DETROIT — The Eagles got a win in Week 1 but it wasn’t the prettiest performance.
They took down the Lions 38-35 in a game that really was closer at the end than it should have been, especially after pulling ahead by 17 in the third quarter.
Here’s a look at position-by-position grades from Sunday:
Jalen Hurts: 18/32, 243 yards; 17 rushing attempts, 90 yards, 1 TD
The Eagles’ quarterback had a really nice outing to start the season. He had 333 total yards, ran the offense effectively, protected the football and made some really impressive plays with his legs. There were some nitpicky mistakes here and there, like a couple underthrows, but overall it was a really good start from No. 1. In addition to his legs, Hurts made some really money throws in this game.
Miles Sanders: 13 carries, 96 yards, 1 TD
All three running backs ended up in the end zone, which was a big deal for Sanders, whose last touchdown was in the 2020 season. The three backs combined for 147 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. The Sanders run on 3rd down on the final drive of the game was huge.
A.J. Brown: 10 catches on 13 targets, 155 yards
The Eagles’ big offseason acquisition was incredible on Sunday. Brown got off to a fast start and looks like he’s going to be an immediate star in Philly. But aside from Brown, the receivers didn’t do much. DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins didn’t have catches and Zach Pascal had 1 for 7 yards. It’s great that Brown was a monster in this game, but the Eagles will need to get their other wideouts, namely Smith, involved more going forward.
Dallas Goedert: 3 catches on 4 targets for 60 yards
Goedert had just three catches but his 22-yarder the play after Hurts was hit late was a beastly YAC play. Goedert played with an edge in this game and he’s off to a nice start. We also saw a healthy dose of Jack Stoll in 12 personnel.
The line gave up some pressure to the Lions at times but did block well enough for the Eagles’ ground game to have a big performance, especially in that 4-minute drill to seal the game.
Fletcher Cox: 2 tackles, 1/2 sack, 2 QB hits
The Eagles’ expensive defensive line didn’t get much pressure on Jared Goff in this game with their only “sack” coming on a bad snap. The best pressure of the game came from Marlon Tuipulotu on the pick-6.
The run game hurt them too. The four-man front got gashed in the run. A lot of this is on DC Jonathan Gannon but the individual players could have performed much better. A bright spot was the play of rookie Jordan Davis, who can certainly stuff the run if no one else can.
T.J. Edwards: 7 tackles, 1 pass defensed
The Eagles’ tackling in this game left a lot to be desired. That’s probably to be expected in the first game of the season but it needs to get corrected. Edwards made a name for himself against the run last year but it wasn’t his best game. At least newcomer Kyzir White flew around and made some plays from the WILL spot.
Marcus Epps: 10 tackles, 1 TFL
The Eagles gave up 215 passing yards to Goff but did an OK job. The one touchdown pass was a perfect toss to D.J. Chark over Darius Slay, who had tight coverage. Slay also dropped a pick he has to have. Epps had a few nice tackles and C.J. Gardner-Johnson made some plays in his Eagles debut. It looked like Avonte Maddox had some trouble with Amon-Ra St. Brown, who had 8 for 64 and a touchdown. But Maddox did look good blitzing off the edge. And big pick-6 for James Bradberry.
Britain Covey: 2 punt returns, 13 yards, 2 fair catches
The Eagles didn’t have any amazing plays on special teams but they made some solid ones. Covey didn’t break a punt return but was very sure-handed, even catching one as Pascal brushed up against him; that could have been disastrous. Zech McPhearson did a great job looking in an onside kick attempt. Jake Elliott made his only field goal and all five PATs and Arryn Siposs averaged 45.7 yards per punt.
Eagles’ record: 1-0
Maybe this is a little harsh after a road win but the Eagles were sloppy on Sunday. That comes with Week 1 sometimes but the Eagles were penalized 10 times in the opener. Shane Steichen called a good game for the offense but Gannon’s performance left a lot to be desired. There are a lot of new pieces on that defense and maybe they’re still figuring things out … but they better figure it out quickly.
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