Eagles hold off Falcons to begin title defense

Eagles troll Patriots with'Philly Special in NFL season-opener

First was the odd decision not to have the team's best player, Julio Jones, on the field during the first failed red-zone trip. They held onto him for a reason.

Atlanta Falcons' Julio Jones, front right, can not catch a pass against Philadelphia Eagles' Ronald Darby during the final second of their NFL football game. With some quick moves, QB Nick Foles snagged a 15-yard pass from teammate Nelson Agholor on a reverse to seal an 18-12 victory for the Eagles and some respect from the more than just the fans at Lincoln Financial Field.

"It was in our third-down men, " Pederson said.

It took a trick play where Foles caught the ball to get the offense going. Down to the final play and the game on the line, the Falcons ran the same exact play they did previous year in the playoffs; a pass to Julio Jones, who ended up catching the pass but was pushed out of bounds, ultimately running out the clock & ending the game 18-12.

Jay Ajayi's second rushing touchdown, an 11-yard rumble, gave the Eagles the lead with 2:25 remaining, after Darren Sproles converted a third-and-8 and Corey Clement had a 21-yard run earlier in the drive. In the third quarter of what has been an very bad game between the Falcons and Eagles, Julio Jones made the play of the game by hauling in a 52-yard catch from Matt Ryan. Foles barely looked like the quarterback who outdueled Tom Brady several months ago, as he only generated 65 yards on 18 passes, while also getting sacked twice.

Philadelphia's defense overcame a pair of blunders to temporarily preserve the lead.

Instead, the Falcons offered more of the same inside the 20-yard line.

It was the most excitement for a while on a hot, muggy night that seemed more like an August preseason game than a playoff rematch. It didn't compare to the action in Kansas City's 42-27 victory at New England in the 2017 National Football League opener.

Eagles: WR Mack Hollins was placed on injured reserve hours before the game because of a groin injury.

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