Intriguing stats ahead Eagles Week 1 game versus Detroit Lions

Jalen Hurts #1, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts #1, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

We’ve all made statements to this effect for quite some time now, but for whatever reason, those comments truly hit home when we watched Week 0 and Week 1 of the NCAA football season. Another 18-week, 17-game Philadelphia Eagles season is upon us.

Goal number one is clear and has been for a while. Take care of business versus the stars of Hard Knocks, the Detroit Lions who seem to be hell-bent on being more than a team that pushes the opposition to the limit before looking up in the fourth quarter and realizing, well, they’re the Lions.

We’ve been told that they have no intention of being a doormat for the Birds in Week 1 and that they intend to show up and play in this one, so let’s talk about the game,

Here are a few statistics to whet the whistle ahead of the first Eagles game of the new NFL season.

We all love numbers. That’s why we pay Pro Football Focus our hard-earned money and play Fantasy football. Here are a handful of intriguing stats ahead of the coming NFL campaign.

Jared Goff completed more than 67 percent of his passes in 2021.

Call it crass, but it’s hard to look at the Los Angeles Rams or the Detroit Lions (or both) without wondering what Jared Goff must be thinking. It’s intriguing that a man playing football’s most recognizable position hasn’t gotten much camera time on Hard Knocks, but hey, it is what it is.

Goff won’t have Jameson Williams for the first four games of the season, but he will have capable weapons in T.J. Hockenson,  D’Andre Swift, and Amon-Ra St. Brown. He may be viewed by some as one of the roadblocks that kept L.A. from winning a Super Bowl earlier, but he’s capable.

He completed over 67 percent of his passes in 2021 and could be effective if taken lightly.

The Eagles ranked second in rushing attempts in 2021 and finished first in rushing yards per game (159.7).

As much as we’d all love to see the Philadelphia Eagles morph into some newer and more explosive version of Air Coryell, they can’t forget about their rushing attack. They’ve added Trey Sermon, but often-maligned Miles Sanders is always a threat to hit a home run.

Philly finished second in the NFL in rushing attempts in 2021 and ranked first in rush yards per game thanks, in part, to QB1 Jalen Hurts, but don’t forget about Miles. He averaged 5.5 yards per rush during his 12 in-game appearances a season ago.

Charles Harris and Julian Okwara combined for 12.5 sacks and 16 tackles behind the line of scrimmage a season ago.

The numbers speak for themselves. If Jalen Hurts has the stuff to be the Eagles’ quarterback of the future, we won’t have to wait long to see if the fruit of all of the work he’s put in is paying off. The Lions employ several guys that can make his Sunday afternoon a long one.

As mentioned above, Charles Harris and Julian Okwara combined for 12.5 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss of yardage a season ago while rookie Aidan Hutchinson was racking up 14 sacks and 16.5 stops for a loss at the NCAA level. Theories are that his success should transfer to the NFL level. That brings us back to our previous point.

44 – 6 (There’s no more important stat than the point total)

You do remember what happened the last time these teams met, right? Now, we’ve mentioned how much better Jalen Hurts should be, and rightfully so, but to neutralize Detroit’s pass rush and take the home crowd out of the game, the best plan of attack may be to run the ball right at them.

The Lions have a budding star at cornerback in the form of Amani Oruwariye. Keep an eye on him as he picked off six passes in 2021 and broke up 11 more (had he done that for the Dallas Cowboys, he would have been named a First-Team All-Pro). The Lions haven’t done much to improve a rushing defense that finished 28th a year ago though.

Perhaps they can ask their safeties to play in the box here and there. Sure, that makes them vulnerable to the pass, but what choice do they have? Malcolm Rodriguez alone does not a run defense make, and Tracy Walker can be utilized all over the field. In 2021, he notched 108 tackles including three for a loss of yardage to go along with an interception and a sack.

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We get it. Dan Campbell is one heck of a motivational speaker. Hard Knocks makes a lot of teams look like they’ll be better than they are, but the Eagles are a better team than the Lions. They took last year’s meeting by a 44-6 margin, and though both teams have improved, the Birds are better. This is a game Philadelphia should win easily.