The Detroit Lions opened up their season with a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The final score was 38-35.
The two teams came into this game with lingering tension. Last October, the Eagles demolished the Lions 44 to 6. It’s a game many Lions personnel say they won’t ever forget.
Today, the Lions redeemed themselves.
Here are my takeaways:
Rough Start for Goff and the Offense
The Lions had a good opening drive. A few mistakes were made but the team overcame them, made the adjustments, and ended up with the first score. In the first 4:42 of the game, the Lions scored more points than they did in the entire game against the Eagles last year.
While that was great, The Lions would not get another first down for 5 more drives. They went three and out for 3 straight possessions then turned over the ball.
Goff struggled throughout this game. He was picked off in the second quarter, sacked in the 4th quarter, and had several close interception calls throughout the game. He went 20/36, throwing for 212 yards.
Lions Defense Holds Their Own
Despite the loss, a lot of positives came out of the defense today. They looked extremely strong and were able to stop the Eagles several times. Alex Anzalone had a great day making 7 tackles. Aidan Hutchinson, making his NFL debut, made a lot of great plays, almost getting to Jalen Hurts several times, forcing him to throw the ball away. Jeff Okudah’s coverage was elite. Tracy Walker is also another player to note, however, he was ejected in the 3rd quarter after receiving two personal fouls during one play. Overall, there were a lot of solid plays by the defense today.
Malcolm Rodriguez also made his NFL debut today and claimed the starting linebacker position. He was responsible for 3 tackles and 3 assists.
Logan Stenberg starts at Right Guard
With Halapoulivaati Vaitai placed on IR with a back injury, the hunt was on all week to determine who would fill his place. With a slew of injuries rolling in for Tommy Kraemer and then Frank Ragnow, it was very difficult to find the right person. The starting position went to Lucas Stenberg, his first career start. During the first drive, he had two back-to-back penalties for false starts.
Williams v. Swift
D’Andre Swift had a massive game starting with a 48-yard carry in the first drive. Swift had a career-high 144-yards in just 15 carries. Swift and Williams we’re 50/50 on carries for most of the game. Williams had 11 carries and two touchdowns but only recorded 28 yards. Swift looked much stronger than Williams, finding the holes and blasting through them.
D’Andre Swift has now caught a touchdown catch in 5-straight games. He is tied for the 3rd-longest streak in Lions history. He is also now the 6th player in Lions history to open the season with a 100-yard rushing game.
The sold-out crowd did not disappoint. With 64,537 fans in attendance, the cheers and chants were quite literally piercing to the ear. Every play, every opportunity the fans we’re loud and proud. The sea of blue was on their feet for the majority of the game. While the excitement may have dipped mid-game, it was brought back in the 4th quarter.
Jalen Hurts is a Cheat Code
Jalen Hurts is simply unstoppable. Between his mobility and his arm, he is the complete package. His instincts are impeccable. He threw for 243 yards and rushed for 90.
The Lions will now prepare for Week 2 against the Washington Commanders.
Maddy Miller – Detroit Lions Beat Reporter
Photo Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports