When was the last time the Atlanta Falcons did not start the first quarter with great momentum and excellent game-play offensively and defensively only to stumble (even when no sacks or interceptions occur), lose energy traction, and steadily spiral into a score deficit by the middle of the third quarter that could not realistically be overcome?
The Philadelphia Eagles were in Atlanta today and sure showed the Falcons which team’s new head coach could sleep a bit more restfully tonight. The Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni may or may not have deliberately saved his players’ best athletic moves for the second half of the game, whereas the Falcons’ head coach Arthur Smith was undoubtedly hoping that in the first game of the regular season (played at home no less), that the Falcons would break their aforementioned pattern of starting off strong and progressing with lukewarm outcomes.
The first two quarters of the game demonstrated that each team had the offensive and defensive chops to keep the game-play exciting (nevermind all the penalties in the second quarter), but by the middle of the third quarter, it became evident that an Eagles fan would be having a much better time watching the rest of the game. Two Falcons field goals were all that Atlanta fans had to grasp onto while Philadelphia fans could pride themselves in four touchdowns (courtesy of wide receiver Devonta Smith, tight end Dallas Goedert, running back Kenneth Gainwell, wide receiver Jalen Reagor) and a two-point conversion (thanks to running back Miles Sanders). With a minute or so left in the fourth quarter, the Eagles put up a field goal. 32 to 6. Final score.
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.
The game was televised on Fox. I very much liked the illustrated player portraits that appeared at various points throughout the game. Will I be watching the Falcons next week? Ne ne sais pas, c’est possible.
The upside for both teams after week one is that Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts knows he has a good athletic rapport with his teammates and Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan knows where and how he must improve with his. It is preferable in a competitive sports environment to strive to be better than it is to endeavor to maintain a certain level of performance, right?