Thursday night began with a “special Philly” kind of moment as the Eagles unfurled the first Super Bowl banner in franchise history.
Later, the “Philly Special” returned to help catapult Philadelphia past the Atlanta Falcons 18-12 in the NFL’s 2018 regular-season opener.
On a night when he struggled noticeably, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan’s final pass to Julio Jones in the end zone fell incomplete, producing a similar outcome to Atlanta’s divisional playoff heartbreaker at Lincoln Financial Field in January.
Jay Ajayi scored two touchdowns, the second an 11-yard dash with 2:19 left in the game that put the Eagles ahead for good on a night when neither of the NFC’s past two champs looked particularly Lombardi-worthy in a sloppy game marred by penalties and uninspired offense.
But Philadelphia did revert to some of its 2017 magic to get the victory.
Reprising the team’s famous Super Bowl trick play — coach Doug Pederson had hinted last month the “Philly Special” had been retired — Eagles quarterback Nick Foles caught a 15-yard pass from receiver Nelson Agholor on a reverse (Agholor stood in for departed tight end Trey Burton on the play) in the third quarter, helping spark what had been a largely dormant offense with the team’s longest play of the night to that point. Five plays later, Ajayi scored on a 1-yard run for a 10-6 lead.
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Source: USA Today