Last season the Eagles mauled the Lions, 44-6 on Oct. 31. No one has forgotten.
On Sunday, the Lions face the Eagles again in the season opener at Ford Field. Both teams are different. The question is to what degree.
“It was an embarrassing loss, they let us have it, they rubbed our nose in it. They came in and did everything that they wanted to do to us, times 10. I think we’ve acknowledged that,’’ coach Dan Campbell said.
That loss put the LIons at 0-8 on the season. It was followed by a bye week and a time of reflection. After that humiliation, Campbell started calling the plays on offense and made changes including getting wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown more involved.
The Lions finished the second half with a 3-5-1 mark.
“We understand that’s what they’re coming back for. If I’m them I’m doing the same thing. We’re going to come back and attack you the same way to see if you’ve fixed your problems,’’ Campbell said. “They’ll have a couple tweaks here and there but I would fully expect them to come in and see if we’ve fixed our problems. We understand the opponent that’s coming in.’’
While there are a few new players, the core of the Lions’ group that played in that game is still on the roster. They haven’t forgotten either.
“Watching that film is hard to watch, with that you’ve got to learn from your mistakes,’’ defensive lineman Charles Harris said. “Understand we have a different scheme, different techniques, we’re a lot better team this year. With that we have confidence we can get the job done this year.’’
In that 44-6 loss, the Eagles ran for 236 yards with four rushing touchdowns. The Lions were down 17-0 at the half but gave up 21 third-quarter points. Jared Goff was 25 of 34 for 222 yards and zero interceptions.
“Going into this week we know what happened last year and we’re not going to let it happen again … I think going into this year, starting off fresh. We’re excited. It’s a new team,’’ St. Brown said. “We feel completely different about this year than we did last year. We’re excited to play them again in Week One.’’