The Falcons have a fairly favorable matchup against the Eagles, something that we may not be able to say many times this season. Not only are the Falcons at home against an inexperienced quarterback, but they also have one of the best defensive minds of the past 20 years at the helm.
While Arthur Smith will have his plate full with Philadelphia’s defensive front, the Eagles shouldn’t have a walk in the park with this Falcons defense, either. We saw Pees dial up some creative blitzes and use various personnel during the preseason — something that’s sure to give almost any second-year quarterback headaches.
Jalen Hurts hasn’t even thrown 150 NFL passes, so you could easily still classify him as a rookie. Another key point is that nobody left in Philadelphia is necessarily chomping at the bit to develop him. Nick Sirianni didn’t draft him and notably made it clear he wasn’t committed to Hurts this offseason. Hurts was one of the main reasons that Howie Roseman and former coach Doug Pederson were at odds. We saw the team trade for Gardner Minshew II just a few days ago.
I really like Jalen Hurts, he seems like a great guy, and there’s some potential. However, Dean Pees should be feasting on him all afternoon by creating tons of pressure and mixed looks — especially at home. Without a huge stable of weapons and an elite defense, making Hurts uncomfortable should be even easier, and the Falcons have no reason not to start 2021 off 1-0.