The team announced this morning that the Falcons will open up the season against the Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday, September 12 at 1 p.m., giving us the first confirmed game of the 2021 slate. The game will mark Arthur Smith’s first as the head coach of the Falcons, and will be Atlanta’s second straight season opener in Mercedes-Benz Stadium after they spent three straight years on the road in Week 1. This is also Atlanta’s second opener against the Eagles in the past four seasons, as they also kicked things off against Philadelphia back in 2018 on the road and lost.
As Matt Haley notes in his writeup on the team’s site, this will be the 33rd meeting between the two franchises, and Atlanta’s won each of the last three matchups where they’ve been the home team.
They’ll likely be favored heading into this one, as well, because Philadelphia’s just been through a long offseason that saw them fire coach Doug Pederson and hire former Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni, trade Carson Wentz, install Jalen Hurts as their uncontested starting quarterback, and put together a roster that doesn’t look like it will rank among the most talented they’ve put on the field in recent years. Of course, that’s all very speculative until we see how these two teams’ final rosters shake out and how the Eagles look on the field, but on paper it’s a good matchup for the Falcons to start the year.
The last game between these two teams was in 2019, when Atlanta pulled off a 24-20 victory at home against a very different-looking Eagles squad. Prior to that, Philadelphia had won three straight, including a playoff loss we don’t really want to talk about here, and Atlanta had a three game winning streak from 2011-2015 before that.
We’ll await the rest of the schedule release tonight (and leaks throughout the day) but how do you feel about this Week 1 matchup?