The green birds flew to the red birds nest, and it was Christmas in September for the city of brotherly love.
The Philadelphia Eagles have returned to contender status under their new regime, displaying a multitude of strengths in their dominant 32-6 victory over Atlanta. First year head coach, Nick Sirianni, put together an incredibly balanced offensive game plan that was complimented by an aggressive defensive effort led by his right-hand-man, defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon.
Football is a game of momentum, and the scale was tipped in Philadelphia’s favor for all 60 minutes on Sunday. The Falcons received the opening kick and proceeded to march the ball down the field with split looks between Mike Davis on the ground and Calvin Ridley through the air. Success was limited, however, as they were shut down in the red zone and settled for a field goal.
Jalen Hurts and company responded with a crafty first drive of the season, mixing a variety of packages and putting all personnel to use. With a healthy O-line back in action, Miles Sanders had room to display his explosive speed and opened the the field for a familiar downfield connection between Hurts and his former college teammate and 2021 first-rounder, Davonte Smith, who hauled in his first career touchdown.
Notable highlights for the Eagles were their 2-minute drill that looked to be run by a group on their tenth season together, and an incredibly high energy defense that was constantly looking to land a haymaker. The youth of the offense is what makes the cool, calm, and collected demeanor under pressure so impressive, and while the defensive success may have been amplified in a match with an under impressive opponent, it was the aggressiveness and consistency that stood out.
As far as the week two fantasy outlook goes, there are a couple players to keep an eye on. The Falcons will need to be creative to compete this year, and Cordarrelle Patterson can fill that role. With seven carries for 54 yards, he was their leading rusher and was able to haul in both of his targets as well as logging the longest kick return of the day for either team. He is only rostered in 8% of fantasy leagues and could be a good bench addition for anyone lacking depth. In the same vein, Kenneth Gainwell, rookie RB2 in Philly is worthy of a waiver wire add as he got nine carries including one in the red zone that he was able to punch in for a score. Gainwell was a more popular rookie draft pick, as he is rostered in 32% of leagues, but if your buddies let him slip, this could be your chance to play the genius.