Each week, Daily News football writer Paul Domowitch provides five keys that fans should keep their eyes on. Here is how things panned out during yesterday's game:
1. Effectiveness of those three- and four-wide receiver sets: Eagles wide receivers did well against the cornerback-thin Lions. DeSean Jackson had four catches for 135 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant each caught three balls, including Maclin's 9-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. Rookie Riley Cooper even got on the stat sheet, notching his first regular-season NFL reception.
2. Stopping the run without Stew: The Eagles could have used middle linebacker Stewart Bradley, who missed yesterday's game after suffering a concussion against the Packers last week. The Lions ran for 115 yards overall (109 in the first half,) led by Jahvid Best, who rushed for two touchdowns. Best's first score came in the first quarter on a 14-yard run right up the middle.
3. The new Vick? Andy Reid insisted that Mike Vick, who replaced concussed quarterback Kevin Kolb, was no longer the undisciplined, tuck-it-and-run guy who used to play for the Falcons. He certainly didn't look like the Vick of old yesterday. Despite poor pass protection that resulted in six sacks, Vick went 21-for-34 with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
4. The not-so special teams: The Eagles' special teams sullied the reputation of their coach, Bobby April, in the season-opener against the Packers. Yesterday, they were only slightly better. Ellis Hobbs averaged over 19 yards on three kickoff returns and Sav Rocca continued to boom his punts, averaging 48.7 yards on seven of them. But Riley Cooper dropped an onside kick late in the fourth quarter and Lions return man Stefan Logan averaged over 21 yards on five kickoff returns and over 11 yards on three punt returns.
5. Up-front pressure: The Eagles did a decent job of containing Lions quarterback Shawn Hill, but there was room for improvement. Hill who was only sacked twice, finished 25-for-45 for 335 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. In the Lions' next-to-last series, he completed five of six passes, including a 19-yard touchdown strike to get his team to within three points with 1:55 left.