Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Stingy Eagles cling to halftime lead

The Eagles held the NFL's highest-scoring offense to a pair of field goals and survived a few mistakes to hit halftime with a 7-6 lead over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The Eagles came out with a solid plan offensively and defensively.

They forced punts on the first two drives by Atlanta's offense; Matt Ryan went into the half with just 112 passing yards, 11 for 15, 73 of those yards coming on six Julio Jones catches.

In between the first two Atlanta possessions, the Eagles put together one of their best drives of the season, skillfully mixing running and passing, 12 plays, 81 yards, capped by a 4-yard Ryan Mathews touchdown run. Mathews ran seven times for 34 yards in the series, and Carson Wentz was 4 for 4 for 47 yards.

Caleb Sturgis missed a 40-yard field goal, and the Falcons drove for field goals on their next two drives, but given the quality of the opponent, that was a decent outcome for the defense.

The Eagles' offense bogged down. It got a drive going in the final minutes of the half, only to have Atlanta's best pass rusher, Victor Beasley, reach around Halapoulivaati Vaitai and poke the ball away from Wentz. The Falcons recovered the fumble, but Matt Bryant missed a 53-yard field goal.

Wentz was 11 for 16 for 134 yards at the half. Mathews had 56 yards on nine carries, the kind of rush result the Eagles were looking for this week.

Corner Leodis McKelvin was active but did not start, in favor of Jalen Mills, but when Nolan Carroll suffered an apparent concussion late in the half, McKelvin and his wonky hamstring had to take the field.