How the Falcons held on for 26-24 victory

A quarter-by-quarter look at the Falcons’ 26-24 upset victory against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday at the Georgia Dome.


Big play: The Falcons appeared set to take a 10-0 lead, but Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso intercepted a Matt Ryan pass in the end zone to stop the threat.

Turning point: The Falcons defense was strong with two three-and-outs. The Eagles' high-flying tempo attack was stymied. Philadelphia quarterback Sam Bradford managed two first downs and the Eagles were forced to punt four times. The Falcons' defense held the Eagles to 1 of 5 on third down conversions.

The takeaway: The Falcons' defense appeared much improved.

Score: Falcons 3, Eagles 0


Big play: On first-and 10 from Philadelphia's 29, Roddy White, who was coming back from elbow surgery, broke free on a crossing route that picked up 23 yards to set up the Falcons' first touchdown.

Turning point: Falcons rookie defensive tackle Grady Jarrett got some pressure on Bradford, who floated a pass out in the direction of tight end Zach Ertz. Strong safety William Moore intercepted the pass. On the Falcons ensuing play, the Eagles recovered a Ryan fumble, but the play was nullified because Alonso committed an illegal contact penalty. With new life, Ryan tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jones to open a 17-point lead.

The takeaway: The Falcons continued to tackle well and rally to the ball.

Score: Falcons 20, Eagles 3


Big play: On third-and-14 from the Atlanta 12, Ryan tossed an interception to safety Walter Thurmond on a pass intended for White. When the Falcons needed a long-drive to pad their lead, they let the Eagles back in the game.

Turning point: DeMarco Murray scored on an 8-yard touchdown run to make it 20-10. The Falcons were stopped and forced to punt. Falcons punter Matt Bosher pinned the Eagles down at their 5, but the defense gave up a 13-play, 97-yard touchdown drive, including penalties.

The takeaway: The defense started to show some signs of wearing down as they were not as fast to the ball and the tackling started to get careless.

Score: Falcons 20, Eagles 17


Big play 1: Allen's interception of a Bradford pass with 1:11 left to play.

Big play 2: On second-and-4 from the Eagles' 24, Coleman broke loose for punishing 16-yard run to the 8. Newly acquired left guard Andy Levitre was called for holding. The Falcons had to settle for a field goal to make it 23-17. Cody Parkey's missed 44-yard field goal with 2:27. It was wide right.

Turning point: After Levitre's penalty and the field goal, the Eagles hit the Falcons with three quick explosive plays. Darren Sproles got behind linebacker Kroy Biermann for a 24-yard gain, tight end Ertz shook free on a crossing route for 21 yards and Jordan Matthews broke free for a 19-yard gain to move to the 1. Ryan Mathews scored from 1-yard out to give the Eagles a 24-23 lead. The Falcons answered with a 47-yard field goal to re-take the lead with 6:27 to play. The Eagles drove back into field goal range, but Parkey missed.

The takeaway: Why do the Falcons keep putting Biermann in coverage?

Score: Falcons 26, Eagles 24.