Eagles find success in new coach and quarterback in Week 1

By Kallie Christy '25

The last time the Philadelphia Eagles won a game by 26 points was the 2017 NFC Championship game. The last time they won a season opener by 26 points was 2009. The last time they won by 26 points with a new head coach’s first game was 1964.
Week 1 sure was one historic performance for the Eagles this past weekend with a 32-6 win over the Falcons with Nick Sirianni as the new head coach. The Eagles have gone from worst to first, being that they were their only team to win in their division on opening day, with the help of new head coach, Nick Sirianni, and new starting quarterback, Jalen Hurts. Jalen Hurts threw three touchdown passes. The first pass went 18 yards to Heisman Trophy winner and rookie DeVonta Smith. According to ESPN, Hurts said, “It feels good. We wanted to come out in Week 1 and start off the right way.” Hurts and Smith were teammates for two years with the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the Eagles hope that this is the first of many touchdowns they will team up for this season.
Another Eagles rookie and fifth-round pick Kenneth Gainwell scored his first career NFL touchdown with an 8-yard run late in the third quarter. The Falcons looked outright embarrassing in their first game under new head coach Arthur Smith. After deciding on field goals while completing two impressive drives in the first quarter, the Falcons did not do much of anything the rest of the game. Atlanta never progressed higher than the Eagles 49 and finished with just 260 yards. Quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked three times, and he was held to 164 passing yards. The Eagles defense was straight up dominant.
With this matchup among two of the worst teams from the NFC in 2020, Philadelphia has made far more improvement with a refurbished offense led by Hurts and a solid O-Line in front of him. He completed 27 of 25 passes for 264, and he rushed for 62 yards on seven carries while only being sacked once. “Jalen was in complete control the whole game,” coach Sirianni said according to ESPN. “I’m very happy with the way he played.” And so are Eagles fans. After Week 1 win, Hurt’s jersey sales surged to 500% and changed a lot of fans into believers.
After throwing four interceptions, nine fumbles, and taking 13 sacks in about a quarter of the season last year, Hurts did not throw an interception. From being 4-11-1 last season, the Eagles have definitely redeemed themselves with their season opener in Week 1.