Falcons get outclassed in 32-6 loss to Eagles in Week 1

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The first two drives of the Atlanta Falcons’ 32-6 Week 1 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles actually showed some promise. Then, the wheels fell off and what was a competitive, physical first quarter turned into a nightmare that Falcons fans have had all too many times before.

Let’s examine the Falcons’ offensive, defensive and special teams performances after Sunday’s game against the Eagles.

Offense

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The reality of Sunday's performance is that a lot of the same problems this team had last year offensively weren't magically fixed by rookie tight end Kyle Pitts and an improved scheme. The offensive line couldn't block or pass protect, Atlanta struggled in the red zone and penalties were an issue all day. However, we did see a preview of what Arthur Smith wants to bring to Atlanta on the first drive before the team settled for a field goal. The Falcons used motion, went up-tempo and mixed in efficient runs with play-action passing. Then, after a promising second drive stalled out, the team reverted back to 2020. Ryan was sacked three times and finished the day with just 164 yards on 35 passes (4.7 yards per attempt). Mike Davis had some good runs early but ended up running into a brick wall in the second half. Cordarrelle Patterson had a nice game, rushing for 54 yards on seven carries. Pitts had four catches for 31 yards on eight targets in his debut.

Defense

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Jalen Hurts was supposed to be at a disadvantage in the quarterback battle against Matt Ryan, but Atlanta's lack of a pass rush made Hurts have an easy day. The second-year QB out of Oklahoma threw for 264 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, while adding 62 yards on the ground. The pressure was non-existent for Atlanta, and despite some interesting looks and blitzing from just about everywhere, Philadelphia was just tougher up front. As fans know all too well, when the pass rush doesn't get home, it puts extreme stress on the secondary. The Eagles rushed for 173 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries. It was a rough start for Dean Pees' unit.

Special Teams

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Younghoe Koo carried the offense again, scoring the team's only six points on two early field goals. Koo's long was from 27 yards but it was a quiet day for the Pro-Bowl kicker. Philadelphia's special teams coverage was outstanding and outside of Cordarrelle Patterson's 25-yard kick return, there was little room for the Falcons returners. Punter Cameron Nizialek had a busy day, punting six times for 279 yards (46.5 yards per punt), with two pinned inside the Eagles' 20-yard line.

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