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Philadelphia Eagles Week 1: Wins and Opportunities

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The Philadelphia Eagles opened their 2022-2023 campaign with a check under the win column in Detroit. The Eagles week 1 saw the team muscle out a 38-35 victory over the Lions on the first Sunday of this NFL season. The first drive of the game belonged to the Lions as the Eagles deferred on the coin toss. Opening with the defense on the field, the Birds caused some heart palpitations for myself and other Birds fans around the league, as the Lions seamlessly marched down field and punched in a touchdown. The defense came out looking flat and were getting bullied by the Lions’ rushing attack. Despite a rocky initial defensive showing, the team woke up and began to play their game. While the Eagles week 1 saw plenty of wins, there were a few areas the team will need to improve moving forward.

Eagles Week 1 Wins:

Defensive Wins

As aforementioned the Eagles defense started the game extremely flat in the opening drive against the Lions. For a moment it seemed like a nightmare for Eagles fans (something we know all too well). The rusty start can be chalked up to the week 1 jitters as the defense then found their groove and held the Lions to 7 points until there was just 1:55 left in the first half of the game. Perhaps the highlight for the defense in this game was the pick six by veteran CB James Bradberry. What a way to start your first game in midnight green for the Eagles, a special thank you to the NY Giants for releasing Bradberry this offseason. Darius Slay was a presence on the field with many hard hits, stopping deep runs by the Lions, and just barely missing an interception off Lions QB Jared Goff. Big Fletcher Cox also recorded a sack on Lions QB Jared Goff.

Hurts and Brown Looking Strong

Eagles QB Jalen Hurts came into this game running in stride, literally and figuratively. The young QB accounted for 90 yards on the ground and 1 rushing touchdown as well as 243 yards passing with 18 completions on 32 attempts. Hurts came up big for the Eagles offense with many scrambles for first down conversions to extend drives. In addition, we saw the first flashes of Hurts using his new number 1 target today, receiver AJ Brown. The former Titan had a monster day during his first game as an Eagle. At the half, Brown was responsible for 6 catches on 7 targets with 128 yards. Number 11 then ended the day with 10 catches on 13 targets for 155 yards. Most notably was the 54 yard grab delivered by Hurts late in the second quarter. Brown lived up to his nickname of “Always Open” today as he was the leading receiver for the Birds, a trend Eagles fans should get used to.

Spreading the Wealth

Finally, various Eagles were responsible for touchdowns today in the Motor City. Jalen Hurts, James Bradberry, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, and Miles Sanders all broke the plain this Sunday and put 6 up on the board. This is something that Eagles fan love to see, the offense using the plethora of weapons at their disposal to score touchdowns. All touchdowns from the offense were rushing while Bradberry was responsible for the pick six on defense. The ability of the Eagles to utilize multiple scoring players is a clear advantage that will keep opposing defenses on their toes and throw off defensive coordinators around the league.

Eagles Week 1 Opportunties

Penalties

Despite an opening day win for the boys from South Philly, there are a few points that are crucial and must be addressed this week by the coaching staff. The biggest issue that must be addressed is the number of penalties that were committed by this Eagles team. A total of 10 penalties were called on them for a loss of 61 yards. There is absolutely no excuse for the number of penalties to be reaching the double digits in any given game, this is an issue that has been persisting for quite some time in Philadelphia and must be fixed this season.

Devonta Smith

The “Slim Reaper” had a very quiet first game with 0 receptions on 4 targets. The 2020 first round draft pick was doing more blocking than receiving today in Detroit. Obviously blocking for your teammates is a huge part of the game of football, but Smith needs to be targeted more often down the stretch of the season. The former Alabama star is nothing short of an offensive weapon, last season he broke the Eagles’ rookie receiving record with 916 yards. Jalen Hurts and Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen must work him into the future game plans to spread the field more. Smith’s ability to create separation with his fluid and dominant route running skills is nothing to look over, not to mention he has some of the best hands in the entire league. Opposing teams will no doubt look to double AJ Brown after his explosive debut in Detroit, thus opening up the field for the “Slim Reaper”.

Defensive Losses

The amount of talent on the Eagles’ defensive line is staggering, however the run defense put out by this unit needs to be improved. Detroit running backs D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams both had field days, Swift responsible for 144 yards on 15 touches with 1 touchdown and Williams accounting for 28 yards on 11 touches and 2 touchdowns. There is no denying that the Detroit running backs are very talented but this defensive line must step up their efforts to limit opposing teams rushing attack as the season progresses. The Eagles week 1 run defense left a lot to be desired.

Wrapping Up

Overall the Eagles week 1 was a good outing and it’s hard to complain too much about a win on the road in a tough stadium like Ford Field. The Birds did not cover the -4.5 spread they were placed at but are flying back home to Philly 1-0. Next week the Eagles have their home opener at the Linc for Monday night football against the Minnesota Vikings. This will no doubt be a hard fought game on Monday night as the Vikings breezed passed the Packers on Sunday with a final score of 23-7. South Philly will be rockin’ on Monday night. Go Birds.

What wins and opportunties did you see during the Eagles week 1 win against Detroit? Let us know in the comments below!

Main image credit Embed from Getty Images

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