It was a return home for star rookie Matt Ryan, who played his college ball at Boston College. In front of a number of family and friends though, it was the Eagles that made sure to fly high, sending Ryan and his Falcons to 4-3 after a 27-14 win to improve to 4-3 on the season.
Ryan did have his moments, including a 55-yard TD to Roddy White, but for the most part was unable to come up with the big plays that have made him the darling of the league for the first seven weeks of the season. Instead it was a solid Eagles pass rush, and a solid game for their offense led by Brian Westbrook, that did in the Falcons.
The gritty running back put up 167 yards on 22 carries, and had two TD’s in the process. QB Donovan McNabb was 19-for-34 for 253 yards, and spread the ball to seven receivers, including rookie Desean Jackson who had 72 yards on just three catches.
It was a tight game for the first half, as the Falcons went up 7-0 with 8:56 left in the half on a Ryan to White TD connection that covered 55 yards. The Eagles came back with McNabb going in from three yards out with 2:25 left in the second quarter to make it 7-7. David Akers kicked a 36-yard field goal as time expired in the quarter to make it 10-7 Phily.
Westbrook started the second half with his first score, a 16-yard nifty run that made it 17-7 Philly. An Akers field goal with 7:57 left gave the Eagles a 20-7 lead. Ryan and White again combined, this time from 8 yards with 3:55 left to make it a 6-point game at 20-14. The Eagles through wrapped it up as Westbrook went 39 yards with 1:51 left to close out the scoring and end his big day rushing.
Ryan was 23-for-44 for 277 yards with two TD’s and two picks and a QB rating of 68.1. White had 8 catches for 113 yards and two scores. Bruising back Michael Turner had just 58 yards on 17 carries, and was held down for most of the afternoon. The Falcons are on the road next week at Oakland.
The Eagles will head on the road to play at Seattle, a team coming off their second win of the season Sunday after pounding new coach Mike Singletary and the Niners in San Fran.