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What To Watch For Week 1: Philadelphia Eagles At Detroit Lions

After the most eventful off-season in NFL history, it’s finally football season! From free agent signings, the NFL Draft, and what seemed to be a record setting (probably not) number of superstars finding new homes. Now that Week One is here, here are the key things that you should be watching for in the Philadelphia Eagles season opener vs the Detroit Lions.

What Jalen Hurts Do We Get?

This past season was a rollercoaster for the first year starting quarterback. We saw flashes of brilliance, mediocracy and everything in between. With only appearing in the first preseason game against the Jets, we have an extremely small sample size to go off of. In his singular series, Hurts went 6/6 for 80 yards and a passing touchdown to Dallas Goedert. In that series he did have a rushing touchdown taken off the board.

On paper, the series could not have went any better; Hurts was perfect. Perfection is not expected, but the traits that were displayed are expected. On the first play of the drive, Hurts faced pressure right away. Instead of putting his head down and taking off, he kept his eyes down the field and found Quez Watkins for a first down.

Later in the series, he went through his progressions and stepped up in the pocket and fired a strike to Dallas Goedert. These two plays may seem insignificant being they are in the preseason; however it is exactly what was needed to be seen.

If all reports from the off-season are true and Jalen Hurts continues to build off of his camp and preseason success, it will be a very good day.

Will The Eagles’ Defense Attack?

In 2021, the Philadelphia Eagles ranked 31st in blitz percentage, blitzing only 16.4% of the time. This was only ahead of the Las Vegas Raiders. Personnel and injuries certainly played a factor in the passive nature of the defense. The team knew they would struggle to get pressure on the quarterback and played conservative to prevent the big play.

With the additions of Hassan Reddick, Jordan Davis and returning Brandon Graham, the defensive line looks to be in great shape going into Week 1. With Detroit missing Halapoulivaati Vaitai this week, expect Jonathan Gannon to send pressure early and often.

Eagles Running Back Rotation

There are three running backs on the active roster, all with a different skillset. The team’s depth chart has Miles Sanders as the starter. He is the most complete back being able to excel in both the rushing and receiving game. Boston Scott showed to be the ‘2A’ in the preseason taking the early down role in games Miles Sanders did not play in, while Kenneth Gainwell was the ‘2B’ taking the majority of the receiving work.

Miles Sanders did not appear in the preseason and has missed a significant amount of practice with a hamstring injury. He did return to practice this past week, and on the same day he returned the Eagles claimed Trey Sermon off of waivers from the San Francisco 49ers.

If active, Sanders should see close to 70-80% of the running back opportunities with Scott and Gainwell taking the remaining 20-30%.

What else are you watching for Week One? Let us know in the comments. Check out our latest content and don’t forget to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for more Eagles coverage.

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