What We Saw: Week 1

The QB List team recaps everything you missed while you were glued to the couch watching Red Zone

Eagles @ Lions

Final Score: Eagles 38, Lions 35

Writer: Mario Adamo Jr (@marioadamojr on Twitter)

 

Though the Hard Knocks’ darling Lions fell short of winning the game, both teams featured players with monster stat lines in the highest-scoring game of Week 1.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

 

Quarterback

 

Jalen Hurts: 18/32, 243 Yards | 17 Carries, 90 Yards, TD

 

Hurts so good. Jalen Hurts started his quest to be the best QB in fantasy with a strong showing in Week 1 against the Lions. Although he started the first drive with a dreadful five straight incompletions, he quickly found a rhythm on the Eagles’ second drive. He connected with A.J. Brown twice and got back to his scrambling self, including the first touchdown of the Eagles 2022 season on a 4th and goal. Hurts consistently used his legs to extend plays and most importantly made smart plays. He only took one sack thanks to his improved awareness and throwing the ball away when under pressure.

 

 

Hurts completed 18 passes including 10 to A.J. Brown, who starred as the number one target of this offense. With a bonafide number one WR, Hurts was able to get comfortable in the passing game. You can tell right away this is a connection we’re going to see a lot of all season.

 

 

Running Back

 

Miles Sanders: 13 Carries, 96 Yards, TD | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 9 Yards

Kenneth Gainwell: 5 Carries, 20 Yards, TD | 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 12 Yards

Boston Scott: 4 Carries, 10 Yards, TD

 

The Eagles had four(!) players with rushing touchdowns Sunday, the first time they’ve done so since 1961, so you really couldn’t go wrong with anyone from their backfield. Miles Sanders needed one game to surpass his touchdown total from last year. He was the main back for the Eagles on Sunday and looks to be a solid option going forward. If you rolled with him despite questions around his injuries in the pre-season, you were handsomely rewarded.

Kenneth Gainwell appeared to be the change of pace back. Four of his five carries came during the Eagles’ sixth drive of the game. His red zone opportunities came right after Sanders ripped off a 24-yard run with an unnecessary roughness call adding 15 yards to set the Eagles up at the Lions’ 14. Three plays later Gainwell scored, which to me is a sign they wanted to give Sanders a chance to catch his breath more than anything. I can see this happening in more games to come, but it’s not a cause of concern for taking opportunities from Sanders.

Three of Boston Scott’s four carries came on the final drive as the Eagles were looking for the game-clinching first down. Apart from that, Scott had a goal-line carry at the one where he punched in the rock. Scott was definitely being used as the bruiser of the bunch, only seeing the field when the Eagles needed a big body to punch it in. For fantasy purposes, I don’t think you can count on Scott reliably to produce. I don’t see a ton of value in this role, but I can see Boston Scott continuing to take a touchdown or two to keep defenses on their toes and not always shell out to stop Hurts.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

A.J. Brown: 13 Targets, 10 Receptions, 155 Yards

Dallas Goedert: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 60 Yards

DeVonta Smith: 4 Targets

Zach Pascal: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 7 Yards

Noah Togiai: 1 Target

 

A.J. Brown is who we thought he was. The Eagles’ shiny new WR was targeted 13 times, more than the other WRs & TEs combined! The running game was responsible for all the touchdowns, but it’s clear Brown is the star of this offense. Brown had the most receiving yards ever in an Eagles debut and he matched his career high with 155 yards. Perhaps the most important fact that you won’t find on a stat sheet  — Jalen Hurts is the godfather of A.J. Brown’s daughter… that should tell you everything you need to know about this duo.

Enjoy this highlight reel of all 10 of his receptions as you smile knowing you have a bonafide WR1.

 

 

Dallas Goedert had three receptions, the second highest among all pass catchers for the Eagles. He had a 22-yard pickup on TE screen where he got stopped at Detriot’s 1-yard line, setting up an easy TD for big boy Boston Scott. Goedert looks to be a solid option for the Eagles and I expect him to continue to put up solid numbers for a TE.

 

 

DeVonta Smith with a Cam Akers-esque performance (sorry Akers owners, nowhere is safe). Smith was targeted twice in the first drive, including dropping a catchable ball. After that first drive, it was the A.J. Brown show with only two more targets heading Smith’s way, and he did nothing with them. I expect Smith to bounce back and continue to get his share of targets, but his usage will always pale in comparison to Brown. Zach Pascal brought in his only target for 7 yards, but his biggest impact was standing up for his QB. After Tracy Walker was flagged for a late hit on Hurts, Pascal got in Walker’s face and shoved him. There are no fantasy points for shoving, but it’s a good sign when the receivers are standing up for their QB. Noah Togiai dropped his one and only target.

 

Detriot Lions

 

Quarterback

 

Jared Goff: 21/37, 215 Yards, 2 TD, INT | 2 Carries, 9 Yards, Fumble (Recovered)

 

Jared Goff had a solid performance and continues to be a viable option in two QB leagues. His one interception came from a miscommunication between him and TE T.J. Hockenson. On what looked like a Stick N Nod route, Hockenson went upfield (nod) and Goff threw it towards the sideline (stick). The Eagles were able to bobble the pass with Bradberry there to run it back. Goff otherwise looked good, hitting 57% of his throws which consisted of mostly shorter passes. He did throw a dime to DJ Chark over former Lion Darius Slay to bring the game within three points.

 

 

Running Back

 

D’Andre Swift: 15 Carries, 144 Yards, 1 TD | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 31 Yards

Jamaal Williams: 11 Carries, 28 Yards, 2 TD | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 2 Yards

 

You knew D’Andre Swift was in for a good day when he broke free for a 51-yard gain on the second play of the game. He ended with 174 all-purpose yards and a touchdown while becoming the sixth player in Lions history to open the season with 100 rushing yards. Though Swift was the more dynamic one of the pair, Jamaal Williams had four fewer carries and double the touchdowns. The first drive of the game had Swift involved in the passing and running game, but ultimately ended with a pair of Williams carries inside the 5-yard line including a 1-yard touchdown run. Williams’ other touchdown came again after a big Swift play. Swift caught a short pass and brought it 25 yards to the Eagles 1-yard line to start the fourth quarter. Then, just like the first quarter, Williams came in at the 1 and vultured the touchdown. I’m not sure if Dan Campbell put in Williams as a way to keep Swift fresh for the long season ahead, but it’s definitely frustrating for any Swift owner to see multiple goal-to-go opportunities handed to Williams. Swift will continue to get his and be the RB1 of the backfield, but Williams could emerge as this year’s James Conner.

 

 

 

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Amon-Ra St. Brown: 12 Targets, 8 Receptions, 64 Yards, TD

DJ Chark: 8 Targets, 4 Receptions, 52 Yards, TD

T.J. Hockenson: 7 Targets, 4 Receptions, 38 Yards

Josh Reynolds: 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 28 Yards

Kalif Raymond: 2 Targets, 0 Receptions, 0 Yards

 

The Sun-God, Amon-Ra St. Brown, shined bright today bringing in 8 of his 12 targets for 64 yards and a touchdown. That gives him a TD reception in five straight games, tied for the third-longest streak in Lions history. If you were like me and had concerns that St. Brown only shined because of injuries to Hockenson and Swift last year and he wouldn’t be able to maintain his level of production, it’s not too late to admit you were wrong. If you drafted St. Brown and still believe that’s the case, which would be a perplexing situation to say the least, you can try to move him after a strong week one.

 

 

Hockenson brought in four of his seven targets which consisted mostly of short passes. The seven targets are promising and even though Goff’s one pick was a ball thrown towards him, I can see Hockenson and DJ Chark switching off as the number 2 receiver of Detriot’s offense. Speaking of Chark, half the balls thrown toward him hit the ground. Chark’s saving grace was a 22-yard touchdown catch over Darius Slay, see the highlight under Goff. Josh Reynolds brought in one of his three targets for a 28-yard deep ball but was otherwise quiet. Kalif Raymond had two targets, but nothing came of them.

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