The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Eagles’ win in Detroit

The Philadelphia Eagles(1-0) started slow but revved things up in the second and third quarters and held on to defeat the Detroit Lions(0-1) 38-35 at Ford Field in the season-opener. 

After being down 7-0 early, the Eagles scored 24 second-quarter points to take a 24-14 lead at halftime. Philadelphia would take a 38-21 lead into the fourth and got the win as Jalen Hurts converted on 4th-and-inches with just over a minute left in regulation.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and Bottom Line of the Eagles’ win over the Lions.

The Great:

Run Game: Philadelphia, who led the league in rushing last season, ran for 216 yards and four touchdowns. Hurts rushed for 90 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries; Miles Sanders had 96 yards and one touchdown, including a big 24-yard run on third down with 2:21 left in the fourth quarter to continue the Eagles’ attempt to run out the clock. The running game was big in 2021, and it looks like they will have similar success in 2022.

A.J. Brown: In his Eagles’ debut, Brown had 10 catches for a career-high tying 155 yards. Brown had 128 yards at halftime, including a big 54-yard reception in the second quarter. According to Elias Sports, Brown finished with the most receiving yards ever by a player in their Eagles debut. Brown’s debut felt like Terrell Owens’ debut with the Eagles in 2004. Hurts and Brown are close off the field and seem to have a connection on the field.

Jalen Hurts: After starting the game 0/5, Jalen Hurts picked up his play and led the Eagles on three scoring drives in the first half. Hurts combined for 256 offensive yards (189 passing, 67 rushing) in the first half. That is the most offensive yards he has produced in the first half of a game in his career, and he finished with a combined 333 yards(90 yards rushing) and threw for 243 yards on 18-of-32 passing.  

Not So Great:

Rushing defense: Detroit ran for 181 yards against Philadelphia. D’Andre Swift had a career-high 144 yards on the ground, including a touchdown, and Jamaal Williams had two rushing touchdowns. 

Second-half defense: Philadelphia had difficulty slowing down the Lions in the second half. Detroit scored three touchdowns on their four second-half drives. Goff was able to carve up the secondary and had a clean pocket for most of the game. The way things were going, Detroit might have scored again if they had gotten the ball back.

Bottom Line: 

The Eagles won a game they were supposed to win. While they almost blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, they were able to hold on. Philadelphia must do a better job of getting after the quarterback and stopping the run. Brown is a weapon, but going forward, the Eagles have to get others involved, including DeVonta Smith(no catches). It appears the offense is going to put up a lot of points, but Hurts did a lot of running, and not sure he can keep that up for 16 more games, but again, they’re 1-0.

What’s Next:

Eagles battle the Vikings on Monday Night in their home-opener at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Best of the Rest:

In his Eagles’ debut, James Bradberry reached the end zone for the first time in his career on a 27-yard interception return in the second quarter. The play was set up by a tip by LB Kyzir White, who was also making his Eagles’ debut.

-Philadelphia leads the league in season-opening wins since 2011, posting a 10-2 record in its last 12 season openers.

-Head Coach Nick Sirianni improves his season opener record to 2-0.

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