Lions football officially starts this Sunday, while the matchup is favored for their opponents, it could be closer than originally thought.
They’ll be facing the Philadelphia Eagles. Those who suffered through the first half of the 2021 Lions season remember the blowout the Eagles dealt them in a 44-6 loss.
But are the Eagles as good as some make them out to be? Philadelphia ended their season with nine wins. Only one of those wins (40-29 over New Orleans) was against a team that finished the season over .500.
In his second year Eagles quarterback, Jalen Hurts threw for 3144 yards, 16 touchdowns, nine interceptions. He rushed for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns in 15 games played.
For comparison Lions quarterback Jared Goff threw for 3245 yards, 19 touchdowns, eight interceptions in only 14 games.
While the two quarterbacks play a much different style of football, their passing stats are relatively the same or in Goff’s favor. But the dynamic of Hurts’ running game is where the separation occurs.
Sticking on the topic of rushing, that’s where the Eagles stomped on the Lions last season. Philadelphia ran for a combined 236 yards for four touchdowns. Our defensive was unable to stop the run and they suffered greatly. The Eagles only threw for 114 yards with zero passing touchdowns.
But this year expect the game to much different on both sides. While the Lions defense is still in the bottom tier of the league, they’ve looked better than they were last year.
With the Eagles addition of free agent wide receivers, A.J. Brown and Zach Pascal, the ball will need to fly. On the Lions offensive side, they added another receiving weapon in D.J. Chark and gained a year of growth for Amon Ra-St. Brown.
While the passing game is the strength of the Lions offense, their rushing attack is essential. A balanced offensive attack has the potential to get the job done.
“I do believe we have a gritty group and I think we’re tough, I think we’re physical and we got to play with our hair on fire,” said Lions head coach Dan Campbell in Wednesday’s press conference.
While there may be more airtime in this game, compared to these two teams last season matchup, expect heavy rushing from both teams. Both the Lions and Eagles offensive lines are arguably top five in the league. This will give the runnings backs and quarterbacks more time to execute their respective game plans.
Noah Wulbrecht – Woodward Sports
Photo Credit: USA TODAY NETWORK