The Detroit Lions will open the season at home, hosting the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 11 at 1 p.m., according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The meeting will be a rematch of one of Detroit’s worst losses from a year ago, a 44-6 drubbing at Ford Field on Halloween that led into the team’s bye week. Philadelphia did much of the damage on the ground, rushing for 236 yards and four touchdowns in the victory.
Detroit’s offense struggled mightily in the contest, mustering a meager 91 yards through two quarters while being shut out in the opening half. Things only got worse in the third quarter when running back D’Andre Swift fumbled and the loose ball was scooped up and returned 33 yards for a touchdown by former Lions cornerback Darius Slay.
The Lions only avoided being shut out on the day when rookie running back Jermar Jefferson scored on an 8-yard run with 7:14 remaining in the game.
After the game, which dropped the Lions to 0-8 on the season, the defense symbolically buried the game film from the first half of the season at the team’s practice facility in the Allen Park.
Both teams will enter this year with new-look rosters. The Lions notably added offensive firepower in free agency and the draft, signing DJ Chark and drafting Jameson Williams to reinforce a thin receiving corps. It should be noted that Williams’ status for the opener remains unclear as he continues to recover from a January ACL tear.
Defensively, the Lions bolstered an anemic pass rush with the selection of Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson with the No. 2 pick in the draft.
As for the Eagles, the team also got receiving and edge rushing help this offseason, signing Haason Reddick in free agent and trading a first-round pick to the Titans for A.J. Brown.
Philadelphia used its second first-rounder to snag ultra-athletic Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis.
The Eagles are coming off a 9-8 season and a wild card loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Lions, meanwhile, posted a 3-13-1 mark in Dan Campbell’s first season as coach.
The NFL will be releasing its full schedule Thursday at 8 p.m.