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Matt Ryan hangs tough as Falcons beat Eagles

Michael Turner,  Brian Rolley, Jarrad Page AP

Michael Vick appeared to be well on his way to leading his Philadelphia Eagles to a big win on the road against his old team in Atlanta. And then Vick went down, and the story became the Falcons comeback engineered by Matt Ryan.

Ryan completed 17 of 28 passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns as the Falcons came back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter and beat the Eagles 35-31. It was a highly entertaining game, a major statement for the Falcons that they’re contenders in the NFC, and a disappointing loss for the Eagles.

“It was a wild one for sure but we hung in there — I think everybody hung in there,” Ryan said afterward. “You just keep getting up. There’s a lot of tough guys on this football team.”

Although Vick’s injury was a major story coming out of the game, the loss can’t be blamed on that: Backup Mike Kafka came on in Vick’s place and played very well, completing his first seven passes, for 72 yards.

Unfortunately, Kafka’s last two passes fell incomplete: On one, Kafka hit Jeremy Maclin in the hands on a fourth down with the Eagles driving late in the fourth quarter, only to have Maclin drop it. The other incompletion was a Hail Mary into the end zone on the last play of the game.

It’s a shame that Maclin’s drop may overshadow a huge game: He caught 13 passes for 171 yards. But that late drop is a pass he’ll wish he could have back.

Ryan’s favorite receiver for the game was tight end Tony Gonzalez, who caught seven passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns. And Michael Turner had a big day, carrying 21 times for 114 yards and also racing 32 yards on his only catch.

With that, the Falcons and Eagles are both 1-1, and both in the middle of what looks like a very competitive NFC.

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34 Responses to “Matt Ryan hangs tough as Falcons beat Eagles”
  1. davidgq says: Sep 18, 2011 11:54 PM

    No Vick – No Dream Team. Vick won’t stay healthy for long if he get hits like that every week.

    Sleep Well Eagle fans.

  2. drgfri says: Sep 18, 2011 11:54 PM

    Good Lord….. Did Gonzalez just step through a time machine from 2004? That guy looked rejuvenated!

  3. pryor4heisman says: Sep 18, 2011 11:55 PM

    Jay Cutler just tweeted that Vick is a pu55y! Cutler took 15 shots just like that and finished the game today!

  4. americankris says: Sep 18, 2011 11:55 PM

    Matt Ryan son

  5. kayotiicdat says: Sep 18, 2011 11:56 PM

    It doesn’t matter Matty Water is extremely overrated..

  6. bleedgreen4life says: Sep 18, 2011 11:59 PM

    Maclin had a phenomenal game. Its too bad we lost the game as a result of a drop by Maclin but I’m sure he’ll bounce back. Vick has a concussion, Kafka looked sharp, so hopefully he’ll be ready for the giants. I didn’t expect Vick to be healthy the entire season but I didn’t think he’d go down this early in the season. Oh well, that’s why they sign backups.

  7. duncanthecat says: Sep 18, 2011 11:59 PM

    Matt just beat The Dream Team!

  8. trbowman says: Sep 19, 2011 12:00 AM

    That’s karma for you, Mike. I’m sure he didn’t bleed as much as the dogs he killed did.

  9. vicktator says: Sep 19, 2011 12:02 AM

    davidgq says: Sep 18, 2011 11:54 PM

    No Vick – No Dream Team. Vick won’t stay healthy for long if he get hits like that every week.

    Sleep Well Eagle fans.

    _______________________________

    Bet you are a cowboys fan, Austins hurt, Romos hurt, Jones is hurt, Dez is hurt, you barely beat the niners, shut up and go away hater

  10. macjacmccoy says: Sep 19, 2011 12:03 AM

    U Gotta give Andy Reid his blame for this. There was 5 minutes left when the Eagles started that final drive. Andy Reid bet everything on a 1st time qb on 1 drive. You cant do that. He decided to keep the offense in the huddle running the clock down nearly 30 seconds on every play. The Eagles should have been in the hurry up offense. If they played with a tiny bit of urgency they could have kicked a field goal instead of going for it on 4th down and still had plenty of time to try to stop ATL and go down and get another field goal.

    There is NO WAY the Eagles should have gotten that ball back with anything less then a 2 minutes. Instead they wasted time and only had 15 seconds left to try and go 70 yards.

    Add that and 2 turnovers Andy Reid costs. 1 on not challenging an INT that wasnt 1. And Calling a pitch inside the 10 after already running the ball twice this season. Both of those Turnovers led to TDs.

    This game is Andy Reids loss more then anyone elses.

  11. minnysoda says: Sep 19, 2011 12:06 AM

    Don’t the Eagles have the Best Defense Money can buy ?
    The Bears held Atlanta to 12 points.
    How you Eagles fans think Vick is the answer is beyond me. Maybe Ron Mexico or Uncle Rico would be more durable
    Dream team LOL

  12. terrellblowens says: Sep 19, 2011 12:08 AM

    If by serious NFC contenders you mean a team that can beat a 3rd string QB on a condensed playbook, then yes they are. If I remember correctly, the Bears completely undressed this team

  13. gavinmac says: Sep 19, 2011 12:09 AM

    Ryan needs to learn how to kill a few more seconds before taking a knee in situations like at the end of the game. It looked like he was putting his knee on the ground the moment he got the snap, if not before.

    The final Hail Mary could have been avoided if he just backed up a few steps before taking a knee all three times.

  14. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 12:10 AM

    Welcome to third place, Eagles. Remember what I said about Andy Reid?

  15. jaggedmark says: Sep 19, 2011 12:11 AM

    Why does Andy Reid take pride in not challenging crucial calls that he could win? Anybody know?

  16. kriminal29 says: Sep 19, 2011 12:12 AM

    Please comment on the ridiculousness of the refs and replay judges this weekend in regards to scoring plays. I feel that the new rule where the defending team does not have the ability to challenge is a disservice to the game overall. I cite as examples the “Calvin Johnson rule” ignored on Finley’s TD as well as many others today. I would love to know if I’m the only one who is annoyed at this.

  17. onebadace says: Sep 19, 2011 12:18 AM

    @trbowman

    Karma for Mike Vick? I thought his karma was being caught and going to PRISON for two years. You’ll just never let it go out of pure spite and jealousy, and that’s sad.

  18. mdd913 says: Sep 19, 2011 12:22 AM

    Just curious what part of the “dream” involved giving up multiple touchdowns to old-ass Tony Gonzalez.

  19. hcf95688 says: Sep 19, 2011 12:29 AM

    If Vick is out any length of time at all, you Philly fans will be wishing that you still had Kevin Kolb.

  20. hcf95688 says: Sep 19, 2011 12:29 AM

    Matt Ryan > Michael Vick

  21. welzy says: Sep 19, 2011 12:31 AM

    Knowing Goodell he’ll fine the Eagles O-lineman for the helmet-to-helmet on Vick….

  22. tonymandrich says: Sep 19, 2011 12:37 AM

    DREAM TEAM…
    -can’t stop a nosebleed
    -can’t keep QBs healthy
    -can’t beat the Packers
    -most overrated team in the league

    and matt ryan didn’t look very good for the second week in a row either

  23. bdert says: Sep 19, 2011 12:51 AM

    Games last for 60mins…its was a “last man standing contest” Atlanta lasted…

  24. davidgq says: Sep 19, 2011 1:00 AM

    @vicktator

    Not a cowboys fan. Just stating the facts. I went to VA Tech and followed Vick career. He can’t get healthy and you idiots paid him 100 mil? All Teams will go after him and try to take him out because that’s how they will beat your Dream Team.

    At least cowboys won and your team choke!

  25. dlk81 says: Sep 19, 2011 1:45 AM

    Am I the only one that finds it odd that the falcons took three straight knees without trying to run any extra time off the clock at the end of the game? Sure it worked for then this time but to me it seemed like a huge gamble to kick directly to one of the best return man in the game. Not to mention the previous punt was a whopping 20 yarder. I can only imagine the headlines if Jackson broke for a TD.

  26. dannomac21 says: Sep 19, 2011 1:49 AM

    trbowman says:
    Sep 19, 2011 12:00 AM
    That’s karma for you, Mike. I’m sure he didn’t bleed as much as the dogs he killed did.

    ———————————————

    karma? he spent a year and a half in jail, and worked his ass off to be at the point where he is today.

    just an unnecessary comment.

    and i’m a packer fan.

  27. JMil_ATL says: Sep 19, 2011 7:05 AM

    1st game against the Bears was a blip. Keep watching…you’ll see.

  28. TheDPR says: Sep 19, 2011 7:51 AM

    The Eagles are who I thought they were. They’re the same team they always are under Andy Reid. Good enough to win between 9 and 12 games. Not good enough to win a championship.

    Yawn. I’m so sick of Reid and losing in the playoffs it isn’t funny. And if any other Eagles fans think this team can win two or three in a row against playoff caliber teams like Green Bay, New Orleans, Atlanta to get to the Super Bowl then you’re nuts.

    The Eagles are good but they’re a Tier II team.

  29. ceschatz says: Sep 19, 2011 7:56 AM

    I was gonna call Vick a one hit wonder but the guy hasn’t won anything. the media and ofcourse eagle fans have anointed him the savior but the guy is made of glass and is a sub par QB.

  30. starderup says: Sep 19, 2011 8:02 AM

    The SNF team focused the entire pregame show on the wrong guy. All we heard was Vick this, Vick that.
    When they went to commercial, they showed Vick.
    Way to show who was the better QB of the day, Matty Ice!
    Get off of Vick’s sack, Collingsworthless.

  31. eaglesblow says: Sep 19, 2011 9:13 AM

    Karma for Mike Vick? I thought his karma was being caught and going to PRISON for two years. You’ll just never let it go out of pure spite and jealousy, and that’s sad.

    ==============

    The Eagles have now lost 3 of the last 4 games that Vick has started. What’s to be jealous of?

  32. nfl4ever says: Sep 19, 2011 10:18 AM

    ceschatz says: Sep 19, 2011 7:56 AM

    I was gonna call Vick a one hit wonder but the guy hasn’t won anything. the media and of course eagle fans have anointed him the savior but the guy is made of glass and is a sub par QB.
    ——————————————-
    Sounds a lot like our President, doesn’t it?

  33. laramsfan003 says: Sep 19, 2011 10:48 AM

    Is it just me or is the Falcon bandwagon going way too fast too early? Let’s back it down a peg for just a second fellas. Vick turned the ball over three times, & GIFT WRAPPED the game for them. Yet somehow brought the Beagles screaming back to actually take a 10 pt lead? Uhhh yeah that definitely sounds like a team that’s ready to take the NFC to the SB!

    Yup sounds like a squad that should handle the Packers nicely, & not to mention the Aints. The Falcons should win their division going away sure. *wink wink nudge nudge*

    Even though the Bear team got completely dismantled by the Aints, Cutler could be seen crying on the sidelines, & the Beagles ALMOST won with a 3rd string QB. You have every right to be proud Falcon fans. Stand up and represent!

  34. txraiderfan says: Sep 19, 2011 7:55 PM

    In the first two games, it seems like the Falcons have been determined to force the ball into Jones whether he’s double covered, double covered, or otherwise just not open. It’s almost like they forget how AWESOME Roddy White while trying to justify their big move in the draft. Jones will show his talent. No need to force it.

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