The Lions did as they pleased on their first drive of the season, running through the Eagles for a touchdown.
"It was what we expected to do," Jared Goff said Tuesday on 97.1 The Ticket. "We knew what they were doing defensively and had a good bead on them."
Not for long. The Lions went three and out on their next three drives, while Goff went 1-6 for minus two yards through the air -- with a couple of costly drops. The Eagles were on his passes like hawks, with Darius Slay saying afterward, "Just knowing him as a player, he’s been in the league a long time, we watched a lot of film on the kind of throws he likes."
Goff's next throw wound up in the hands of Eagles CB James Bradberry who took it back for a touchdown, the culmination of a 21-point swing from which Detroit never recovered. A three-score fourth-quarter deficit became a 38-35 loss, much like a three-score fourth quarter deficit became a 41-33 loss in last year's season-opener against the 49ers. There's no reward for a rally that falls short, something Goff is becoming all too familiar with in Detroit.
The Lions lost six one-score games last season, including four by a field goal or less. They picked up where they left off in Week 1, despite scoring the third most points in the NFL.
"Ultimately just frustrated we weren’t able to score enough to win," said Goff. "It was close, but we’re tired of it being close. We need to go finish some games."
Same old story, say the critics. Same Old Lions. Goff is probably used to it by now. Asked what the players tell each other after another close loss, Goff said, "Just to stick together."
"There’s a lot of people that are going to constantly try to tear us apart and tell (us) what we should or shouldn’t be doing and how we can be doing things better, and that’s not the point of this whole thing. It’s to stick together and move on to the next week and block out the outside noise and make sure we have each other’s back," he said.
Other highlights from Goff's interview on 97.1 The Ticket:
On the Ford Field crowd in Week 1: "That was the loudest I’ve heard it since I’ve been here, and next week should be the same. We have to give them something to keep coming back and cheer about, which would be a 'W.' But on third down for our defense, it’s enormous what they’re doing, causing some false starts and confusion for the offense. It's really fun to play in front of. It’s an electric atmosphere."
On exchanging words with Eagles DT Fletcher Cox: "He shoves me after the play and I didn’t love it and I let him know. But I got a lot of respect for him as a player. I don't think he knew I didn’t have the ball in my hands, so he wasn’t totally out of line. I think I was just fired up and wanted to say something to him, but he’s a hell of a player."
On the offense rushing for 181 yards: "It was great, man. (D'Andre) Swift, specifically, the way he was running and breaking tackles and making plays and our O-line blocking the way they were, it really opened up the play-action game and we'll see where that can take us. I know (OC) Ben (Johnson) is fired up about the way we ran the ball and we can make some big things happen because of it."