Go Ahead, Overreact to a Dominating Eagles Win in Week 1

Jalen Hurts
Photo credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Overreaction is the enemy of wisdom, and never was that proven more acutely than with the final score of Eagles 32, Falcons 6.

The 2021 NFL season will bear out in many ways, but it’s more than probable that when everything is tallied up, the Eagles won’t be 26 points better than the Falcons on any given Sunday. Of course, you don’t care about any given Sunday, and neither do I. You care about yesterday, and yesterday, the Eagles beat the urine and the everliving feces out of the Falcons for the world to see.

Nick Sirianni went from at best a curiosity and at worse a buffoon in the making to “wait a gosh darn minute…is this guy actually a competent NFL coach?” Did we once say that about Chip Kelly? Yes, we did. But still.

Jalen Hurts went from “Are we sure he can start in the NFL? He was barely better than a mentally-crippled Carson Wentz nine months ago” to “Holy mother of heaven, is this Russell Wilson 2.0?” 

The Eagles’ offensive line went from “I think the left guard was working at the Downingtown Wegmans on Friday night” to “this team is completing wide receiver screens whenever they care to because the guard and the tackle are eliminating the initial tacklers and the speed guys are just sprinting to the sideline.”

The Eagles’ defense went from “they only try from their 25-yard-line and closer” to “every Falcons weapon is being neutralized and Matt Ryan keeps throwing balls that look like completions until a young fast guy comes in and bats it the F away.”

Overreaction also causes rational people to forget about minor details like the 4th-down calls that failed spectacularly and/or the reticence to let a kicker who signed a 2019 extension that pays him handsomely to kick a 37-yard field goal off turf in a dome with the roof open. 

Overreaction also causes rational people to forget that the Eagles went from a quick 7-0 lead to a wildly stagnant 7-6 lead for the remainder of the first half until the Falcons did Falcons things and let the Eagles walk downfield for the touchdown and penalty-created two-point conversion that, for all intents and purposes, put the game out of reach.

There is no way – no way – to write a negative thing about this victory. The Eagles were +500 to win the division before the season started. To a probably unfair degree, that bookmaking calculation was premised on the fact that the Eagles had a “Jesus who knows” head coach and a “well, he was good at Alabama for a while” quarterback. Those two men answered some questions yesterday.

Did they answer all of them? Of course not. But preseason, the expectation was that the Eagles would struggle on the road against Atlanta, that they would be sort of heavy underdogs against San Francisco in Week 2 at home, that they would struggle to even compete with the Cowboys in Dallas in Week 3. The Eagles are now getting just three at home to a very good 49ers squad. It’s too soon to project Week 3, but based on the Week 1 performances, you would give the Eagles a fighting chance in Big D.

So the verdict coming out of this win is that you, Eagles fan, have a reason to invest more of your emotional and financial and spiritual capital in the 2021 Eagles. 

I can say that they will be better than the 4-11-1 2020 version. I cannot say that they will be better than the 9-7-0 2019 Eagles…but I am pretty sure that this iteration will at the very least be quite a bit more entertaining.

And never ever forget, this is entertainment.