By Mike Bell

What an awesome way to kick off the Falcons season!

Nobody outside Atlanta gave the Falcons much of a chance, Vegas had us as 3 point dogs in our own building. The defense got off to a flying start, putting heat on Sam Bradford and stonewalling DeMarco Murray & the Eagles run game. Up 20-3 at the half it looked like a laugher.

Eventually the Eagle up tempo offense got clicking as the Falcons defense tired. Allowing the Eagles long drives on short stuff underneath many Falcon fans were having nightmares of The Ghost of Mike Smith Chokes Past.

If Matt Ryan puts some air on what should have been a TD pass to Roddy in the end zone and doesn’t set the Eagles up on our 10 yard line with a pick, we don’t sweat the 4th quarter.

Here’s my Top 5 takeaways from Monday night’s game:

1) Going into this game we knew the offensive line would be shaky and the defense would be tested by what we thought was going to be a high octane Eagles offense.

2) The one thing Falcons fans should be able to depend on is our $100 Million Franchise Quarterback, but he made some awful throws.  And truth be told the patchwork offensive line kept him clean most of the night!

3) Late in the game we had to lean on Dan Quinn’s new look defense and they responded forcing a 4th & 1, uncharacteristically Chip Kelly elected to kick the field goal and missed. After the Falcons went 3 & out the defense was called upon again to make a play and Ricardo Allen responded with the game winning pick.

4) Tevin Coleman & Devonta Freeman combined for just under a c-note rushing. Not great but certainly better than expected. Over the next few weeks the offensive line will get more cohesion and eventually we may see new addition Jake Long in at right tackle, (currently he listed as back up left tackle).

5) Certainly some things to work on but what a feeling to see a Falcons defense being aggressive getting after the QB & making plays all over the field!

And how sweet it was to walk out of The Georgia Dome to and hear the grumbling of heartbroken Eagles fans!

Yeah I’d be ticked off too if I took the time to paint my face Green & White and had to share a room at The Omni with six other smelly Troglodytes from Chichester.