PHILADELPHIA -- Last week, Jamal Agnew lost his job as the team's kick and punt returner in the middle of the game after gaffes throughout the first two weeks of the season. All week long, Lions coach Matt Patricia expressed confidence in Agnew and said that it was a one-game change for the former All-Pro.
Agnew showed in one return Sunday afternoon that the confidence the Lions had in him was correctly placed. Agnew took the ball at the Philadelphia goal line during the first quarter Sunday and took off on the left side. He got a block from one of his upbacks -- believed to be Ty Johnson -- and he was off.
Agnew reached the sideline and turned upfield, with blocks from Miles Killebrew and Dee Virgin along the left sideline to help and give him a path. By the time Agnew reached the 20-yard line, he had no Eagles in front of him.
And when that happened, with Agnew's speed, no one was catching him. One hundred yards later, Agnew had his first-ever kick return for a touchdown and third career touchdown return. (He had two on punts as a rookie.)
It was a massive change from last week, when Agnew's job looked to be perilous despite Patricia's faith in him.
"We knew that the ball security was going to be really important, and especially in that situation, just made a quick change as far as that's concerned," Patricia said of Agnew's benching last week. "We'll just keep going forward. Like I said, [Sunday] night, Agnew is a tremendous player.
"He has an explosive ability and he's obviously done a lot, so we're just getting back to work. That's really kind of our bottom line there."
It's not the first time the Lions have had returns at Lincoln Financial Field. The last time the Lions had a kick return for a touchdown was also at the Linc, with Jeremy Ross taking one back 98 yards for a touchdown in the snow. Ross also had a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown in that game.