The Falcons earned their first victory of 2011 with a dramatic 35-31 comeback win in their home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. There were several lead changes, but eventually the Falcons were able to overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.
Matt Ryan led the team with 195 yards passing, with 4 touchdowns while completing 17 of 28 passes. He also threw two interceptions. Michael Turner had a strong performance with 114 yards rushing on 21 carries and a touchdown that ultimately proved to be the game-winner. Tony Gonzalez led the Falcons receivers with 7 catches for 83 yards and 2 scores. Roddy White added a score of his own along with 3 catches for 23 yards. Ovie Mughelli caught Ryan’s other touchdown pass, his only grab of the night for 1 yard. The Falcons did not have to rely on the leg of Matt Bryant, who attempted no field goals as the Falcons were perfect in scoring touchdowns on five trips into the redzone. Matt Bosher punted 7 times for an average of 35.6 yards with 1 placed inside the 20 yard line. Eric Weems had a single punt return of 19 yards and 3 kickoff returns averaging 26 yards.
Defensively, the Falcons allowed 447 total yards from the Eagles but forced three turnovers that resulted in an additional 14 points for the offense. Curtis Lofton led the group with 10 tackles, and also had 2 passes defended. John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 forced fumble, ), Ray Edwards (2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 fumble recovery), Brent Grimes (6 tackles), Kelvin Hayden (3 tackles, 1 interception), Peria Jerry (1 tackle, 1 forced fumble), William Moore (5 tackles), Stephen Nicholas (3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Chris Owens (3 tackles), Dunta Robinson (6 tackles, 1 pass defended), James Sanders (3 tackles), and Sean Weatherspoon (9 tackles) all had noteworthy games.