Philadelphia Eagles: They can’t possibly lose to the Lions, can they?

(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

For the Philadelphia Eagles, a club that always feels like they enter each season with equal parts expectation and skepticism being heaped upon them, the powers that be seemingly served up a tasty start to this NFL campaign by pitting them against the Detroit Lions in Week 1.

Yes, those same Lions who went 3-13-1 last year and who the Eagles took to the woodshed in a 44-6 beatdown at Ford Field on Halloween.

The Eagles, you may recall, crushed Atlanta in the opener last year but then hit the skids by losing five of six before the victory over the winless-at-the-time Lions provided the proverbial Toyota Turning Point of their season.

Now, less than one year later, the teams clash again as they each hope to start 2022 off on the right foot.

The Philadelphia Eagles should be on the road to victory in Detroit in Week 1 action on Sunday.

While we can’t put much stock in last year’s result as a portent for what will happen this Sunday, the Eagles have improved so much since then that this one still shouldn’t be particularly close. The Eagles have upgraded their personnel, and Nick Sirianni and his staff have a much better idea of what they’re doing than when they took the field in Motown last year and still managed to have their way with their hosts.

Don’t get the wrong idea here; the Lions will be a better team than they were last year and shouldn’t be dismissed entirely. They’ll probably catch a few opponents napping and fight their way to seven or eight wins, which would be a marked improvement from last year’s stink bomb under rookie head coach Dan Campbell. But this team still shouldn’t scare anyone.

Even with the addition of second overall pick Aidan Hutchinson to bolster their D-line, I still expect the Eagles to have a field day on offense in this one. Maybe the Lions’ defensive unit turns out to be much improved, but it won’t happen immediately. So perhaps it’s a good thing that the Eagles are catching them right away instead of later in the season.

Now that Jalen Hurts has a full cast of solid offensive weapons around him, it should be enough for the Birds to be able to put early scores on the board to ratchet up the pressure on opponents, especially lighter fare like Detroit. Meanwhile, the Lions’ own offense has some good pieces but won’t be able to keep pace with teams like the Eagles.

Something strange could always happen with the turnover battle, a blown call, or any number of things that could tilt this matchup in the opposite direction. You can never put a “W” down in permanent marker. But the maturation of key players on the roster, the objectively successful offseason that Howie Roseman put together, and the natural learning curve of a green coaching staff all seem to be synching up nicely for the 2022 Eagles season. Said season just can’t start with a defeat at the hands of the Detroit Lions.

It’s high time for some optimism around these parts for once. And so I’ll even be so bold as to throw this Eagles prediction (Iggle Prediggle, if you will) your way: The Eagles will defeat the Lions by double-digit points, somewhere in the realm of 30-17.

Next. The season rides on Jalen Hurts. dark

Sometimes you don’t have to overthink things. The Philadelphia Eagles are simply the better club this week, and in fact they’ll have a number of games like this over the course of the 2022 season thanks to a juicy schedule. Maybe they fall into a trap at some point in the future, but it won’t happen this week. Book it.