1. Dirk Koetter called a lovely and measured game. The Falcons’ offensive coordinator mixed runs of different sorts (Julio Jones on a reverse) with passes of all kinds (deep balls, slip screens, even a shovel pass to Jason Snelling) to a coldly efficient end (392 yards, 30 points). The Philadelphia defense, in its maiden voyage under just-promoted coordinator Todd Bowles, had no answer. The Falcons scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and kicked field goals on the next three. They didn’t punt until six minutes remained.
2. The Eagles’ famous secondary couldn’t cover the Falcons’ receivers. Julio Jones ran past the All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on his 69-yard touchdown reception — in vain, safety Nate Allen attempted to offer help — and fill-in slot receiver Drew Davis was left unencumbered on his touchdown catch. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the other cornerback, was called for both holding and pass interference on the same play, which is tough to manage. Of Matt Ryan’s 17 first-half completions, five Falcons caught at least two. Those 17 completions were on 20 attempts, which left Ryan with a passer rating of 147.3 for Quarters 1 and 2.
3. Know how it’s said that hardy Northerners will brave any weather? There were a few thousand empty seats in Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, which seemed an indication that Philly folks had paid attention to the forecasts. Even though the rain that was forecast for the game didn’t arrive until the third quarter, the dire warnings regarding Hurricane Sandy surely had an effect on the gathering. Though not, it must be said, the disposition of those in attendance. The Eagles’ defense was booed after yielding a touchdown on the game’s first drive, and Michael Vick was booed after being sacked on the Eagles’ first possession. And more than a few disgusted patrons left at halftime, when the home team trailed 24-7.
By Mark Bradley