Before the start of the 2021-2022 NFL season, most people may have thought Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles were slowly rebuilding. With first-year coach Nick Sirianni, the Eagles had the appearance of a team that is not quite ready to challenge for the NFC East title.
All of those thoughts went out of the window with a resounding 32-6 win versus the favored Atlanta Falcons. Jalen Hurts looked like the second coming of Donovan McNabb with 264 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Last year's Heisman trophy winner, Devonte Smith, showed that he was worth the 10th pick in this past year's NFL draft.
He caught his first NFL touchdown from former Alabama Crimson Tide teammate Jalen Hurts. Smith ended the game with 6 catches for 71 yards and the lone touchdown.
It wasn't just Jalen Hurts doing work for the Eagles
Not to be outdone, the Eagles defense held Matt Ryan to 164 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions. The Falcons fared no better on the ground with just 124 rushing yards. The front four of the Eagles, led by perennial pro bowler Fletcher Cox, were also a force to be reckoned with.
The Atlanta Falcons are known to have an explosive offense. Led by Ryan, they also have Calvin Ridley, who has taken over for Julio Jones. The Falcons also have the highest drafted tight end in the history of the NFL with Kyle Pitts. The former Florida Gator is a handful as he is too fast for most linebackers and too physical for most cornerbacks.
Despite these advantages, Jalen Hurts and the Eagles were able to maintain their poise and come away with a resounding victory. With a great opening day performance, are the Eagles up to the challenge for the competition in the NFC East?
Who will reign supreme in the NFC East
Despite their opening day loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Dallas Cowboys had an impressive outing, at least on the offensive side of the ball. The Cowboys will be a handful on the line, led by guard Zack Martin.
The Washington Football Team is perhaps the most talented defensive line in the league with Chase Young and Montez Sweat leading the way. This defense is set to chase Jalen Hurts for many years to come.
The New York Giants have questions about Saquon Barkley's return from injury along with third-year starter Daniel Jones. The Giants have a few newcomers as well, with Kenny Golladay coming over from the Detroit Lions as the primary weapon to go along with Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard.
Only time will tell the fate of the NFC East. For now, it looks as if Jalen Hurts' Eagles have reminded everyone that they are not to be overlooked.