London-born Ajayi also rushed for a two-point conversion and quarterback Nick Foles caught a pass just like he did in the Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots as the Eagles re-enacted a trick play from the Super Bowl.
The Eagles unveiled their championship banner before the start of the contest which was delayed 45 minutes because of heavy rain.
Once the rain stopped the banner, which read “2017 World Champions”, was hoisted high at Lincoln Financial Field.
Jeffrey Lurie was among those who took part of the pre-game festivities as the Eagles owner brought the Lombardi trophy onto the field.
The past two NFC champions both looked rusty to start their season opener before the offences finally got on track in the fourth quarter.
The mostly lacklustre affair ended with a defensive stand by Philadelphia as the Falcons had a chance to win the game on the last play. But receiver Julio Jones was pushed out of bounds after making a leaping catch near the end zone sideline with no time left on the clock.
“This was a hard-fought win,” said Foles of the rematch of last season’s NFC divisional playoff round encounter. “We build on this, we keep building.”
The 29-year-old Texan completed 19-of-34 passes for a total of 117 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
Foles, who nearly retired two years ago and started last season as the backup quarterback to Carson Wentz, was starting Thursday ahead of Wentz who remains sidelined after going down injured midway through last season.
Philadelphia captured their first Super Bowl title by defeating the Patriots 41-33 in an epic contest in February. Foles earned the MVP award in leading Philadelphia to their first NFL championship since 1960.
With the Los Angeles Rams primed to challenge for the Super Bowl, the rest of the NFC West seems to be playing for second.
How the Arizona Cardinals fare is still anyone’s guess.
Learn more about the teams with our NFC West team guides.
Head coach: Steve Wilks
Star player: David Johnson
Last season: 8-8
Key ins: Sam Bradford (Minnesota), Tre Boston (LA Chargers), Andre Smith (Cincinnati), Justin Pugh (NY Giants), Josh Rosen (rookie), Christian Kirk (rookie), Mason Cole (rookie)
Key outs: Adrian Peterson (Washington), Tramon Williams (Green Bay), Justin Bethel (Atlanta), John Brown (Baltimore), Tyrann Mathieu (Houston), Jared Veldheer (Denver)
Strengths: Defence has multiple players with game-changing ability.
Weaknesses: Wide receiver is shallow after Larry Fitzgerald as they’re relying on young or unproven players.
Verdict: Rosen could be on the field sooner than they want and the result may be another .500 season.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Head coach: Sean McVay
Star player: Aaron Donald
Last season: 11-5, lost in Wild Card round
Key ins: Brandin Cooks (New England), Marcus Peters (Kansas City), Aqib Talib (Denver), Ndamukong Suh (Miami), Sam Shields (Green Bay)
Key outs: Tavon Austin (Dallas), Connor Barwin (NY Giants), Trumaine Johnson (NY Jets), Alec Ogletree (NY Giants), Robert Quinn (Miami), Sammy Watkins (Kansas City), Kayvon Webster (Houston)
Strengths: Blue-chip talent is through the roof, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Weaknesses: Linebacking unit was torn down to spend money elsewhere.
Verdict: Facing massive expectations but built to win a title.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan
Star player: Richard Sherman
Last season: 6-10
Key ins: Richard Sherman (Seattle), Alfred Morris (Dallas), Mike McGlinchey (rookie), Date Pettis (rookie)
Key outs: Trent Brown (New England), Carlos Hyde (Cleveland), Eli Harold (Detroit), Brandon Fusco (Atlanta), Jerick McKinnon (injury), Elvis Dumervil (retired), Eric Reid (free agent)
Strengths: Offence is expected to take another step with Jimmy Garoppolo in his second year with Shanahan.
Weaknesses: Lack of pass rushing, which they didn’t really improve on, could hold them back.
Verdict: Have an exciting future, but clearly sit behind the conference’s elite sides.
