Falcons get taste of their own medicine against Eagles

Quinn, Ryan disappointed in offense after loss to Eagles

PHILADELPHIA -- Dan Quinn has a few go-to phrases.

He loves to say "firing on all cylinders" and "dominating in all three phases of the game" to describe his team. 

Unfortunately when the Atlanta Falcons head coach used those phrases on Sunday, he was describing the Philadelphia Eagles who had just handed his team its fourth loss of the season. 

The Eagles had a season-high 208 rushing yards. Running back Ryan Matthews had two touchdowns, including a 5-yard score in the fourth quarter to re-take the lead and eventually hold on to a 24-15 victory at Lincoln Financial Field.

Their rookie quarterback Carson Wentz had a couple of "rookie moments" and took two sacks from Vic Beasley, but still walked away with 221 yards thanks to Jordan Matthews, Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz who combined for 20 catches for 185 yards, getting the team in position enough times to score more points than the best scoring offense in the league.

"When they have the balance like they did today, running the ball and passing the ball, that's when we're at our best offensively. We got a taste of our own medicine in that case," Quinn said after the game.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was able to throw for 267 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown to Taylor Gabriel that gave the Falcons the lead in the fourth quarter and looked like a would-be momentum shift for the offense.

Ryan said he wished his offense had had opportunities to take more shots down field, but going 2-11 on third down kept the offense off the field. The Eagles' offense was on the field nearly twice as long as the Falcons'.

After the touchdown, the Falcons went three-and-out on the next drive, Julio Jones dropped the ball on third and fourth downs on separate drives and Ryan threw an interception on the team's final offensive drive.

Jones had 10 catches for 135 yards against the best defense the Falcons have faced this season other than the Denver Broncos.

The running game was nonexistent with Tevin Coleman out for a third consecutive week with a hamstring injury. Devonta Freeman rushed for just 49 yards.

The defense, which has shown improvement the past few weeks, was dominated at the line of scrimmage. One of Beasley's sacks was a strip-sack that forced a fumble which the Falcons recovered. But the secondary couldn't take advantage of an inexperienced Wentz who had thrown four interceptions in the Eagles' previous three games.

The rookie completed his first eight passes and finished 25-of-36 for 231 yards.

It didn't help that the Falcons were without cornerback Desmond Trufant because of a shoulder injury. A pass interference by Brian Poole on a deep pass from Wentz to Jordan Matthews set up the Eagles' go-ahead touchdown in the fourth.

Quinn wants his "ball-hawking" defense (another common phrase) to fight for more interceptions, but he is more concerned with the tackling-- or lack thereof-- at this point in the season.

"We still have a ways to go in improving upon our tackling and making sure our fits are exactly on point," Quinn said. "We are gaining confidence in those players and how they play."

As for why they couldn't stop the run, Quinn couldn't really say until after he watched the film.

"There wasn't anything so out of the ordinary for us," he said. "There was not a scheme that was so unusual in this game that they employed that gave us more difficulty than another."

It's not a devastating loss for the Falcons since they will likely win a mediocre NFC South. But with how they are performing in non-division games, a deep playoff run is looking more and more doubtful for this team.

PHOTOS | Falcons vs. Eagles


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