Philadelphia Eagles versus Atlanta: Kyle Pitts plus 10 Falcons to watch

Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons (Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) /

Philadelphia Eagles versus Atlanta: 5 Falcons to watch on offense

Matt Ryan, quarterback

In nine career games versus the Philadelphia Eagles, Matt Ryan is sub-.500 versus the guys from Philly. That includes one playoff game. You remember the one. It ended with one final pass from Ryan missing its mark, Julio Jones in the back corner of the end zone.

Ryan doesn’t have Julio to toss the football to anymore, but he’s completed 196 passes for 2,330 yards and 18 touchdowns in those nine games. He should rack up some yards, but if Philadelphia can force him into a few turnovers (he has 12 touchdowns in those games), that will go a long way in helping the Eagles walk out of Week1 with a 1-0 record.

Calvin Ridley, wide receiver

Calvin Ridley proved in 2020 that he can be a legitimate go-to receiver in Julio’s absence. He’s the guy now, and he figures to keep the Eagles secondary busy in the opener.

Russell Gage, wide receiver

If Philadelphia can limit Ridley, Ryan’s secondary target on the outside will, no doubt be Russell Gage. He had a nice showing in 2021, racking up 72 receptions for 786 yards and four trips to the end zone in 16 games with eight starts.

Hayden Hurst, tight end

One of the league’s better young tight ends is now that other tight end in the Falcons offense. In his first season with Atlanta, he snagged 56 receptions on 88 targets for 571 yards and six end zone trips.

Cordarrelle Patterson, whatever this guy is

Once a wide receiver that couldn’t catch (and still can’t), Cordarrelle Patterson has still managed to carve out a career for himself as a returner and gadget guy. Patterson’s quest to play for every NFL team continues, but trust and believe, if the Eagles fall asleep with him on the field, he could make the play that decides things.