Head coach: Pete Carroll
Star player: Russell Wilson
Last season: 10-6
Key ins: Brandon Marshall (NY Giants), Erik Walden (Tennessee), D.J. Fluker (NY Giants), Rashaad Penny (rookie), Raheem Green (rookie), Shaquem Griffin (rookie)
Key outs: Michael Bennett (Philadelphia), Richard Sherman (San Francisco), Paul Richardson (Washington), Sheldon Richardson (Minnesota), Kam Chancellor (retired), Jimmy Graham (Green Bay), Cliff Avril (free agent)
Strengths: Have a quarterback who can lift up everyone around him.
Weaknesses: Defence has suffered massive turnover.
Verdict: They appear headed for a rebuilding year, but should fight until the end as usual.
The AFC West may be the division that has experienced the most change in teams’ most important areas.
The Los Angeles Chargers were already the most talented roster in the field, but their continuity should give them another advantage in the battle for the division crown.
Learn more about the teams with our AFC West team guides.
Head coach: Vance Joseph
Star player: Von Miller
Last season: 5-11
Key ins: Case Keenum (Minnesota), Marquette King (Oakland), Adam Jones (Cincinnati), Jared Veldheer (Arizona), Tramaine Brock (Minnesota), Clinton McDonald (Tampa Bay), Su’a Cravens (Washington), Bradley Chubb (rookie), Courtland Sutton (rookie), Royce Freeman (rookie)
Key outs: C.J. Anderson (Carolina), Aqib Talib (LA Rams), Allen Barbre (free agent)
Strengths: Edge rushing will be scary with Miller, Chubb, Shane Ray and others.
Weaknesses: Passing attack is improved but still has question marks.
Verdict: If their offence can get in the same ballpark as their defence, they may surprise.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Head coach: Andy Reid
Star player: Eric Berry
Last season: 10-6, lost in Wild Card round
Key ins: Sammy Watkins (LA Rams), Kendall Fuller (Washington), Orlando Scandrick (Washington), Anthony Hitchens (Dallas), Breeland Speaks (rookie), Derrick Nnadi (rookie)
Key outs: Alex Smith (Washington), Tamba Hali (free agent), Bennie Logan (Tennessee), Albert Wilson (Miami), Marcus Peters (LA Rams), Derrick Johnson (Oakland), Zach Fulton (Houston)
Strengths: Have a high-powered offence with multiple weapons.
Weaknesses: Could struggle to defend against the pass, even with Berry’s playmaking.
Verdict: Should be involved in plenty of shootouts.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Head coach: Anthony Lynn
Star player: Keenan Allen
Last season: 9-7
Key ins: Mike Pouncey (Miami), Virgil Green (Denver), Derwin James (rookie), Uchenna Nwosu (rookie), Justin Jones (rookie)
Key outs: Matt Slauson (Indianapolis), Jason Verrett (injury), Hunter Henry (injury), Tre Boston (Arizona)
Strengths: From top to bottom, have one of the most talented rosters in the league.
Weaknesses: Preseason injuries have already brought their depth into play and dampened their outlook.
Verdict: Everything is in place for them to be contenders, as long as they stay mostly healthy and Philip Rivers doesn’t completely fall off.
Head coach: Jon Gruden
Star player: Rodney Hudson
Last season: 6-10
Key ins: Jordy Nelson (Green Bay), Doug Martin (Tampa Bay), Rashaan Melvin (Indianapolis), A.J. McCarron (Buffalo), Derrick Johnson (Kansas City), Marcus Gilchrist (Houston), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (NY Giants) Kolton Miller (rookie), P.J. Hall (rookie)
Key outs: Khalil Mack (Chicago), Michael Crabtree (Baltimore), Marquette King (Denver), Cordarrelle Patterson (New England), Sean Smith (free agent)
Strengths: Interior offensive line is as good as it gets.
Weaknesses: Tied for second-fewest takeaways last year (14).
Verdict: Gruden was gone for a long time and it could show.