Eagles Game Preview: Can they tame the Lions in week 1?

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 12: Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kyzir White (43) intercepts a pass during pre-season game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles on August 12, 2022 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

Football is finally here! With the completion of the first Thursday night football game, all eyes turn to Sunday when the Eagles and 26 other teams kick off the 2022-23 season.

For the Philadelphia Eagles, an off-season full of exciting trades and signings has led to heightened expectations for the upcoming season. Unfortunately, expectations are nothing without proper execution.

Philadelphia kicks off their season in Detroit against the upstart Lions. We have everything you need to know before Sunday’s contest here:

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions

When: Sunday, September 11th – 1:00pm ET

Where: Ford Field

How to watch: FOX Sports, NFL Sunday Ticket

Injury Report:


  • Out: Levi Onwuzurike, Tommy Kraemer
  • Doubtful: Ifeatu Melifonwu
  • Questionable: Frank Ragnow, Julian Okwara


  • No Injury designations

Keys to the Game

Own The Tenches

The Eagles have been a team that historically has been great at the line of scrimmage. Philadelphia’s offensive line is one of the best in the game on paper, and the expectation is that will continue in 2022. Detroit’s defensive line has gotten a boost with the draft selection of Aidan Hutchinson and should be much better than the 44-6 drubbing they took in 2021.

The same goes for the opposite side as well. While Detroit’s offensive line is not as good as Philly’s, they still have a number of players that should be expected to perform well in 2021. If the Eagles defense can stop the Lions from running the ball, it will only help them in the long run.

Get pressure without blitzing

Jonathan Gannon is a coach who doesn’t like to blitz. While that seems sacrilege to those in the city of Philadelphia, the idea of getting pressure with just the down-linemen is a known concept throughout the ages. The Eagles were 31st in the league in sacks in 2021 and that will need to change if the team hopes for any source of improvement on defense.

While the Eagles secondary is very solid, they could get some massive help if Josh Sweat, Fletcher Cox and others cause mayhem for Jared Goff and Detroit. Buffalo showed on Thursday the benefits of getting home with just four, and the Eagles should be looking to emulate that on Sunday.

Protect the football

The Eagles are the better team. They have more talent and are arguably the better coached team and they seem just as hungry as the Lions. In most games where the underdog pulls out a shocker, the favorite usually turns the ball over. That can not happen for the Eagles. While Jalen Hurts and the Eagles offense is loaded with improved talent, the only reason that the offense wouldn’t be able to score consistently Sunday will be if they turn the ball over. If Hurts, Sanders and others protect the rock, the Eagles should be able to win this game.

X-Factor: Miles Sanders

The Eagles didn’t have Sanders in their 44-6 win over Detroit last season as the back was recovering from an injury. The question becomes very simple: in a contract season, will Sanders finally put up the numbers that have been expected of him since he was drafted as a second round pick? The other reason Sanders is the x-factor on Sunday is because of his one major problem: fumbles. While Sanders has been an explosive back throughout his career, he’s fumbled the ball seven times in 34 games. If Sanders coughs up the football on Sunday, it could not only hurt the Eagles chances of winning, but seal his fate in Philadelphia.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire