Alright, Philly Fans, the Philadelphia Eagles end the first week of the 2022 season with a 38-35 victory over the Detroit Lions. The game did not start off the way most thought it would as it involved Detroit rolling down the field on the opening drive to cap it off with a score. That quickly followed by the Eagles being unable to get a score sending the ball right back to Detroit.
The Birds' defense starting to shake off the rust forcing the Lions to have a couple of straight 3 and outs and allowing the Eagles' to start putting some points on the board. Heading into the third quarter all seemed to be going in Philly's direction including a few beautiful plays by the offense and a pick-six by cornerback James Bradberry. Then, as the Lions have many times, they started clawing their way back to make it a close game, but ultimately the Eagles were able to walk away victorious.
There were a lot of ups and downs in this game, but it is nice to finally have football back. Alright, let's get into the studs and duds of Week 1.
1. Jalen Hurts, QB
Jalen finished the day with a 53% completion percentage, 243 passing yards, 90 rushing yards, and one rushing touchdown. To be honest, that 53% is a little misleading for the third-year quarterback. Hurts had some of his passes dropped and did a solid job of throwing the ball away. Especially in the beginning, it really felt like Jalen was the only one on the field willing to make any plays, but at the end of the day saw some solid things from Hurts.
2. AJ Brown, WR
Not going to spend a lot of time here, 10 receptions for 155 yards is a great way to make his debut with the Birds. He is just as advertised and looks even more like a steal now.
3. Marcus Epps, S
There was some skepticism when it was locked in that Marcus Epps was going to be a full-time starter this season for the Eagles. However, he quickly silenced many as he made several plays all over the field and was in the right spot on multiple plays. He finished the day with 10 total tackles and 1 tackle for a loss.
4. Kyzir White, LB
Just like Epps, White was all over the field making plays including one pass deflection that led to a pick-six. With 5 total tackles, a tackle for a loss, and a pass deflection, the Birds may want to look at seriously considering of locking him up for a few more years.
It's so nice to have a solid linebacker core, isn't it? Moving on.
5. Miles Sanders, RB
A lot of concern surrounded fourth-year runningback Miles Sanders and his health. Sanders was once again injured during training camp and missed significant time, but it seemed to have much effect as he was able to lay 96 yards down on 13 carries. If Sanders can stay healthy, he could be looking at a possible contract extension with this team.
Onto the duds.
1. The defensive front.
Some of this had to do with the way that they were deployed (we will get to that later), but there were many chances for this stout defensive line to make a major impact, and all with the exception of Haasan Reddick, seem to have disappeared. Not a very promising start to the season.
2. Shane Steichen and Nick Sirianni
Though the offense overall played solid, there was many head-scratching plays that were called as well as a lack of vision. The biggest gripe that I have and why I think they deserve to be on this list has to do with when the Lions' defense turned up the heat and blitzed often, they seemingly just decided to not adjust pass protection. A lot is riding on Jalen Hurts, but it doesn't have to be THAT much.
3. Nick Sirianni
Yes, the Birds' head coach lands himself on this list again for the pure fact that penalties are still a massive issue. Another issue is that for the first quarter of this game it simply looked like the Eagles were unprepared for this game. Ultimately they turned it around, but that is something that he needs to address.
4. Jonathan Gannon
I think I speak for all Eagles fans when I say that there was no way that defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon, would deploy the same conservative - soft zone coverage as he did last season, right?
His Pro Bowl cornerbacks were playing in a different zip code and his safeties were playing in a different state. Also as Detroit was able to have 181 total rushing yards, you think that he would have his 1st round, running stuffing, monster of a human being in draft pick Jordan Davis in the game more. The answer to that was no. Not going to continue much more of this, but it is simple.
Gannon has to do better or not be involved with this organization anymore.
The Philadelphia Eagles are 1-0 on the season.