The Philadelphia Eagles are kicking off their 2022 campaign with a road game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday afternoon. In order to preview this Week 1 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Pride Of Detroit. The magnanimous Mike Payton kindly took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming battle. Let’s take a look at the answers. [For my answers to Mike’s questions about the Eagles, check out this link to POD.]
Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook have all of the odds for this week’s games.
1) To what extent are the Lions improved from the team that the Eagles beat by a score of 44 to 6 last year?
So many things are different. The Lions are for the most part a much healthier team with their offensive line being back together. On top of that, the Lions have much more help on their offense. Amon-Ra St. Brown broke out in 2021, but it was weeks after that Eagles game, the Lions added DJ Chark and now have Josh Reynolds. They should definitely be able to put up more than six points this time.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions may have themselves a pass rush nop between Aidan Hutchinson and Charles Harris. There’s unfortunately still plenty of questions elsewhere.
2) What’s the confidence level in Jared Goff right now?
It’s the highest it’s been since his arrival to Detroit. Goff is surrounded by good weapons and has a great offensive line. If he can’t go out and have the best season of his career or close to it, we’ll know everything we’ve ever needed to know about Goff. Perhaps the biggest thing for Goff though is the return of his confidence. He lost it somewhere along the way with the Rams and it certainly wasn’t there in his early days withe Lions. You saw it start to come back at the end of the season and it’s shown even more throughout camp. We’ll soon see if it translates into a real game when live rounds are being fired.
3) What is the Lions’ biggest strength? How should they be attacking the Eagles?
Right now I’d have to say the Lions biggest strength is their pass game. They should attack the opposite side of Darius Slay early and often and maybe try to take some deep shots as well. The Lions got very creative with their pass game late in 2021. Look for the Lions to try to do some different things there. I wouldn’t be shocked to see someone who isn’t usually a quarterback throw the ball.
4) What is the Lions’ biggest weakness? What should the Eagles be looking to exploit?
The Eagles should run the ball a lot. Jalen Hurts should do exactly what he did last year and use his feet a lot. We saw the Lions defense struggle to stop the run in the first preseason game of the year and I’m sure they’ll struggle with it again. Mobile quarterbacks are this team’s kryptonite. My only regret in life right now is that I didn’t draft any Eagles players that use their feet to succeed.
5) Who wins this game and why? With DraftKings Sportsbook listing the Eagles as four-point favorites, what’s your score prediction? And what are your expectations for the rest of this Lions season?
I’m a little more positive than the rest of my co-workers at Pride of Detroit. The Lions building up their offense, getting Aidan Hutchinson and building up their culture even more has me drinking all the kool-aid. I’d be cheating myself if I didn’t go all in and predict that the Lions win this game. Ultimately I think the Lions come out firing and win this thing in something of a shootout. Put me down for a 27-24 Lions win.
As for the rest of the season, I got optimistic there too. The Lions have arguably one of the easiest schedules in the league on paper. I believe they go 10-7 and secure the seventh and final seed in the NFC.