Everything looked great going into the half. The Eagles’ offense was sailing. The defense seemed to settle in following an ugly opening drive. After coughing up 7 to start the game, they had 3 straight 3 and outs, and then a pick 6. They did give up a TD just before the half but took a 24-14 lead into the locker room. It felt like the Eagles were poised to sail to an easy win. But that was not the case.
The Eagles defense gave up touchdowns on 4 of the Lions last 5 drives. They gave up 5 total touchdowns. The defense was supposed to be a strength. They went out and added Kyzir White, CJ Gardner Johnson, and James Bradberry, among other big names. But one game in, and it looks like more of the same from this D.
They couldn’t stop D’Andre Swift all game. He averaged 9.6 yards per carry and finished with 144 yards and a TD. And even Goff started to tear the defense apart. At one point late in the game, he had just 7 passing yards. He finished with 215 yards. In the second half, there were Lions receivers streaking open seemingly on every 3rd down. To drive that point home, the Lions converted on 9 of their 14 3rd down attempts. And one of those stops the Eagles got, led to a TD on 4th down. A win is a win. And come playoff time there are no style points factored into playoff seeding. But it is hard to feel great leaving this one.
The good thing to take away, the running game still looked good. Maybe not as good as Swift. But the Eagles had 4 rushing touchdowns from 4 different players. And while the numbers may not show it, Hurts showed some improvement as a passer. Especially when it came to targeting AJ Brown who had 155 yards. Devonta Smith had no catches, but that isn’t something to be too concerned about yet. The offense mostly worked.
But the defense was a turnstile outside of 4 drives in the first half. They had just 1 sack and only 3 tackles for a loss. If this season is going to live up to the hype we saw over the past few weeks, it needs to be better. Much better. It won’t get any easier next week vs the Vikings when they are trying to stop Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, and Adam Theilen. The national media billed Jonathan Gannon as a genius and a future head coach. Howie Roseman went out and gave him the best roster he could realistically hope for. It is time Gannon lives up to that hype.