Eagles rout Falcons for first win

Jackson McCrae '23, Sports Editor

Unexpected. That’s one word that describes the outcome of Sunday’s game, when the Eagles traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium and obliterated the Atlanta Falcons 32-6. The Eagles looked comfortable the whole game and dominated from beginning to end. The Falcons are not a top tier team by any means, but this win excited many Eagles fans, and it made people realize the Eagles might be better than expected.

The Falcons started off the game strong, going up 3-0. The Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley connection was looking better than ever, and the Eagles had no answer for the backfield duo of Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson. The Falcons marched all the way down to the three-yard line before settling for a 21-yard field goal, which Younghoe Koo drilled.

The Eagles responded on the following drive, going up 7-3. The drive started with two completions to Quez Watkins, taking the team to the 37-yard line (with the help of a 15-yard penalty), demonstrating the growing connection between QB Jalen Hurts and the young receiver. Eventually, Hurts and DeVonta Smith connected for Smith’s first NFL touchdown.

The Falcons moved within one point on the ensuing drive after Koo hit another short-range field goal, this time 27 yards. The drives were near similar, as the Falcons chewed a bunch of time off the clock, got deep into Eagles’ territory, and stalled out once again.

The next four drives yielded no points; the Eagles punted and turned it over on downs, and the Falcons punted twice. However, the duo of Hurts and Smith shined, completing four straight passes on one of the drives before punting.

Finally, it was the Eagles who scored again, going 62 yards in 1:42, capping off the drive with a touchdown to Dallas Goedert. Hurts pushed the tempo and managed to get the Eagles in the redzone with 0:33 left on the clock. After a twelve-yard pass to Goedert to move the Eagles to the four-yard line, rookie Kenneth Gainwell caught a touchdown before it got called back. With the Eagles pushed back to the nine-yard line, Hurts hit Goedert on a diving grab to add six more points to the board. After a penalty on the defense on the PAT, the Eagles elected to go for two points from the one-yard line. Hurts handed it to Miles Sanders, who put the Eagles up 15-6 heading into the half.

Following a series of defensive stops by both teams to open up the second half, the Eagles found the end zone again. The Eagles moved down the field with the legs of Miles Sanders and gave it to Gainwell to punch it in. Following the PAT, the Eagles were up 22-6.

That was all the action there would be for the next five drives however, as no one scored until another Eagles touchdown came off a screen, with Hurts hitting Jalen Reagor, who with the help of a massive block from Jordan Mailata, scampered into the endzone to push the lead to 29-6.

The Falcons’ once again did nothing, turning it over on downs on their last real scoring chance. This set the Eagles up for a 43-yard field goal, which Jake Elliot drilled, cementing the Eagles 32-6 win.

Simply put, the Falcons were not good, after going down early, they seemed to just accept their fate and give up. Matt Ryan spent the entire game under pressure as the Falcons subpar offensive line was no match for the Eagles star-studded defensive line.

Jalen Hurts was the Eagles brightest star, throwing 27/35 with 264 yards and three touchdowns, along with 62 rushing yards in the win. His former Alabama teammate DeVonta Smith also looked like a star, with six receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown. Miles Sanders had a decent showing, putting up 74 rushing yards and four receptions for 39 yards. His backup, Kenneth Gainwell added 37 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Eagles offensive line looked a little sluggish to start off the game, but picked it up as the game progressed, and were massive contributors to the Eagles win.

While it’s important not to overreact after one game, especially a game against the Falcons, the new-look Philadelphia Eagles were very strong. Everyone seemed to click on the field, and there just seemed to be no answer for what the Eagles were doing. The Eagles look to continue their dominance when they face a tougher opponent next week in the San Francisco 49ers at 1:00 PM in Philadelphia.