Five Takeaways From Eagles Week 1 Loss vs. Falcons

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1.) Losing One Battle before the War Starts

Sep 14, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn reacts on the sideline against the Philadelphia Eagles in the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

In the NFL, the ability to gameplan and scheme can only go so far if the team executing them is unable to match the intensity of their opponent. Several Eagles players noted after the game that the Falcons didn’t necessarily catch them off guard in their X’s and O’s approach, but were unable to match Atlanta’s intensity from the opening kick. The Falcons were in a very similar position as the Eagles just two years ago. A team just a few seasons removed from NFC title contention, headed up by a new coaching staff, wanting to prove to the world that the issues that plagued them before were a thing of the past. It showed, at least early on, on Monday.

The NFL season can take its toll on the psyche of a team and remaining on an even-keel is important. Judging off the type of culture Kelly is trying to foster, he is fully aware of this. Trying to ride the roller-coaster of peaks and valleys throughout the season is a recipe for failure. Though it wasn’t necessarily inspiring to hear multiple players mention that the Falcons held the edge in the intensity department, to have them also treat the loss as professionals and acknowledge their shortcomings is a silver-lining. Whether the Eagles were unable to get revved up against a non-division, apparent non-contender or perhaps they were distracted by the buzz surrounding them is beyond anyone on the outside.

Based off of everything we’ve heard about Kelly as a coach and a motivator, he’s not the ‘ra-ra’ type of guy that can get a team fired up with an impassioned speech. There’s no way of saying whether or not that would have even helped the Eagles on Monday night. Judging from his antics on the sideline as he watched his team bring him a victory in his first game as a head coach, Dan Quinn might be that type of guy. If he is, it certainly showed out of the gate. The Eagles were a step slow and seemed to be playing catch-up in both the emotional and schematic department up until halftime.

The Eagles have a roster full of players who expect to win. That’s not to say they aren’t willing to put the work in. From everything documented over the course of the offseason, there is almost a business-like approach to the season that is shared by a good chunk of the primary role-players on the roster. There have been games during Kelly’s tenure where the Eagles have appeared to be the team more fired up to earn a win against their opponent. One would have to figure, given the opponent and the sudden desperation, that Sunday afternoon’s game against the Cowboys could be one of them. Monday night was quite the opposite.