Eagles take down Falcons 18-12 in NFL opener

The 2018 NFL season kicked off Thursday night with a matchup of two recent Super Bowl contenders — one a champion, the other the vanquished.

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons 18-12 at Lincoln Financial Field in a matchup of Super Bowl LI runners-up Atlanta Falcons and defending champion Philadelphia Eagles. It was also a rematch of last season’s NFC divisional playoffs, when the Eagles won 15-10.

Down 6-3 in the third quarter, the Eagles ran the “Philly Special,” a razzle-dazzle play it made famous in the Super Bowl LII win over the New England Patriots.

At the Falcons’ 41-yard line, quarterback Nick Foles handed the ball off to running back Corey Clement, who pitched it to receiver Nelson Agholor who lobbed a pass to Foles. The play set up a 1-yard scoring run by Jay Ajayi, giving the Eagles a 10-6 lead.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan is hoping to lead the Falcons back to the NFL’s title game, with Super Bowl LIII set for Feb. 3, 2019, at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If the Falcons make to their second Super Bowl in three seasons, they would become the first NFL team to play the Super Bowl on their home field.