It was a matchup of the birds in Week 1 between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Atlanta Falcons. Besides having new-look offenses on both sides, the Eagles and the Falcons both have new head coaches. Despite many expecting Arthur Smith to have Atlanta’s offense rolling along, it was Philadelphia’s offense that impressed on the road.
The Eagles would seize control of the game early as Jalen Hurts led them to a 15-6 lead at halftime. Also, Philadelphia’s defense would surprise many as they held Atlanta to zero points in the second half and no touchdowns throughout the entire game.
After watching the lopsided game between the Eagles and the Falcons, here are three takeaways after Week 1.
Jalen Hurts Looks Much Improved As A Passer
One of the biggest question marks surrounding Hurts as the starter in Philadelphia is his ability to consistently deliver through the air. In four starts in 2020, Hurts completed only 51.88 percent of his attempts, showing that his accuracy needed some tuning this offseason. To begin the season, Hurts looks as if he spent plenty of time trying to improve his efficiency as a passer.
While throwing for 264 yards and three touchdowns, Hurts completed a career-best 77.1 percent of his attempts. The Alabama product looked more poised in Nick Sirianni’s system as he was able to avoid making any crucial errors. Even though we would like to see him do it consistently, Hurts is off to a fantastic start to the 2021 NFL season.
Arthur Smith’s Offense Didn’t Look Great In Debut With Falcons
The loss of Julio Jones via trade this offseason loomed large for the Falcons. However, despite the departure of Jones, there were still expectations for Atlanta’s offense to be a productive group. Besides Matt Ryan still being under, Smith was a proven offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans, Calvin Ridley is evolving into a premier wide receiver in the NFL, and Kyle Pitts is slated to be a versatile weapon.
All that being said, the Falcons laid an egg in the touchdown department in Smith’s debut as head coach against the Eagles. Ryan was under duress all game as he threw for only 164 yards and was sacked three times. The bad news for Atlanta is that they have to try and bounce back from their loss against Philadelphia by taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2.
DeVonta Smith Is The Clear No. 1 Wide Receiver On The Eagles
If anyone was questioning it, DeVonta Smith solidified his status as the clear No. 1 option for the Eagles in the passing game. The rookie wideout led the team with six receptions, 71 yards, and one touchdown on eight targets. While some continue to question his size, Smith showed that he can create separation with ease in Week 1.
In recent years, the Eagles have lacked options through the air, so seeing Smith, Jalen Reagor, and Dallas Goedert all have productive outings has to be a positive sign for fans in Philadelphia. Even though Reagor and Goedert are going to have vital roles in the offense this season, Smith is clearly going to be Hurts’ favorite guy to target in the aerial attack.