Things got hairy for the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter of their Week 1 matchup against the Detroit Lions, as they surrendered two touchdowns to cut their 17-point lead to only three. But, they were able to run the ball out after that, escaping Ford Field with a 38-35 victory.
While there are certainly some things that the Eagles are going to want to clean up, there were plenty of positives to take away from the game as well. Among them was the performance of A.J. Brown.
Philadelphia acquired the fourth-year wide receiver in a surprising trade during the 2022 NFL Draft. They sent one of their first-round picks, No. 18 overall and a third-round pick, No. 101 overall, to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for Brown. With the 18th pick, the Titans selected his replacement, Treylon Burks out of Arkansas.
Brown was brought in to help elevate the Eagles’ offense, providing Jalen Hurts with a true No. 1 receiver to pair with DeVonta Smith. In his debut with the team, he did exactly what the team was hoping for.
The Ole Miss product caught 10 passes for 155 yards, setting a franchise record in the process. That was the most receiving yards in the first game for an Eagle ever, which Brown said gave him a feeling of being overwhelmed.
While he had a big Week 1, Brown isn’t expecting that to occur every week. He knows there are a lot of talented players on the roster and to get the most out of the unit everyone will have to get involved.
“Sometimes the ball just keeps finding you, and I got hot early,” Brown said. “We knew we had weapons on offense and today it was my day. Next week it could be DeVonta’s day or Dallas’s day. We have a lot of skill players on offense and trying to get everybody the ball is probably really hard on Shane.”
After struggling to find consistency through the air last season, that could no longer be an issue with how the team looked in Week 1. Hurts had instant chemistry with his new receiver, finishing the game with 243 yards.
If that continues, this offense will be virtually impossible to stop. Keeping opponents honest through the air is of the utmost importance as Philadelphia still dominated on the ground, rumbling to 216 yards on 39 carries.
Miles Sanders and Hurts each surpassed the 90-yard mark, while Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell added 30 yards on nine carries. All four players scored a rushing touchdown. If that keeps up, Brown should find plenty of room in the secondary to make plays.