Eagles vs. Falcons: 7 takeaways from the first half of the season opener

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The fans have waited months for Eagles football and the first half of action from Atlanta didn’t disappoint as the Birds used several big plays to take a 15-6 lead at the break.

Here are seven observations from the first half of the action.

1. Nick Sirianni-Shane Steichen creative offensive approach

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

During one drive in the first half, Sirianni had DeVonta Smith running out of the slot in the 13 personnel, allowing the first-round pick to work in space against a safety or slot cornerback. The Eagles switched up their formation, got skill players in one on one matchups, and played with an excellent pace.

2. DeVonta Smith great as advertised

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Smith is the 2nd Eagles wide receiver with 5+ Rec in his first career game since 2000, joining DeSean Jackson, who logged six in his debut. The rookie from Alabama has looked fluid, tough after the catch, and smooth in his route running. https://twitter.com/i/lists/1028750008189890560

3. Jalen Hurts cooking

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The second-year starter is looking to eliminate any doubt about his ability to lead the Eagles and during the first half of Sunday's action, no one was clamoring for a trade. Hurts went 18 of 24, for 169-yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

4. Kenneth Gainwell is Eagles third down back

Gainwell was the primary receiving back on third downs and logged two receptions on three targets.

5. Eagles defense bent but never broke

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Philadelphia gave up 186 yards in the first half, but only six points to the explosive Falcons defense.

6. Ertz-Goedert efficient

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The tight end duo combined for five catches, 68-yards, and one spectacular touchdown reception from Goedert.

7. Calvin Ridley-Kyle Pitts contained

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Through one half of action, Ridley has three catches for 39-yards, while the rookie has been held to one catch for one yard as the Eagles have mixed up coverage on the two big-play threats.

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