Know your Eagles enemy: The Detroit Lions

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Trinity Benson, Godwin Igwebuike
Detroit Lions running back Godwin Igwebuike (35) celebrates a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts with wide receiver Trinity Benson, right, during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

While the Lions and Eagles may have ended their seasons with different trajectories in 2021, there are some similarities between the two teams.

The Philadelphia Eagles kick off the 2022-23 season on the road against the Detroit Lions. Here’s all you need to know about the Eagles’ opponent in week one.

Both head coaches are entering their second year with their squad. Both starting quarterbacks are potentially looking at a make-or-break season for their respective careers. And both teams have excellent weapons surrounding the quarterback this year.

Of course, there are major differences. While the Lions have gotten a major boost in popularity from Hard Knocks, the Eagles come into 2022 with heightened expectations of more than just a playoff appearance.

Detroit Lions

2021 Record: 3-13-1

Offensive Ranking: 22nd Defensive Ranking: 31st

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Dan Campbell

Offensive Coordinator: Ben Johnson

Defensive Coordinator: Aaron Glenn

Special Teams Coordinator: Dave Fipp

Offensive overview

The Detroit Lions offense is a double-sided coin. At the skill positions, the Lions have a deep and talented core of young players who can make life difficult for any defensive unit. Amon-Ra St. Brown had an excellent rookie season and could be on track for 1,000 yards this season. Add in D.J Chark and T.J Hockensen and the passing attack is full of loaded offensive weapons. D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams are a perfect combination. However, the offensive line is a work in progress, and Jared Goff has much to prove in year two with Detroit. Penei Sewell and Taylor Decker are a solid pair of tackles but Big V, Ragnow, and Jackson will need to step up if Detroit is to make major improvements on their 2021 mark.

Defensive overview

Outside of the second overall pick in Aidan Hutchinson, the Lions’ front seven is a major work in progress. Michael Brockers and Chris Board also can help solidify a bad Lions defense last season, but this group will ultimately be decided on how many plays Hutchinson can make early on. In the secondary, there’s a different story. Mike Hughes and Deshon Elliott are solid pieces in the secondary but Jeff Okudah will need to step up as a #1 corner to determine how good the Lions can be. Okudah has had a rollercoaster of a start to his career, but he has dominated in the preseason and could very well be a top player on the roster.

Injury Report

PUP List: Josh Pascal, Jason Cabinda, Jerry Jacobs, Romeo Okwara

Early Season IR: Jameson Williams

Questionable: Levi Onwuzurike, Ifeatu Melifonwu, Julian Okwara

AP Photo/Doug McSchooler