This game had the makings of an Eagles blowout win at one point. But unlike last year’s matchup between these two teams, the Lions did not go away. They kept fighting and took advantage of an Eagles defense that was too often too leaky.
The Eagles’ offense went through a dry spell during a key stretch but they ultimately closed the game out on their final drive.
While there were a number of positive takeaways, the Eagles were sloppier than they probably would like to be. But it’s Week 1 and there’s plenty of season left to iron out their issues. This team has some work to do. The good news is they’ll be doing that at 1-0 rather than 0-1.
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage.
- The Lions’ crowd was super juiced before kickoff.
"Let's go Lions" chants are drowning out the coin toss. I don't even know who has the ball first lol.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) September 11, 2022
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer to put the Lions’ offense on the first first.
- Kyzir White made a nice open field tackle on a swing pass to D’Andre Swift to stop the Lions for a loss on their first play. James Bradberry whiffed on a Swift run that ended up going for 50 yards down the left sideline. The Lions succesfully ran twice more to enter the red zone. D.J. Chark dropped a pass and then the Lions’ third string right guard false started twice to bring up 2nd-and-20 outside the red zone. Another Swift carry brought the Lions to 3rd-and-9. On third down, Jared Goff hit T.J. Hockenson who extended beyond the marker as C.J. Gardner-Johnson pushed the tight end out of bounds. Two plays later, Jamaal Williams powered through contact with a second effort to put the Lions on the board first. Not a very encouraging drive for Jonathan Gannon to start the season. EAGLES 0, LIONS 7.
- The Eagles’ first offensive play was a Jalen Hurts keeper that picked up eight yards with Jack Stoll lead blocking for him. Aidan Hutchinson then quickly got pressure on Hurts, who escaped and took off running for a first down. Hurts took a hit from Mike Hughes as he underthrew a pass. Then Hurts failed to complete a quick pass to Kenneth Gainwell with the Lions bringing a blitz. On 3rd-and-10, Dallas Goedert committed a false start. Crowd noise effect. On 3rd-and-15, Hurts picked up another first down with his legs. DeVonta Smith dropped a pass along the left sideline after Hurts rolled left. On 3rd-and-5, Hurts threw to a tightly covered Smith for an incompletion. Weird looking target. The Eagles went for it on 4th-and-5 and Hurts’ first target for A.J. Brown was knocked down by Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye. Awful first drives by both the offense and defense! Not ideal.
- Marcus Epps put a big hit on a short pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown for a 2-yard loss. Gannon brought a zero blitz on 3rd-and-6 to force a Goff incompletion for a Lions three-and-out! You read that correctly: a blitz!
- Britain Covey signaled for a fair catch to have the Eagles start at their own 18-yard line. A false start penalty on Quez Watkins knocked them back to their 13-yard. Even more crowd noise issues. No matter, though, with Hurts hitting A.J. Brown over the middle on back-to-back plays for gains of 10 and 18. And then Hurts hit DeVonta Smith along the right sideline for another first down ... but it was wiped out by a holding penalty on Jordan Mailata. The Eagles worked their way to 3rd-and-5 and ... took their first timeout due to confusion. Yet even more crowd noise issues. After the stoppage, the Lions brought extra pressure but the Eagles held up decently enough and Hurts was able to escape with his legs again for another first down. Hurts underthrew an open Brown along the left sideline but the receiver was able to make the play. Throw in stride and that’s going for more than 18 yards ... maybe a score? The Eagles got to 3rd-and-5 from the Lions’ 23-yard line and let the first quarter expire.
Was this the first 15 yard underthrow in NFL history? pic.twitter.com/V8RT5CjL4e— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) September 11, 2022
- On 3rd-and-5, Hurts fit a ball in a tight window to Brown on a slant who picked up some extra yards with tough running after the catch to set up 1st-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Hurts’ first down pass was batted down by Lions defenders at the line. Miles Sanders ran to bring up 3rd-and-goal from the 2-yard line. On third down, Hurts ran right and tried to cut back but was stopped short at the 1-yard line. On fourth down, the Eagles predictably went for it and Hurts easily walked into the end zone for the score. The Lions’ defense had sold out to stop Sanders and had no one to stop the running QB. 13-play, 82-yard drive that lasted 7:55 in game time. EAGLES 7, LIONS 7.
- The Lions ran Swift twice to bring up 3rd-and-7. Jordan Davis picked up his first career tackle in there. On third down, Goff threw to ... no one even close in the area? DJ Chark not on the same page with his QB. Another three-and-out forced for Gannon’s unit.
- Covey’s first career punt return went for 11 yards. Solid. The Eagles took over at their own 29-yard line and Hurts hit Dallas Goedert for a first down. Then Sanders broke a few tackles on a run for nine yards. Hurts throwing to ... Noah Togiai ... led to an incompletion. Curious personnel utilization there. The ball was dropped but it may have also been thrown behind? No replay to confirm. The Eagles got flagged for 12 men in the huddle to knock them back to 3rd-and-6. On third down, Hurts was flushed to his left and he tossed the ball out of bounds to avoid a sack with pressure bearing down on him. Punt.
- Third straight three-and-out for the Lions offense’ after Epps and CJGJ had good coverage and a near pick on Goff’s third down throw. Defense has really settled in after a rough first drive.
- Hurts to Brown on a slant, bread-and-butter play for this offense. Two runs by Sanders went for gains of 13 and 8. Hurts ran and threw the ball out of bounds again to avoid a sack. On 3rd-and-2, the Lions were focused on Boston Scott running the ball but Hurts threw to an uncovered Goedert for 27 yards. It looked like Hurts had committed intentional grounding but the refs discussed and ruled a receiver was in the area. The Eagles got hit with their fifth penalty, a delay of game to knock the offense back to the 11-yard line. But 12 men on the field for the Lions brought it back to the 6-yard line. Hurts evaded pressure, ran left, and extended the ball ... but it was short of the pylon to bring up 3rd-and-goal from the half-yard line. On third down, Sanders took the carry for his first rushing touchdown since the 2020 season. His first score in 623 days. Probably feels nice! EAGLES 14, LIONS 7.
- Lions holding penalty knocked Detroit back to 2nd-and-16. Marlon Tuipulotu crushed Goff on a rush up the middle to pressure Goff into a throw that was tipped by Kyzir White and then caught by James Bradberry for a pick six. Great job by the defense. EAGLES 21, LIONS 7.
- On 3rd-and-5, Goff connected with an open Josh Reynolds for a 28-yard gain. The Lions’ longest passing play of the day to this point. Swift ran for 13 yards for another first down. Goff to St. Brown over the middle put the Lions in the red zone for the second time. The Lions moved to 3rd-and-1 from the Eagles’ 7-yard line. On third down, Jamaal Williams got stopped short to bring up the 2-minute warning. Big man Jordan Davis was involved with clogging things up. The Lions went for it on fourth down and Swift went untouched on a pitch to the left side for Detroit’s second score. Still a game. Could’ve been a moment where Philly’s defense kinda put things away ... but they didn’t. EAGLES 21, LIONS 14.
- The Eagles took over at their own 22-yard line with 1:55 on the clock and two timeouts to work with. Working as the 2-minute drill running back, Gainwell took a carry for six yards and caught a pass for eight yards. Hurts got sacked by a corner to knock the offense back to 2nd-and-14 with the Lions taking their first timeout to try to get the ball again. Hurts avoided immediate pressure from Hutchinson bearing down on him (yet again) to run for 10 yards. The Eagles took their second timeout to bring up 3rd-and-4 at their own 32-yard line with 46 seconds left. On third down, the offensive line gave Hurts great protection to throw deep to Brown for a 54-yard gain. Lions CB Will Harris was being dragged by Brown, a grown ass man, for extra yardage after the catch. Though getting to the red zone was nice, the Eagles did not manage things well from there. It took time for the Eagles to call a second timeout after the Browns catch, letting the clock run down to 19 seconds. A Sanders carry went for a 1-yard loss to bring up the Eagles’ third and final timeout. On second down, Hurts underthrew Gainwell for what might’ve been a touchdown ... or a completion that brought up the end of the half with no timeouts left. Bad pass helped him in that case. On third down, Hurts had another ball batted down at the line of scrimmage. The Eagles had to settle for three points when they reasonably should’ve had seven. EAGLES 24, LIONS 14.
AJ Brown dragged a grown man 10 more yards after the catch pic.twitter.com/2vm3HjKgfQ— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) September 11, 2022
If Gainwell catches that ball the half is over. Fortunate bad throw/drop pic.twitter.com/8OioLlJsPd— Shane Haff (@HAFFnHAFF_TPL) September 11, 2022
- The Eagles got the ball to start the second half. Facing 3rd-and-7, Hurts had enough time to find Brown on an out route near the right sideline for a first down. Too easy. Facing 3rd-and-2, Hurts found a dragging Zach Pascal for a short completion and first down. We’ve said that Pascal is going to be a factor in those situations. Sanders ran hard for a 24-yard gain and the Eagles got an extra 15 yards with the Lions hitting Hurts late on an RPO. Two plays later, Gainwell punched the ball in from two yards for another Eagles touchdown. Offensive line crushing the Lions. Three possession game. EAGLES 31, LIONS 14.
