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Eagles vs. Lions score, takeaways: A.J. Brown has monster debut as Philadelphia survives Detroit in Week 1


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Eagles vs. Lions score, takeaways: A.J. Brown has monster debut as Philadelphia survives Detroit in Week 1

Brown had an Eagles record for receiving yards in his debut with the team

Jeff Kerr
By Jeff Kerr
22 hrs ago

Jalen Hurts helped the Philadelphia Eagles hold off a furious fourth-quarter rally by the Detroit Lions in a 38-35 thriller for the opening game of the 2022 NFL season. The Lions scored the final 14 points of the game, but the Eagles were able to hold on, thanks to an Eagles rushing attack that gouged Detroit for 216 yards on the ground. 

Hurts converted a fourth-and-1 run with 1:06 left to seal the victory, finishing a big day with 17 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Miles Sanders also had a key third-down run earlier in the drive that helped chew the clock out and made sure the Lions didn't get the ball back. Sanders finished with 17 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown. 

Four Eagles players rushed for a touchdown in the win, the most in a game for the franchise since Oct. 22, 1961. The Eagles finished with 455 yards of offense, led by 10 catches for 155 yards by A.J. Brown in his debut. Brown's 155 receiving yards are the most ever by a non-rookie making his debut for the Eagles. Only Dallas Goedert has more receiving yards (135) in an entire game for the Eagles with Hurts as the starter prior to Brown's debut Sunday. 

The Lions offense was dynamic in the opener, gashing the Eagles defense for 386 yards and going 9 of 14 on third down in the loss. D'Andre Swift finished with 15 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown, the first Lions player with 100 rushing yards in a season opener since Barry Sanders in 1996. Amon-Ra St. Brown finished with eight catches for 64 yards and a touchdown and D.J. Chark scored a receiving touchdown in his Lions debut, which made the game 38-35 with 3:51 to play. 

Detroit trailed 31-14 with 10:21 to play in the third quarter, but outscored Philadelphia 21-7 the rest of the way. Boston Scott's 1-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter ended up being the game-deciding score.

Below is a full breakdown of the Week 1 showdown between Philadelphia and Detroit.

Why the Eagles won

A.J. Brown had a monster debut for Philadelphia in the first game with his new team. Brown was easily Hurts' favorite target, finishing with 10 catches for 155 yards in controlling the majority of the second and third quarters. His 155 receiving yards are a franchise record for any non-rookie in his debut. Brown finished with 128 receiving yards in the first half, the third-most for any player in Eagles history.

While Brown was dominant, the Eagles rushed for 216 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry with four touchdowns. The league-leading rush offense from last year didn't miss a beat in the opener, thanks to Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders. 

Why the Lions lost

The Lions couldn't stop the Eagles offense in the middle quarters, as the Eagles scored touchdowns on four of six possessions and totaled 357 yards while averaging 7.3 yards per play. Philadelphia took a commanding double-digit lead that was just too big for the Lions to overcome. 

Detroit outworked Philadelphia for four quarters, yet the Lions' inability to contain Brown and stop Hurts on the ground led to the Eagles controlling the game. Hurts and Brown played a huge role in the win. 

Turning point

Hurts found Brown three times on the Eagles' second possession of the game with all the momentum building in the Lions' favor. Brown had four catches for 62 yards on the Eagles' first scoring drive of the game, setting up the momentum shift that propelled the Eagles to victory.

Hurts had Brown open on a 18-yard gain that could have been a score if not for a better ball, but that play set the tone for the rest of the day. Brown had 128 receiving yards in the first half as the Eagles put up 24 points and kept the Lions from rallying to a win with big catches throughout the afternoon. The Eagles got what they paid for. 

Play of the game

Just two plays after the Eagles took their first lead of the game, the defense made their biggest turnover of the afternoon to make the lead double digits. Kyzir White tipped a pass that James Bradberry snatched for the interception and took the ball 27 yards for the defensive score. 

Bradberry never had a pic- six in his career before notching his first with the Eagles -- in his first game with the franchise. The Eagles took a 21-7 lead and had control of the game onwards. 

The defense wasn't good most of the afternoon, but that was the play -- and turnover -- the unit didn't make last year. 

The quote

"We'll be better for that. You face a guy like that and there was a number of guys out there -- it's the first game of the year. Now you're in the real tempo against real dudes and I think I got on some guys. We'll be better for it." -- Lions head coach Dan Campbell on A.J. Brown and the Eagles offense.

Up next

The Eagles (1-0) will host the Minnesota Vikings on "Monday Night Football" (Sept. 19) next week. The Lions (0-1) host the Washington Commanders on Sunday, Sept. 18.



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