Morning coffee with the Eagles: Can Philadelphia match the Lions intensity?

Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions (Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images photo pool)
Dan Campbell, Detroit Lions (Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images photo pool) /

It’s hard to remember when it happened, but somewhere along the lines, the NFL became a much better version of reality television. As intriguing as the games always wind up being, the storylines surrounding said games can be just as fascinating. No one knows that better than Philadelphia Eagles fans.

During the 2022-2023 NFL season, they’re scheduled for two games versus a red-headed quarterback who shall remain nameless, one that was supposed to lead this team like a conquering hero for years to come but wound up leaving town having never won a playoff game.

On top of that, there are other subplots. In Week 4, Philly hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars and the only man living who can say that he led this team to a Super Bowl appearance and won the game, Doug Pederson. We’ll also be entertained by the constant narratives about whether or not  Jalen Hurts should remain as QB1, but before we get to any of that, the Birds have to conquer the preseason and win their first game of the season.

That one is scheduled for September 11th in the Motor City, Detroit versus the stars of 2022’s version of the highly popular HBO series Hard Knocks. Following the first episode, we feel as though we have a ton to talk about.

In one corner, we have an up-and-coming squad from the City of Brotherly Love that enters the 2022-2023 NFL season in search of a second-consecutive postseason berth and hopefully a deep playoff run. In the other, we have a snake-bitten franchise that never seems to get out of its own way.

The Detroit Lions have clawed their way to a postseason berth 12 times since 1960. They have one playoff win to show for it, and it’s likely that they’ll fail to qualify at the end of the coming regular season. Why is it that there’s a growing fear of an Eagles letdown in game one then?

Nevermind… We remember now. Hard Knocks has a way of making everyone look like a Super Bowl contender, and watching them battle their way through practices that are more physical than those that were held in Philly has forced some of us to ask a serious question.

This Lions team isn’t going to lie down for the Eagles in Week 1, are they?

A contrast in styles: Lions’ old-school vs. Eagles’ new-school via Joseph Santoliquito of Bleeding Green Nation

An excellent read here, Bleeding Green Nation‘s Joseph Santoliquito delivers the goods with his take on the contrasting manners in which the Birds and Lions have chosen to approach camp. Can the Lions beat Philly in Week 1? They shouldn’t. The Eagles are arguably better coached and more advanced at every position, but here’s where the rubber meets the road.

Philadelphia has lost four of the last six meetings, and they’ve been favored in every game. Oh well… Clearly we won’t know how this one plays out until it’s over, but in the meantime, it should be fun to see Duce Staley get some more air time. He was one of the stars of the first episode.

Former Eagles’ RB coach Duce Staley featured in the debut of Hard Knocks via Glenn Erby of USA TODAY’s Eagles Wire

Who would have thought that, in the season premiere of Hard Knocks, former Eagles running back/coach Duce Staley would get more camera time than their quarterback, Jared Goff? Did you notice that?

Hey, we don’t mind! Duce was worth the price of admission. Glenn Erby of Eagles Wire cooked up a nice write-up sharing his thoughts, but here’s all that we have to say on the subject.

Gosh, we miss that guy! He’s still an Eagle in our book, and he always will be.

The opposite personalities of Slay and Bradberry via Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia

At the end of the day, here’s where we stand. The Eagles should and probably will be a playoff team. The Lions should avoid the NFC North’s cellar by winning more games than the Chicago Bears, but in the end, this probably won’t be the surprising breakout season that they’re hoping for. The Philadelphia Eagles should win their first regular season game.

They’re arguably better at every position, and that should tell the tale.

Expect big-time performances from their stars, including their phenomenal cornerback duo, Darius Slay and James Bradberry. NBC Sports Philly’s Reuben Frank has a nice recent write-up on two guys who are becoming friends that couldn’t be any more different in personality.

Hey, as Bradberry said recently, “opposites attract”. Two teams with opposite philosophies are on a collision course come the regular season. Expect fireworks, but again, we’ll say it once more. This is a game that we expect the Birds to win.