After a catastrophic 2020 season, the Eagles managed to find new momentum in the opener of this 2021 season. Nick Sirianni’s men crushed the Falcons, both offensively and defensively.
For the first time in almost 20 months, the Eagles have scored over 30 points. Jalen Hurts (27/35, 264 yards, 3 TD, 62 yards on the ground) was resplendent, and his receivers Devonta Smith (71 yards, 1 TD) and Jalen Reagor (49 yards, 1 TD) each got a touchdown. The ground was also efficient under the impetus of the duo Miles Sanders (113 yards) -Kenneth Gainwell (43 yards-1 TD), well helped by a good line.
On the Atlanta side, it’s a game to forget. The attack did not exist, especially the line (3 sacks and 2 provoked grounding), while the defense failed to do enough to avoid the debacle. Unruly and without envy, Arthur Smith’s men will have to question themselves.
From the start of the game, Atlanta’s offense sets the pace and accumulates yards. Cordarrelle Patterson (67 yards) and Cavin Ridley (51 yards) find the spaces, and Matt Ryan (21/35, 164 yards) distributes. Atlanta, however, showed some pretty terrible ineffectiveness in the redzone, scoring just two field goals in two drives despite being a few yards from the touchdown zone each time. And as the team multiplies the handkerchiefs of penalties, the regret is only greater.
The opposite was true for Philadelphia, who from the first drive marked a touchdown, on a pass from Jalen Hurts to Devonta Smith. The two former Alabama teammates put together a good first drive, where Quez Watkins made his speed speak (6-7). But like Atlanta, the offense will quickly be slowed down by fouls.
It’s in the last two minutes of the 1st half that the game is unlocked. Jalen Hurts hovers between Falcons defenders, and Dallas Goedert (42 yards, 1 TD) is receiving a touchdown with only seconds remaining. If Jalen Hurts wanted his benchmark drive, he is there (6-15).
The start of the second act is like this match, ineffective. This time it’s Philly coming forward, mostly running and stacking yards. But this time it was on a fourth attempt that the Eagles failed, with a run through the middle. Atlanta does not take advantage of this, and continues to scuttle itself. Holding, Offside, Interference, every possible foul seems to be made by the Falcons.
On the Philly side, the youth have taken power. And if Jalen Hurts and Devonta Smith are on the front row, the riders are also level. Miles Sanders is twirling, and Kenneth Gainwell proves he can be a draft surprise. It was the latter who scored the touchdown to give the Eagles a big lead (6-22).
The Falcons need to react, it won’t happen. The offensive line takes the water, especially rookie Jalen Mayfield, and Matt Ryan is sacked by Javon Hargrave. A few seconds later, Jalen Reagor adds a touchdown, completing a convincing success for the Eagles (6-29).