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First things first: An Eagles season-opener filled with momentous occasions

QB Jalen Hurts
QB Jalen Hurts

Sunday marked a game full of firsts for the 1-0 Eagles. Here's a recap of their Week 1 victory, as told through firsts:

The season-opener doubled as their first win of the 2022 season; the Eagles won 38-35 against the Lions. The win increased the series record to 19-16-2 overall and 4-2 at Ford Field.

The game marked Hurts' first with the same playcaller (Offensive Coordinator Shane Steichen) for a consecutive year. He hasn't had that level of continuity since he was 17 years old at Channelview High School where his father, Averion, was the head coach. He finished the game with 243 yards on 18-of-32 passing, plus 90 rushing yards and one touchdown on 17 carries.

"I think it was a hard-fought victory and I think what I loved the most about this team was just coming out here Week 1, playing against the new opponents, seeing a new face, how resilient we were," said Hurts.

"We talked about not riding waves of the game, being able to control what we can, and there were times where the execution wasn't as we'd like it to be on both sides of the ball. But I think in the end, what made the difference? Well, we were resilient. We played together, through the good, the bad, and ugly. And we had each other's backs."

The deafening sold-out crowd inside the Ford Field dome was the first time the Lions resorted to offering standing room-only tickets in a non-Thanksgiving game since 2017. The roaring atmosphere proved to be an early challenge for the Eagles' offense – their least favorable drive was their first.

"The atmosphere was crazy. We barely could hear (Hurts)," wide receiver A.J. Brown said. "But how he managed the game, I think he did really well. I'm sure he's going to say it wasn't good enough. But that's the mentality he has, and I'm grateful he has that mentality, because for all of us, it wasn't good enough."

But the offense found its footing soon after. Hurts combined for 256 offensive yards in the first half, which is the most he's produced in the first half of a game in his entire career.

Twelve players made their regular season debut in an Eagles uniform. For six rookies, it was their first time dressing for an NFL game. 8 players went in the game for their first time as an Eagle.

CB James Bradberry

WR A.J. Brown

WR Britain Covey

DT Jordan Davis

LB Nakobe Dean

S C.J. Gardner-Johnson

CB Josh Jobe

LB Kyron Johnson

C Cam Jurgens

WR Zach Pascal

LB Haason Reddick

LB Kyzir White

It was the first time four different Eagles had rushing touchdowns since October 22, 1961. RB Kenneth Gainwell, QB Jalen Hurts, RB Miles Sanders, and RB Boston Scott all rushed for a score, which is the most the Eagles have ever had in a season-opener. The last time that happened was 61 years ago against Dallas with touchdowns from Billy Ray Barnes, Ted Dean, Clarence Peaks, and Theron Sapp.

Safety Marcus Epps led the defense in his first opening day start. Epps had a team-high eight solo tackles, 10 combined as he entered his first season projected to be a full-time starter.

A.J. Brown set a team record for most receiving yards in his first game as an Eagle. He recorded a staggering 155 yards on 10 receptions, tying his personal career high. His outstanding performance included a 54-yard catch from Hurts with 46 seconds remaining in the second quarter. "That was a dime. It fell out of the sky," Brown said.

He recorded the most receiving yards in the first half in a NFL team debut by any non-rookie since at least 1991. He also recorded the most receiving yards in a single game by an Eagle with Hurts at the helm.

James Bradberry recorded the first interception of the Eagles' 2022 campaign. The cornerback returned the pick for a 27-yard touchdown, which marked his first career score and his 16th interception.

Kyzir White recorded his first tackle on the first defensive play of the game. He took down Philadelphia native and Lions' rushing leader D'Andre Swift in the opening seconds of the game – it was his first of five tackles. White also played an integral role in Bradberry's scoring play; he tipped Lions quarterback Jared Goff's pass intended for tight end T.J. Hockenson, creating an opportunity for the pick.

Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox worked in tandem to get the first sack of the season. The veterans knocked down Goff in the fourth quarter; the two sit at fourth and fifth, respectively, for all-time sacks in the Eagles' record book. Graham recorded a team-high 3 pressures in his first game back from an Achilles injury that left him sidelined for all but two games during the 2021 campaign.

Hurts got the first down that solidified the Eagles' win. Hurts snuck in a 1-yard rush to the Detroit 40-yard line with less than two minutes left in the game, allowing the Eagles to run out the clock.

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