The Eagles got the 2022 season off on the right foot after beating the Lions 38-35. While the win is the most important part, fans and analysts had to be concerned about many players and coaches throughout the contest.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The Eagles racked up over 450 yards of offense, the team was excellent on third down, and the defense recorded a pick-six.
So whose stocks have climbed and whose has fallen over the team’s first game?
Stock Up: Jalen Hurts
Jalen Hurts tallied over 300 yards of offense, threw very successfully, and was THE reason the Eagles offense was so successful on Sunday. Hurts made several big plays with his legs following a torrid Lions’ blitz and also knew when to make the big throw to move the chains.
The Eagles were 10 for 17 on third down and 2-3 on fourth down. Hurts was the main reason for their success on key downs.
There are some who argue that Hurts should’ve stayed in the pocket and delivered the ball against the blitz.
Those people don’t really understand what makes a good quarterback. When the Lions blitzed, and the offensive line couldn’t pick it up, Hurts made the correct play.
The Eagles’ starting quarterback didn’t turn the football over, managed the game very well, and was the reason the Eagles are 1-0.
Absolutely an encouraging day for the franchise QB.
Stock Down: Haason Reddick
His first game as an Eagle didn’t go very well. Reddick made a nice tackle for loss late in the third quarter, but was, for all intents and purposes, invisible. The Eagles recorded just one sack in the entire contest and repeatedly struggled to get pressure consistently late in the game.
It’s only one game, and the Lions’ offensive line is one of the best groups the front four will face, but it’s highly unacceptable with how poorly Reddick and the Eagles front four got pressure.
Stock Up: AJ Brown
Duh. The most receiving yards ever recorded in a debut in Eagles history makes you a winner in any spot.
Brown was simply excellent on Sunday. 10 catches for over 150 yards receiving yards and a dominant force all game. Detroit had no answer for the former Titan, as Hurts found his best friend again, and again in key moments.
People will complain about the lack of touches for DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert, but it’s important to remember that it’s the first week of the season. Nothing is going to be perfect, and Smitty will have his chances against other teams.
Brown clearly passed his first test though in an Eagles uniform.
Stock Down: Eagles coaches
Simply put, the Eagles did not look prepared at all to start the season. Nick Sirianni should be commended for getting his team healthy, but the slow start was extremely alarming, and it felt like it took a while for the Eagles to get going on both sides of the ball.
Shane Steichen was fine, however, the offensive line’s struggles were concerning.
Then there’s Jonathan Gannon.
The Eagles’ defense was simply shredded all game against Jared Goff and DeAndre Swift. The Lions’ offensive line and skill groups are severely underrated, however, it’s no excuse to give up 35 points to a lesser opponent.
It also didn’t help when the Eagles’ defense missed so many tackles that their whiffs could be used to help the energy crisis in California.
The defense was very poor throughout the entire game, and that is a reflection of coaching. Gannon was far too passive and didn’t make any necessary adjustments to put his team in a position to succeed. It doesn’t help that Justin Jefferson and the lethal Minnesota offense is coming to town next week.
Stock Up: Miles Sanders
Boy did Sanders need that.
13 carries for 96 yards and his first touchdown in two seasons, Sanders was the feature back for the Eagles on Sunday and ran like a man with his head on fire.
Sanders used his speed and lethal agility to put the game away with a 26-yard run on 3rd and one and also broke off numerous solid runs.
The Eagles as a team ran for over 200 yards, but Sanders was the clear winner on Sunday. If the team gets more from the man in the final year of his rookie contract, he could be in line for a very nice payday.
Even: Eagles OL
The good: Philadelphia ran for over 200 yards again, and put up over 30 points as an offense.
The bad: the Eagles’ offensive line was a mess in pass protection far too much on Sunday.
Detroit only had one sack, but hit Hurts five times and caused the quarterback to move the pocket because of the lack of execution on the offensive line.
The Lions’ defense isn’t the best group that the Eagles will see this season so this offense will need to be a lot better than they were.
AP Photo/Duane Burleson