Despite letting the Lions climb back into the contest, the Eagles had a big 38-35 win on the road to open their 2022 season. Head coach Nick Sirianni spoke to reporters after the game and talked about Jalen Hurts’ performance, a bit about the offensive production, and how the coaches are to blame for some of the pre-snap penalties.
Sirianni admitted they have a lot to clean up offensively, defensively, and on special team, but it’s nice to know that even with a list of issues to correct, they were still able to get a win on the road to open the season.
Here’s what the head coach had to say:
On Jalen Hurts’ performance
“I thought he was in complete control of checking the plays, getting the different things, knowing what the defense was doing. Did it work every time we checked to a play? No, but that’s on us as coaches. Like, we’re telling him to get something versus a certain look, and if it doesn’t work — but, he had complete control of what was going on out there today.
He saw the field perfectly. He really did, and I’m really talking more about: you’re doing this, we’ll do that. And he’s going to have plays he wants back, and we’re going to have calls that we want back, but I thought he played a really outstanding game.”
Sirianni also mentioned that Hurts’ contributions to the ground game were really big, as well. Some of the penalties the Lions were flagged for stemmed from frustration due in part to Hurts’ ability to escape, which also extended drives and allowed them to score.
“What an unbelievable thing to have as a coach. Oh, we called that, didn’t work, he made it right.”
On some of their decisions offensively
“I think their defense did a really nice job. They did some things that made it difficult for us. I think Aaron Glenn is a really good coordinator in this league, and so I really thought they did a nice job of having some answers on some third downs, and kudos to them. I know they’re well-coached.”
However, Sirianni later was asked about their decision to go for it on fourth down and he was quick to credit it to the faith they have in the players. The head coach said they have one of the best offensive lines in the league, and also one of the best pass-blocking tight ends in the league — who he says also happens to be one of the best pass-catching TEs, as well. He explained that the faith he has in the players is built of off practices and training camp, but also based on past experience and accumulated reps.
“I got so much faith in this offensive line to be able to operate. We trust ‘em.”
He also mentioned that he wasn’t worried about their slow start, because as he talked to some of his coaching mentors leading up to the game, his college coach told him not to focus on whether they start faster than their opponent, it’s a 60-minute game. So, that was something Sirianni thought about during the first quarter.
- Sirianni agreed with A.J. Brown who talked about how loud the stadium was and how hard it was for them to hear. The head coach credited the Detroit fans who came out, but the Eagles knew it was a sold out game and practiced the crowd noise.
“It was rocking in there, but that’s what you want. Obviously, you don’t want that as a visiting team, but everybody wants that — to play in front of the entire world and play in front of a rocking crowd like that on the road. And to be able to come out with a victory is big.”
- Sirianni said that they count pre-snap penalties differently than everything else they score when grading games. Those go on the board separate from everything else, because those are things that players are in control over. But, like everything else, that starts with coaches — like not communicating well enough and ending up with 12 men in the huddle, or getting a play in a little bit late.
- As for the Eagles defense, the head coach said that Lions have a top-notch offensive line with some really talented players, plus “the kid from Philadelphia [D’Andre Swift], is a really, really outstanding back.”