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September 18, 2015 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
SAM BRADFORD brought the Eagles back from the depths. That fact might get lost in all the talk about how the Eagles couldn't complete a deep pass Monday night against the Falcons, or how if you balance Bradford's really shaky first half against his excellent second half, what you get is an unexceptional game - overall stats (36-for-52, 336 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions, 77.1 passer rating) similar to what he put together pretty often in his days quarterbacking the Rams, before Bradford sat out the last season-and-a-half with ACL injuries.
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September 18, 2015 | By David Murphy, Daily News Columnist
BILL DAVIS is a guy who has been the beneficiary of the doubt throughout his two years as defensive coordinator, and Monday night's 26-24 loss to the Falcons offered further opportunity to afford him such courtesy. But before we attempt to talk ourselves through his unit's 2015 debut, let's start with an observation that nobody can dispute. The Eagles had the second-best defense on the field in its season opener, and for most of the night the competition was not close. This observation is important because the first best defense on the field belonged to the Falcons, a team that last season was every bit as bad as the Eagles, and arguably worse.
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September 17, 2015 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
Times the Falcons threw at Maxwell: 11 Completions: 10 Completion percentage: 90.9 Yards: 179 Average per completion: 17.9 Touchdowns: 1 Quarterback rating against him : 149.1 Source: Pro Football Focus
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September 17, 2015 | Les Bowen, Daily News Staff Writer
IT IS STILL not time to panic over kicker Cody Parkey, Chip Kelly said yesterday, and cornerback Byron Maxwell's problems in the season-opening Atlanta loss boiled down to inconsistent technique. It might be a little hard to take either declaration totally at face value. Parkey, last season's Pro Bowl rookie sensation, missed a 44-yard go-ahead field goal Monday night, with 2 minutes, 32 seconds remaining in regulation. He missed two of seven field goal attempts in the preseason, along with an extra point from the new, 33-yard distance, before sitting down with a groin injury that Parkey says is now healed.
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September 17, 2015 | BY DEREK SARLEY, For the Daily News
SO RESOLUTELY does Chip Kelly abhor complexity that if he were editing this piece, he'd already have changed two of the first six words to "much" and "hate" and checked for synonyms on the seventh. His offense boasts the league's shortest playbook, quickest calls and fewest huddles. Everything builds on a foundation of superior fitness married with simple execution of straightforward plays. Which sometimes doesn't work. On Monday night against the Falcons, the Eagles ran an experiment.
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September 17, 2015 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Despite the new uniform, new offense and new teammates, Sam Bradford, in many ways, looked like the St. Louis Rams version of himself Monday night in the Eagles' 26-24 loss to the Falcons. But there was a new-car smell to the performance and some optimism considering the quarterback's efficient second half. Bradford was accurate, got the ball out quickly and for the most part avoided throwing beyond 20 yards downfield. The short passing was game-plan specific and predicated on a Falcons defense that emphasized not getting beaten deep, Chip Kelly said Tuesday.
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September 16, 2015 | By Paul Domowitch, Daily News Columnist
ATLANTA - Like Chip Kelly, Sam Bradford knows how good he can be if his body would only stop betraying him. Like Kelly, he knows he can make the Eagles' spread-tempo offense sing. He knows he can be one of the league's very best quarterbacks. If he only can stay healthy. He felt it two years ago before tearing his left ACL for the first time. Felt the pieces of his game finally all coming together. Felt it again last August after coming back from that injury, only to have the room go dark on him again.
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September 16, 2015 | By Jeff McLane, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - The Eagles didn't lose because Cody Parkey missed a 44-yard field goal. Yes, those three points would have provided the winning margin, but much of the blame can be pinned on a woeful first-half performance. And the two units that were considered weaknesses for the Eagles entering the season - the secondary and the offensive line - were instrumental in spotting the Falcons a 20-3 lead before the break. Chip Kelly's troops rebounded and even went ahead in the second half, but a 17-point cushion - unlike in last season's opener against the Jaguars - proved to be too much to overcome and the Eagles fell, 26-24.
SPORTS
September 16, 2015 | By Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTA - Chip Kelly measured his options and sent Cody Parkey onto the field. The Eagles trailed by two points with less than three minutes remaining in the game, and although they needed just 1 yard for a first down, Kelly went with the safe move: a 44-yard field-goal attempt. He didn't expect Parkey's kick to sail wide right, costing the Eagles their best chance for a late lead and leaving them stunned by a season-opening 26-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night. After Parkey's missed field goal, the Eagles took the ball back at their 14-yard line with 1 minute, 49 seconds left and a chance to win. Their hopes were dashed when Sam Bradford's third-down pass went through Jordan Matthews' hands and was intercepted by Ricardo Allen at the Eagles' 29-yard line with 71 seconds remaining.
SPORTS
September 16, 2015 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
ATLANTA – Wasn't it hilarious Sunday night, watching the Giants and Cowboys outblunder each other? Nearly fell off the couch laughing, didn't you? That would be the same couch you tried to heave through the living room window at halftime last night, with the Eagles – so obviously the cream of the NFC East, until they actually had to go out and play -- fortunate to be down "only" 17 points in what became a 26-24 season-opening loss to the host Atlanta Falcons, who began the evening as slight underdogs.
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