DETROIT – You could see this one coming, couldn't you? Wide receiver A.J. Brown did it every day in Training Camp and ramped up just perfectly for this Eagles debut, and he made the kind of instant impact the great ones make.
Brown caught 10 catches for 155 yards in Philadelphia's 38-35 win, constantly destroying Detroit's pass defense with short catch-and-run plays in the middle of the field and showing his explosiveness on the outside as well, hauling in a Jalen Hurts pass down the right sideline for a 54-yard catch and drag-a-defender play late in the first half. Basically, Brown did as he wanted against the Lions, evoking memories of the 2004 Eagles debut of wide receiver Terrell Owens, who had eight receptions for 68 yards and three scores in a September 12 31-17 win over the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field.
Here we are, 18 years later, and Brown had a similar electrifying debut. His 155 yards were the most by any player making his Eagles debut.
"We put in a lot of good work in camp and moving forward to this game we knew we were in a good place," Brown said. I didn't know how it was going to go, but I'm glad it went the way it did. We were on the same page, there's stuff we need to clean up, so we can continue to get better."
Brown began inflicting damage on the second offensive possession of the game, first taking a Hurts pass on the left side of the formation and spinning his way for a 10-yard gain and a first down. On the very next play, it was again Hurts to Brown, this time for 18 yards. Brown had four receptions for 62 yards – adding receptions for 18 yards and 16 yards on that drive, a 13-play, 82-yard touchdown drive that tied the game, 7-7.
That was just the beginning. Brown finished the first half with six receptions for 128 yards on eight targets as the Eagles took a 24-14 lead into the half. He caught passes on two of the team's first three offensive plays in the third quarter as the Eagles moved 80 yards on nine plays for a touchdown that gave Philadelphia a 31-14 advantage.
"We did a good job as a team. That's why it's a team sport," Brown said. "There's ups and downs. We pick each other up. I'm excited for this first win, but we're moving forward. I'm on to the Vikings."