The Detroit Lions got a chance to open their 2022 season Sunday with a measuring stick game at home against a Philadelphia Eagles team that handily beat them last season and were a playoff team in the NFC.
The Lions fell behind by as many as 17 points in the second half, but showed some of that grit head coach Dan Campbell keeps talking about to keep it a game into the fourth quarter. Detroit managed to trim the Philadelphia lead to three points late in the fourth quarter, but the defense couldn't get off the field one last time late, as Philadelphia converted a 4th and 1 with a minute remaining to win, 38-35.
The Lions' defense struggled to contain quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Eagles' offense for most of the afternoon. Philadelphia netted nearly 300 yards of total offense in the first half (296) and finished with 455 total yards and over 200 rushing yards.
Detroit's offense was led by third-year running back D’Andre Swift, who rushed for 144 yards with a touchdown on 15 carries. He became the sixth running back in franchise history to run for at least 100 yards in a Week 1 game. Swift also caught three passes for another 31 yards.
View photos from the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions Week 1 game at Ford Field on Sunday, Sept. 11 in Detroit, MI.
In the end, the Lions needed one more stop their defense simply couldn't provide.
The Lions kicked off scoring with a 1-yard Jamaal Williams touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead, set up by a 51-yard Swift run on his first carry of the season.
The Eagles tied the score at 7-7 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Hurts on a 4th and goal play early in the second quarter. Hurts finding room to run (90 rushing yards) was a theme throughout the game for the Eagles, who recorded 216 rushing yards.
Philadelphia took a 21-7 lead on a 27-yard interception returned for a touchdown by cornerback James Bradberry late in the second quarter.
The Lions trimmed the Eagles' lead to 21-14 with a nice 10-play, 75-yard drive right before halftime that was capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run by Swift.
The Eagles added a 23-yard field goal with seconds left in second quarter to take a 24-14 lead to halftime. They extended the lead to 31-14 with a Kenneth Gainwell 4-yard run in the third quarter.
Detroit trimmed the lead to 10 a couple times in the second half on touchdowns from wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (4 yards) and Williams (1), and got to within three with under four minutes to play on a wide receiver DJ Chark 22-yard strike from Goff, but couldn't get the ball back one more time to tie or take the lead late.
QB comparison: Jared Goff finished the game completing 21 of 37 passes for 215 yards with two touchdowns and the one interception that was returned for a touchdown. He had a passer rating of 80.3
Hurts was 18-of-32 passing for 243 yards with a 80.6 rating and those 90 rushing yards with a score.
Hutchinson debut: Defensive lineman Aidan Hutchinson, the No. 2 overall pick, was fairly quiet on the stat sheet (one assisted tackle), but did record a couple pressures and a couple near sacks in the first half that Hurts was able to escape from.
The Lions will need more from him next week against Washington.
Key moment: The Lions battled their way back from a 17-point deficit in the second half to within three points in the final minute, needing a stop on 4th and 1 to give Goff and the offense a chance to tie or take the lead.
But, as was the case too often Sunday afternoon, the defense couldn't find a way to get off the field as the Eagles converted on 4th and 1 with a Boston Scott 1-yard run up the middle to ice the game.
Injury report: No injuries reported for the Lions.
Up next: vs. Washington (1-0)