- Haason Reddick got in on the action with a tackle for loss to bring up third down. On 3rd-and-10, the Lions went with the coward’s draw ... and it went for a first down. A leakier run defense than you’d like to see. On 3rd-and-8, Fletcher Cox got flagged for a neutral zone infraction to bring up 3rd-and-3. Goff then hit Chark to move the chains again. Another costly penalty. Darius Slay had a sure pick go right through his hands on a bad throw by Goff. On the very next play, Goff threw a screen to Hockenson to put the Lions just outside of the red zone. On 3rd-and-7 from the Eagles’ 20-yard line, Goff evaded pressure and stepped up to run for a first down. Frustrating to see Philly’s pressure unable to produce actual sacks. On 3rd-and-goal from the 10-yard line, Goff connected with a motioning St. Brown for the Lions’ third down. Epps was running to get lined up with the Lions receiver but the Eagles’ safety’s momentum was taking him left while St. Brown ran right for the score. Good design by Detroit. Lions not going away. EAGLES 31, LIONS 21.
- The Lions attempted a surprise onside kick but it was grabbed by Zech McPhearson for an Eagles recovery. Nice catch to allow Philly to take over at the Lions’ 49-yard line. With what looked like some post-snap confusion, Hurts completed a pass to Brown for a 1-yard line to bring up third down. On 3rd-and-5, Hurts took off running and got hit late as he slid for a Lions penalty. That understandably caused multiple Eagles players (including Goedert and Pascal) to get fired up and come to the QB’s defense. Tracy Walker was ejected from the game for that hit in addition to his behavior after the play. Hurts found Goedert for a tight end screen that took the ball to the 1-yard line. And then Boston Scott punched it in for the score. Four different Eagles players with rushing scores. EAGLES 38, LIONS 21.
- The Lions drove into Eagles territory once again. Goff hit Hockenson for a first down that was challenged by Nick Sirianni as the third quarter expired.
- Sirianni’s challenge was unsuccessful with the refs saying that the ruling on the field stood (not that it was confirmed). Not clear enough to overturn. A short Goff pass to Swift took the Lions to the 1-yard line and then Williams punched it in. Maddox and Javon Hargrave notably missed tackles on the Swift catch-and-run. Missed tackles have been an issue. EAGLES 38, LIONS 28.
- Hurts to Brown went for 12 yards and a first down but then the Eagles had to punt after Hurts’ throw on 3rd-and-12 was knocked down. Hurts had multiple passes knocked to the ground.
- Swift ran for 18 yards up the middle. Goff had Reynolds open for a big gain (possibly a TD?) on a crosser but the ball was dropped. Fortunate break there. On 3rd-and-4, Goff had to pick up a bad shotgun snap off the ground before he got sacked* by Fletcher Cox. Lions had to punt. *UPDATE: The NFL’s official play-by-play log marked this as a run play due to the fumble, so it actually didn’t count as a sack.
- The Eagles took over at their own 17-yard line. A screen pass to Sanders was stopped for a loss to bring up third down. On 3rd-and-10, Hurts underthrew DeVonta Smith on a comeback but there was a penalty on Jeff Odukah. But there was also a penalty on Lane Johnson for being an ineligible receiver downfield, so, offsetting penalties. On 3rd-and-10 (take two), Hurts took off running after getting pressured and was downed for a 2-yard gain. Three-and-out, Eagles punt.
Hurts had some guys open on that 3rd and 10.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) September 11, 2022
- The Lions took over at their own 28-yard line. They converted a pair of third downs to move into Eagles territory. Goff had Chark deep for a potential score but way overthrew him. He then overthrew another open target to bring up third down. On 3rd-and-10, C.J. Gardner-Johnson got called for pass interference. Three plays later, Goff dropped a pass in the bucket to Chark to beat Slay. Good throw and catch. While you have to respect the Lions for fighting hard, the Eagles should have never allowed it to get to this point. EAGLES 38, LIONS 35.
Last two third downs, Eagles have lined up Haason Reddick as an inside linebacker and blitzed him from there. Two conversions.— Bo Wulf (@Bo_Wulf) September 11, 2022
- The Eagles took over at their own 19-yard line with 3:51 left in the game. Two Sanders runs brought up 3rd-and-1. On third down, Sanders was in danger of being brought down short before he escaped outside for a 24-yard run. Sigh of relief for an offense that really needed that. That play took the game to the 2-minute warning. The Eagles got to 3rd-and-1 with no Lions timeouts left and got stopped to bring up 4th-and-1. The Eagles went for it and Hurts’ sneak got to the marker for the first down. Ball game.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES WIN, 38 to 35
- Quez Watkins was the kick returner.
- Britain Covey was the punt returner.
- Derek Barnett got banged up midway through the third quarter. He was holding his knee before he walked off the field on his own power. The Eagles ruled him questionable to return with a knee injury.
- Fletcher Cox got looked at in the medical tent after his sack. He later returned.