They were looking for a fast start and they got it.
Earlier this week, Falcons head coach Mike Smith said he felt a fast start on the road against the Eagles was critical. After scoring in the opening drives of the first three games this season, the Falcons have failed to do it in their last three games.
Things returned to normal for the Falcons in the first quarter on Sunday. Atlanta took the opening drive and traveled 80 yards on 16 plays.
Elevated on the depth chart because of Harry Douglas' injury, Drew Davis got involved early. The second-year receiver caught a 15-yard pass to convert a third down and he ended the drive, catching a wide-open pass from Matt Ryan for a 15-yard touchdown.
Atlanta's defense kept the strong start going by forcing the Eagles to a three-and-out possession on their response drive. When the Falcons got the ball back around two minutes later, they would hold onto it for the remainder of the first quarter. With 36 seconds left in the quarter, Ryan hit Jason Snelling with a short flip pass for three yards and a touchdown.
The Falcons held the Eagles to five net yards in the first quarter and edged the Eagles by nearly 13 minutes in time of possession.
The excitement continued into the second half. The defense allowed an Eagles score to bring Philly to 14-7, but Atlanta responded with a quick jab, a three-play, 73-yard scoring strike that was mostly Julio Jones and his 63-yard touchdown catch and run. The score was the longest scoring play of the Falcons season.
Matt Bryant added 43-yard field goal late in the second quarter to extend the Falcons' lead to 24-7.
Atlanta owned the first half in nearly every way. Ryan finished the half completing 17 of his 20 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. His QB rating was just shy of perfect at 147.3.The QB has connected on passes to seven different players.
The Eagles were held to 94 yards in the first half, safety Thomas DeCoud had a sack of Vick and the defense limited the Eagles QB to 11 yards rushing and 56 yards passing.