And they made life a lot easier for Foles by interfering with his receivers consistently. The Falcons had two pass interference calls for 63 total yards in the first quarter alone, including this one on the first play of the Eagles’ first possession.
“It was cool, man,” McVay said late Wednesday night. “It’s as special as anything I’ve ever gotten from a player. It says, ‘I owe you my career.’ Which … Certainly, I can say the same thing to him. There’s a mutual respect there, and an appreciation for the relationship we had, and I think it was unique that both of us got the chances we got.
“You get a chance as a coordinator to start calling plays and then he gets the shot to start full-time. That coincided those two years, and I think there was a special bond created with one another because of that.”
So far, so good, based on what we saw in the opener. Jared Goff finished his first game under the Rams’ 31-year-old coach with 306 yards, a touchdown and no picks on 21-of-29 passing in a 46-9 rout of the Colts.
Marrone apparently learned his lesson and was a little quicker to throw his challenge flag later in the second half when he challenged that a Bills receiver was out of bounds before making a crucial first-down reception. It worked out for the Jaguars and helped force a punt.
It hasn’t been the best weekend for NFL officials, who received plenty of criticism for their handling of a few situations Saturday. But the play ultimately cost the Jaguars just five yards with the defense able to force a punt a few plays later.
Williams turned around to celebrate—until he saw the panic in his friend’s face. “That f—– me up,” he says. “I’m watching the trainers pinch him. They’re not really telling him they’re pinching him, and they’re just pinching the s— out of him.”
But Newton was a marvel in the fourth quarter Sunday; he threw for nearly half of his 349 yards (174) and both of his touchdowns. It was frantic, it was desperate, it was another high-wire act.