Five Eagles to watch in week one clash against the Falcons

Miles Sanders
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 01: Philadelphia Eagles Running Back Miles Sanders (26) runs with ball to score a touchdown during the NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on December 1, 2019. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles are getting ready to take on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday to kick off the 2021 season. The Eagles haven’t won a game in Atlanta since the days of Michael Vick donning the midnight green. Here are five men who will be instrumental in breaking that trend.

Jalen Hurts

All eyes are on the second-year quarterback. Hurts went 1-3 after taking over for Carson Wentz last season but he did so with up-and-down numbers. We’ve seen the potential that Hurts has but now it’s all about extracting that and answering the biggest question facing Howie Roseman and company of whether or not he’s a franchise quarterback.

Jalen Hurts will be going up against a secondary that hasn’t done much to get better this offseason. If the Oklahoma product is ready to make that jump, then he’ll need to diligently pick apart a relatively weak unit with precise throws and smart game-management.

Miles Sanders

There’s a lot of talks surrounding Miles Sanders right now after the step back he took last season. It’s tough to pin it on him when the last regime had a reluctance to call running plays. The Eagles ran the ball only 37% of the time in 2020, which left them in the bottom tier of run play percentage.

Luckily for Miles, Nick Sirianni is not Doug Pederson. The new Head Coach explained that he wouldn’t call a play that Jalen Hurts doesn’t like, and you can assume that will apply to his running backs as well.

Last year, the Indianapolis Colts were a top-10 rushing offense. They called a run play 44% of the time which is nothing but good news for the the third-year back. After a full preseason of rest, expect a well-oiled version of Miles Sanders running through the trenches.

K’Von Wallace

Now that Darius Slay has spilled the beans that McLeod won’t be ready to go for week 1; all eyes should be turning to the team’s second-year safety, K’Von Wallace. While Marcus Epps will be getting the starting nod, don’t be surprised to see more of Wallace.

K’Von is now a part of a defense that could fit his playstyle a little better than what Schwartz had to offer and an opportunity like this may not come around again so quickly.

Alex Singleton

What more does the Eagles 2020 leader in tackles has to do to earn some respect? How about doing it all over again but with growth in his pass coverage?

Singleton isn’t the surefire top linebacker for the Eagles after the team signed Eric Wilson in the offseason, but he is now officially a team captain, which should tell you all you need to know about how the locker room feels about him.

He has to prove that he can be an every-down-linebacker by showing growth in coverage and continuing to do what he does best: being where the ball is.

Nick Sirianni

Yes, I know Sirianni is not a player, but he is an Eagle and you need to watch him this Sunday. Sirianni is making his head coaching debut this week against another coach who may have had the Eagles’ attention at one point this offseason.

Sirianni has been saying all of the right things since the moment he was hired but now it’s all about showing the right things. He doesn’t have to call the perfect game but he has to show the city of Philadelphia that he is the right guy for the job.

He has the team’s buy-in, which is huge considering how Pederson lost the team last season. He was given a roster that has no identity. He has all the ingredients that he needs for the recipe of a good team but what is going to cook up for the Philadelphia fans?

Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire