“It’s Not A Game, I’m From Philly”

NFC Game Of The Week

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

Lions: They always seem to do this. Struggle to finish a game against a team they should beat then turn around the following week and beat a team they have no business beating. That’s the Detroit Lions for you. I saw a good portion of that game on Sunday against the Chargers and I like what I saw. They turned up the aggression and held LA’s offense to ten points when they’re known to light the scoreboard up. The Lions defense clamped down, put pressure on Rivers throughout the game and got some consistent play from the secondary against one of the better groups of receivers in the league. The offense can tighten a few things up. Matthew Stafford didn’t look terrible, but he also didn’t look good either. He threw a couple of touchdown passes but also threw two interceptions. The one thing I will say is the Lions are showing more effort offensively. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is a huge upgrade over Jim Bob Cooter and there’s a ton of talent in the passing game with receivers Kenny Golladay (who can be really good in due time), Marvin Jones and the rookie tight end T.J. Hockenson who’s really finding his spot within the offense and has quickly become a go-to guy for Matt. The crazy thing about them is they could easily be 2-0 right now if they handle their business against the Arizona Cardinals to open the season, but they had to settle for the tie instead. After their win in week two, they look to keep it rolling and they will travel to South Philadelphia to face an Eagles team at the Linc.

Eagles: Something about them didn’t seem right on Sunday night in Atlanta. The offense couldn’t get things flowing how they wanted too. First, the offensive line was beat at the line of scrimmage by the Falcons defensive front which forced Carson Wentz to move out the pocket and make continued throws on the run, the running game was absent for the most part and defensively, they did their jobs and kept the Eagles in the game for most of the night getting takeaways when they needed too. What about all the injuries they suffered? DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery both left the game and were injured, and tight end Dallas Goedert hurt his calf during pregame warmups. There was even a concern about Carson because he had to go into the medical tenth after taking a hit and we’ve been all too familiar with number 11 getting injured. Despite everything I just listed, the Eagles stayed in that game on Sunday and almost won it if it hadn’t been for Julio Jones calling game late in the fourth quarter. Prior to kickoff, I said this was an important game for them because I felt they must keep pace with Dallas who doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon in the NFC East. I understand it’s early and all, but they look scary good now and the Eagles could’ve had a share of first if they came out on top. They need to fix some things starting with the offensive line which has been good for the last few seasons. I don’t think I want my quarterback who tore his ACL a few seasons ago running for his life, so it’d be best to keep him in the pocket. Two, this team needs to be healthy. They’ve lost Malik Jackson and Tim Jernigan to injuries for the rest of the year. They’ll look to get back into the win column with the Lions coming to town.

Lions Player to Watch: Kerryon Johnson– He’s been an absolute godsend for them. The Lions biggest weakness for a while has been their ground game until they drafted Kerryon. I was high on him during his college days at Auburn. He’s an all-around back that can bounce outside and run in between the tackles. He also catches the ball out the backfield. The Eagles could have their hands full.

Eagles Player to Watch: Nelson Agholor– There’s some uncertainty on the injury of Alshon and DeSean will miss two games with an abdominal strain. This is where number 13 needs to step it up. He isn’t a guy to necessarily stretch the field, but he can do enough to be that playmaker for Wentz. Ertz can’t be the only guy that Carson targets. If he can get his looks, breeze by the secondary, he can have a monster day for this offense.

Final Analysis: The Lions always play the Eagles tough. When they last met, Carson Wentz was a rookie and the Lions beat them by a point. Three years later, here we are again. Although the Eagles aren’t 100 percent healthy, the Lions defense knows they still must prepare for Carson Wentz, and they know what he’s able to do once he gets into a rhythm. The Eagles know a thing or two about facing a Matt Patricia coached defense (go watch the Super Bowl 52 highlights). Philly needs to get better within their secondary which has given up the most passing yards in franchise history through the first two games, the defensive line needs to generate that pass rush and get Stafford off his rhythm. If I’m the Lions, I’m flinging the ball all over the field on this Eagles secondary.

Prediction: Eagles 29 Lions 24