Week 1 Preview: Detroit Lions vs Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles will look to deliver on an offseason of hope and hype when they take on the Detroit Lions this Sunday in Week 1 of the NFL season. The Eagles are angling to improve on last year's Wild Card playoff berth, and the Lions hope to finally claw their way back to relevance by making the postseason for the first time since 2016. They have a long way to go; sportsbooks list them as 5-point home underdogs against the Eagles.

The Eagles were aggressive this offseason in surrounding their third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts with talent. A trade with the Tennessee Titans landed Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Brown, and he should prove a deadly compliment to last year's 10th overall pick DeVonta Smith. Hurts has proven incredibly valuable as a runner at the quarterback position, helping the team finish first last year in rushing yards, but he'll have to maximize the talents of his pass catchers if the team is to improve on last year's 12th overall ranking in points scored. If the Eagles intend to deliver on projections that have them winning the NFC East, it will all come down to Hurts proving himself a worthy franchise quarterback.
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No one illustrates the difference a franchise quarterback can make more than Jared Goff of the Lions. The former Los Angeles Ram was traded to the Lions last year along with a treasure trove of draft picks in exchange for quarterback Matthew Stafford. Stafford immediately propelled the Rams to a Super Bowl championship season, and Goff plunged the Lions into deeper mediocrity. In a full-on rebuild after a 3-13-1 season, the Lions are committed to incremental improvement in their pursuit of building a lasting contender. Even this year's 12th overall draft pick wide receiver Jameson Williams speaks to that sort of macro thinking: he was taken with the expectation he wouldn't even see the field until later in the season. With Goff at the helm, the Lions are in clearly in no rush to compete.

The Detroit Lions host the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday in Week 1 of the NFL regular season.

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