The Detroit Lions put up a fighting mantra and clawed to stay in the game, but they fell into a deficit too far to climb out of, losing Week 1 to the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 to start the season 0-1.
The Lions had plenty of heart in front of a sold-out crowd and fought to the very end, but through mistimed mistakes and defensive faults, it was too much for them to overcome to bring home the victory. Even though it was a vast improvement from last year, where they fell to the Eagles 44-6, they left too much on the field that could have turned the tide in the Lions favor.
Here are a few studs on duds for the Lions in their matchup against the Eagles.
Studs: D'Andre Swift
Kirthmon F. Dozier-USA TODAY Sports
Swift set lofty goals for this season, starting on the right foot right from the get-go against the Eagles. He would finish the day with 144 rushing yards and a touchdown, but the most impressive part is the 9.6 yards per carry, finding holes, attacking the holes, and gaining positive yards. He also showed up in the receiving game catching all three of his targets for 31 yards, proving his dynamic three-down potential. In an offense that took a hot minute to find its footing, Swift was able to take the bulldozing from the offensive line and lit the ground on fire.
Dud: Jared Goff
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
The Lions opted not to roll with the first-team offense a lot through the preseason, and it showed with Goff’s performance. Goff had difficulty finding his timing with his receivers, either with misplaced balls or not in the vicinity of the receivers. He started slow, leading the Lions to three straight three-and-outs and a pick-six, and looked uncomfortable from the start. He would eventually find his footing, especially with a well-placed ball to DJ Chark for a touchdown. Hopefully, with more reps, the offense can find a way to gel, but today was a rough one to watch from Goff.
Stud: Jeff Okudah
All eyes were on the former first-round pick with his return from his Achilles injury, and he put up a solid performance for his much-needed secondary presence. He proved to be an asset in coverage, shutting down any receiver he was assigned to, tallying the second most tackles for the Lions with ten combined tackles, with a defended pass. There were plenty of questions for Okudah walking into Week 1, but he answered those with his showing against the Eagles.
Dud: Run Defense
If there was a frustrating performance from the Lions today, it was the lack of run defense, as the Eagles were able to run at will. The defense gave up 216 yards on 5.5 yards per carry and allowed a rushing touchdown to four different players. The biggest headache was Jalen Hurts as he was able to escape the pocket, extend drives, and made the Lions have to respect his legs which opened up the Eagles offense. The Lions had a few opportunities to get off the field, including at the end of the game, but the Lions were able to make the necessary tackles resulting in the Eagle icing the game.
Stud: Isaiah Buggs
I always like to dig deep and find the one player who quietly had a good game and landed strongly on the big man on the defensive line, who the Lions brought in this off-season. Even though the Eagles had their day in the rushing department, Buggs provided a strong presence up the middle, especially in the passing lanes notching two pass deflections, one that kept the Eagles at a field goal to end the first half. After the retirement of John Penisini, the Lions were strung on finding someone who could man the middle and looks to have found their guy in Buggs.
Dud: Tracy Walker
Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker III (21) celebrates a stop on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) in the first half of an NFL football game in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)
Walker could have easily landed on the studs list with his 13 tackle and one sack performance today, but his temper is what brings him the dud list this week. Even though some say Hurts was a runner and passed the first down marker, but in today’s NFL, you cannot hit that late, especially to someone’s head. Afterward, it turned the situation from bad to worse after retaliating by throwing a punch at Dallas Goedert, earning his second personal foul on the same, earning his rejection from the game. His actions put the Lions in a bad spot, especially with a safety group that was already in question, and as a captain of the team, those actions are inexcusable.