We are just hours away before the Philadelphia Eagles kick off the 2022 season against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
When the Lions and Eagles meet, it’ll be the second meeting between Nick Sirianni and Lions coach, Dan Campbell. Both coaches are entering their second season, and both have very different schemes and structures for how they run the team.
Campbell is the face of the Lions organization. His rousing speeches and press conferences have allowed him to be a darling of the NFL as a former player. Sirianni on the other hand is a little more awkward with the press conferences but is more of a coach known for his schematics.
There hasn’t been a bigger difference between the two teams though than in the way the two teams have prepared for the new season.
How the Eagles standout
Campbell ran physical practices and played his starters throughout the preseason. On Hard Knocks, he mentioned the fact that the Lions were going to be a physical football team and practicing physical gets you prepared for the regular season.
Sirianni on the other hand has been criticized because of his softer approach to the training camp/off-season program training regimen. In Sirianni and the Eagles’ minds, it’s better for a veteran team to be fully healthy heading into the grueling start of the season.
Teams look to be successful heading into the opening game for two reasons: 1. Be as healthy as possible, and 2. Start fast and physical.
Before the two teams kick off on Sunday, it’s obvious that Sirianni and the Eagles have the edge on the first goal.
The Eagles will not have a single injury designation going into week one: one of the first times ever that it has happened for the team. While Andre Dillard’s absence could potentially be felt, his early start on the IR has opened a roster spot and the Eagles don’t have to worry about any starter not being ready.
The Lions on the other hand have their starting right guard in Big V out for Sunday, and potentially their starting center out as well.
Frank Ragnow has been dealing with a groin injury that has the pro-bowl center as a game-time decision. If he goes, the Lions’ offense is definitely a solid unit. If he doesn’t, then Detroit will have a major hole against a team whose strength is the defensive line.
The Lions aren’t dealing with major injuries, but the two starters they potentially won’t have is a big reason to Sirianni’s approach working as ever.
With the Eagles fully healthy, the second goal that teams try to accomplish will be decided during gametime.
Are the rested Eagles ready to tackle at full speed? Can they be as physical as Detroit even with this being the first true time to do this?
Only time will tell the answers to both. But it’s clear that the first part of Sirianni’s approach in the offseason has worked over Campbell’s.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire