the first half of Philadelphia's 41-33 win over New England in the Super Bowl. Foles asked Pederson on the sideline if he wanted "Philly Philly" but called the play "Philly Special" in the huddle. This one was "Philly Philly" and Pederson said he borrowed it from New England's playbook. Tom Brady dropped that pass.

"Offensively, we were sort of misfiring a little bit," Pederson said. "Just were looking for a big play, somebody to make a play. It felt like the right time."

If the Eagles need any help at receiver once Wentz is cleared to play after knee surgery last December, Foles is ready to go.

Well, not really.

A sloppy, mistake-filled game that featured 26 penalties came down to Ryan throwing an incomplete pass to Jones in the left corner of the end zone on the final play from Philadelphia's 5.

Jones couldn't come down with Ryan's pass from the 2 in the right corner of the end zone in Atlanta's 15-10 loss in the divisional round in January.

"It was deja vu," said cornerback Ronald Darby, who covered Jones on the last play this time around instead of Jalen Mills. "Jones is one of the best but we got the stop."

A weather delay pushed kickoff back 45 minutes, forcing fans to wait a bit longer for the championship ceremony. Wearing his gold Hall of Fame jacket, former safety Brian Dawkins riled up the sellout crowd with owner Jeffrey Lurie by his side and led a chorus of "Fly Eagles Fly."

It was the most excitement for a while on a hot, muggy night that seemed more like an August preseason game than a playoff rematch. Both teams looked rusty after many starters didn't play much in preseason.

Here are some things we learned from the game:

RED ZONE WOES: The Falcons were 1 for 5 in the red zone after struggling inside the opponents' 20 last year. Second-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian spent plenty of time in the offseason trying to improve the team's scoring efficiency. Jones only had three TD catches last season. He had 10 receptions for 169 yards but didn't score.

"It's never discouraging," Jones said/ "We just got to keep working, stick together and make plays and get things called down there."


Jay Ajayi had 62 yards rushing on 15 carries. His 11-yard TD run and 2-point conversion gave the Eagles a lead with 2:25 left. Ajayi ran in from the 1 on the drive Foles made the catch.

"I knew I would have a good day if I just stayed being myself and being the Jay Train," Ajayi said.


Eagles linebacker Jordan Hicks had 1½ sacks in his first game since rupturing his Achilles tendon last October. Hicks also committed a penalty on fourth down that allowed the Falcons to have one more play at the end but the defense bailed him out.

"The ability to get back out there and have fun and celebrate and have passion no matter the play, it feels good," Hicks said.


Falcons safety Keanu Neal left the game with a knee injury in the first half but coach Dan Quinn said it doesn't appear serious. Long snapper Josh Harris had his streak of 103 consecutive games played end because of a hip injury.

Wentz, who hasn't been medically cleared for contact, threw passes and did other drills while wearing a brace on his left knee during warmups.


More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Braves beat Diamondbacks 7-6 on wild pitch in 10th inning
Dansby Swanson scored the go-ahead run on Yoshihisa Hirano's wild pitch in the 10th inning, and the Atlanta Braves rallied after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6.
2:05AM ( 27 minutes ago )
AP source: Kaepernick watches ad's TV premiere from Nike HQ
Nike aired its highly anticipated ad featuring Colin Kaepernick during the NFL season opener Thursday night as the quarterback watched from the apparel giant's Oregon headquarters
2:01AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Eagles stop Ryan to Jones again, beat Falcons 18-12
Jay Ajayi had a pair of touchdown runs, Nick Foles caught another pass to jump-start a sputtering offense and the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles needed another defensive stand to open the season with an 18-12 victory over the Atlanta Falcons
1:27AM ( 1 hour ago )
Unwanted by Australia, refugees on Nauru have few options
More than 600 refugees, including about 120 children and teenagers, have been stuck on the tiny Pacific island of Nauru for nearly five years
1:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
On and off screen, Burt Reynolds followed many paths
The late Burt Reynolds is being honored with tributes from fellow actors and Hollywood monuments
12:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Falcons lead Eagles 6-3 at half of NFL opener
The Atlanta Falcons lead the Philadelphia Eagles 6-3 after a sloppy, penalty-filled first half Thursday night to open the NFL season
10:37PM ( 3 hours ago )
NFL kneeling question helps pick Miss America prelim winner
A question about the propriety of NFL players kneeling in protest during the National Anthem helped select one of Thursday's preliminary winners in the Miss America competition
10:08PM ( 4 hours ago )
Texas player treated at hospital after heat illness
Texas says offensive lineman Patrick Hudson was treated in intensive care and remains hospitalized because of a heat illness in practice this week.
9:57PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Football
AP Online - Georgia News
Ex-Browns LB Kendricks pleads guilty to insider trading
Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks has pleaded guilty to insider trading charges in a Philadelphia courtroom
5:47PM ( 8 hours ago )
US appeals court revives drug lawsuit by players against NFL
A U.S. appeals court has revived a lawsuit against the NFL by former players who claim the league illegally plied them with powerful prescription painkillers to keep them on the field
4:28PM ( 10 hours ago )
Dolphins' Stills encouraged by Nike ad deal with Kaepernick
Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills says he's encouraged by Nike's new endorsement deal with his friend and fellow activist Colin Kaepernick
3:49PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Word detectives: Close look at word choice could ID writer
Word choice, especially the little overlooked words, could possibly help experts figure out who wrote New York Times' anonymous opinion piece
1:50AM ( 42 minutes ago )
Cubs come back to beat Nationals 6-4 in 10 innings
Pinch-hitter David Bote had an RBI double and scored in the 10th inning as the Chicago Cubs came back to beat the Washington Nationals 6-4 in the opener of a four-game series
1:49AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Giuliani to AP: Trump will not answer obstruction questions
Rudy Giuliani says President Donald Trump will not answer any questions, written or in person, about possible obstruction of justice
1:46AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Kavanaugh avoids major missteps, closing 2 days of testimony
Senate Democrats worked into the night in a last, ferocious attempt to paint Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a foe of abortion rights and a likely defender of President Donald Trump if he makes it to the high court
1:43AM ( 50 minutes ago )
Japan's power supply system weak link in times of disaster
Japan's power supply system weak link in times of disaster
1:37AM ( 56 minutes ago )