Falcons edge Eagles 26-24 in Quinn debut, 49ers down Vikings
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 15, 2015 05:45 PM
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) makes a touchdown catch against Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Byron Maxwell (31) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
ATLANTA (AP) — Julio Jones hauled in nine passes for 141 yards, including a pair of touchdowns, and the Atlanta Falcons came back after squandering a 17-point halftime lead to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24 Monday night in the coaching debut of Dan Quinn.
"You just trust the preparation, let it rip and have fun," Quinn said. "That's what we did."
He sure enjoyed watching Jones, who was rewarded for the best season of his career with a new $71.25 million contract during the preseason. Showing no signs of complacency, Jones dominated the Eagles' revamped secondary as the Falcons raced to a 20-3 halftime lead.
In Monday's other game, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Minnesota Vikings 20-3 to win coach Jim Tomsula's debut.
The Eagles rallied behind new quarterback Sam Bradford, taking the lead for the first time at 24-23 on Ryan Mathews' 1-yard run with 8:37 remaining.
Atlanta bounced back, driving into position for Matt Bryant's fourth field goal of the game, a 47-yarder with 6:27 to go that turned out to be the winner.
Cody Parkey was wide right on a 44-yard field goal that could have restored Philadelphia's lead. The Eagles had one more chance, but cornerback-turned-safety Ricardo Allen intercepted a pass that went through the hands of Jordan Matthews, sealing the victory with 1:11 left.
"They didn't want to throw it at my corners so they threw it in the middle of the field," Allen said. "They tipped the ball and it landed in my lap."
In Santa Clara, California, Carlos Hyde ran for a 10-yard score late in the first half by spinning away from a defender and diving into the end zone untouched on a rare nice play in a game full of ugly ones.
Hyde added another 17-yard TD run and Adrian Peterson carried 10 times for 31 yards in his first game in more than a year following paid leave and then a suspension last year in the fallout from a child-abuse case against him in Texas.
Colin Kaepernick threw for 165 yards and second-year back Hyde ran 26 times to easily best his top rookie performance of 55 yards in his final game last year.
A sloppy first half featured a pair of botched field goals, Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater running into his own teammate that led to a 10-yard sack, an 85-yard punt return touchdown called back on penalty, and a fumbled punt — by the former Australian rugby league star Jarryd Hayne on his first NFL touch.
The 27-year-old rookie lost the fumble on a punt return in the first quarter when he misjudged the ball and had to dive forward to try to field it. He made a 1-yard run in the second quarter and caught a 7-yard pass. He was forced into running back duties as the only active backup after Reggie Bush was lost to a left calf injury with about 6 ½ minutes left in the first quarter.