3 Up and 3 Down From the Eagles Win in Atlanta
The Philadelphia Eagles have opened the 2021 season with a win.
Jalen Hurts tossed three touchdowns and rookies DeVonta Smith and Kenneth Gainwell each scored their first NFL touchdowns, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave had two sacks, as the Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons 32-6 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Here are 3 up and 3 down from the win:
1. Jalen Hurts: Hurts showed he belonged, and had a tremendous handle on the Eagles new offense. He spread the ball around, didn't panic and most importantly, didn't turn the ball over. Hurts completed 27-of-35 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns, adding seven carries for 62 yards. His top two wide receivers, DeVonta Smith, six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown and Jalen Reagor, six catches for 49 yards and a touchdown each scored in the game.
2. Javon Hargrave: Hargrave caused problems all day, but his two sacks were demoralizing for the Falcons offense. After missing Week 1 last season, he opened this season with a bang, playing along-side Fletcher Cox could allow Hargrave to have a big season. He added six total tackles and three QB hits in the game.
3. Arryn Siposs: The punter doesn't typically make this list and there were a lot of options. However playing in his first ever NFL game, he had a big impact in backing the Falcons up inside the 20 three times. His four punts sailed 189 total yards with a long of 54 on the day. Safe to say it looks like the Eagles have found their punter.
1. Penalties: This game could have been uglier if not for the 14 penalties for 89 yards, many of which came from their offensive line, who otherwise dominated the game. Multiple offside penalties from the offensive line and two holding penalties from Hassan Ridgeway were really the most glaring issue in the game on Sunday.
2. Tackling: Early in the game the Eagles defense had their issues, missed tackles and giving up some yards on the ground. It looked like the linebackers were going to be an issue against the run early in the game, but the Eagles bend, don't break defense kept the Falcons out of the end zone. They got better as the game went on, giving up 124 total rushing yards and allowed a total of 102 yards (88 passing, 14 rushing) in the second half. The Eagles also allowed only 114 yards after the Falcons’ first two offensive drives, both of which resulted in FGs.
3. Punt Returns: This has been an issue since Darren Sproles left the role a few years back. The team hasn't really been able to find a reliable punt returner. On Sunday Jalen Reagor had four returns that averaged just 4.9 yards per return for a total of 19 yards.
Philadelphia continues play next Sunday, Sept. 19, in a 1 p.m. game in their home opener against the San Francisco 49ers. Radio broadcast coverage with Merrill Reese and Mick Quick will be on 97.3 ESPN at noon.