After months of anticipation regarding how the Eagles would play this coming season, Philadelphia fans finally got their answer last week. The Eagles were confident, focused, and oriented to their teammates, leaving Atlanta with a 32-6 win over the Falcons.
Following Philadelphia’s victory, quarterback Jalen Hurts stated, “A lot of things I have to clean up, a lot of things the team has to clean up. Enjoy the win for 24 hours and get back to work.” As the only team in the NFC East to win their first game, the Eagles have been preparing this week for their home opener this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers also stand at 1-0, making Week 2 predictions all that more interesting.
Following last week’s game, the Philadelphia Eagles went from No. 25 to No. 17 in NFL Power Rankings, and without being outright bias, there wasn’t a particular position that played poorly.
Jalen Hurts led the team calmy, spreading the ball throughout the offense. He completed 27 of 35 attempts for 264 passing yards, 62 rushing yards, and three touchdowns. Hurts also had a 126.4 passer rating. He was able to get the ball in the hands of DeVonta Smith, who was expected to do well, and Jalen Reagor, who’s shown vast improvement compared to his rookie year. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert also completed catches while the trio of Sanders, Scott, and Gainwell was able to run the ball 31 times for 173 yards.
The offensive line held solid, and new starting left tackle Jordan Mailata played well. Kicker Jake Elliot didn’t miss any attempts, and Arryn Siposs had an outstanding NFL debut averaging 47.3 yards per punt.
Philadelphia’s defense wasn’t exactly a weakness, but they didn’t start the game with the spark fans would have liked. They came back to have a tremendous second half, keeping the Falcons out of the endzone, holding them for 260 yards. Jonathan Gannon will need to address the first half issues this week, and if able to do so, the Eagles defense will prove to be a problem for each team thereafter.
The Eagles will also need to address their penalties. The team racked up 14 penalties, seven of them coming from the offensive line, including one that negated a touchdown. Though many players are returning after season-ending injuries and need to find their rhythm again, the penalties created huge missed opportunities.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Ranked No. 9 before Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers haven’t budged, remaining at No. 9 going into Week 2.
The Niners pulled out similar numbers to the Eagles, with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finishing with 314 yards and one touchdown. The run game also added 131 yards and two touchdowns, pulling out a 41-33 win over the Detroit Lions.
Regardless of the win, San Francisco blew a 41-17 advantage after cornerback Jason Verrett was injured, showing an extreme weakness in their depth. Unfortunately for Verrett, he is now out with a season-ending ACL injury, and their other starting cornerback Emmanuel Moseley may or may not be back for Week 2.
The 49ers will also add running back Raheem Mostert to their IR list.
While Philadelphia can look to take advantage of the holes in San Fran’s roster following recent injuries, the 49ers have a threesome of pass rushers in Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, and Dee Ford, who may give Philadelphia’s offense some work to do. Tight end George Kittle also comes with an impressive resume. Last week he totaled four receptions on five targets for 78 yards.
San Francisco will also look to change things as they introduce a duo-quarterback combo to “ease” Trey Lance into the game.
EAGLES VS. 49ERS WEEK 2 PREDICTIONS
San Francisco may have more experienced players, but I think they will have difficulty going into Week 2. Their injuries leave gaps in the offense and defense, which Nick Sirianni will take advantage of. Their duo-quarterback combo will also be a disaster in the making. I think it forecasts doubts in the position, instilling that there’s a loss of confidence in who’s leading the team (i.e., Philadelphia Eagles 2020).
Philadelphia will look to make the changes to their flaws from last week. The energy at The Linc should send the Eagles 2-0. Philadelphia may not be favored (yet again), but they take the win in Week 2.
Both teams take the field Sunday, September 19 at 1 pm.