Eagles vs Lions: Inactives, Keys to the Game and Pick
Day. (Al Messerschmidt,
Getty Images Sport)
For the second-consecutive season, the Eagles will take the field on Thanksgiving Day as they travel to Detroit to take on the Lions at Ford Field. All-time, the Eagles are 6-0 on Thanksgiving Day and look to rebound after two ugly home losses.
While the Eagles haven't officially named a starting quarterback for the game, most signs point to Mark Sanchez in place of Sam Bradford, but It looks like coach Chip Kelly will try to keep the Lions guessing as long as possible. Bradford was recently cleared of his concussion and participated fully in Wednesday's practice, but Sanchez took most, if not all of the snaps with the first team.
The Eagles dropped an ugly 45-17 decision to Tampa Bay last week, while the Lions beat the Raiders 18-13 to improve to 3-7 on the season.
Overall, Philadelphia and Detroit will square off for the 33rd time in series history and the first time since the Eagles’ memorable 34-20 victory in the snow on December 8, 2013. In Detroit, the Eagles are 7-4-2 against the Lions.
(Listen on 97.3 ESPN, coverage starts at 11:30pm, Kick-off at 12:30pm)
Sal Pal on Eagles vs Lions:
Lions’ inactives: WR T.J. Jones, TE Tim Wright, OL Corey Robinson, OT LaAdrian Waddle, DL Gabe Wright, DB Isaiah Johnson and DL Jermelle Cudjo
Outside View: Jim Brandstatter, Lions Radio Network
Matchup to Watch: Eagles secondary vs Calvin Johnson
Rookie Jameis Winston completed 19-of-29 passes for 246 yards, five touchdowns, and no interceptions in the Bucs' Week 11 win over the Eagles. Winston was sharp and in command against a lifeless Eagles pass rush, but was able to pick on both Nolan Carroll and Byron Maxwell, neither had a good game. This week their challenge will be stopping one of the best, physical wideouts in the NFL - Calvin Johnson, who has at least 80 yards in five straight games.
It seems the Eagles secondary has had issues with bigger, physical wide receivers Like Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson last week, Julio Jones in Week 1, Dez Bryant three weeks ago and Johnson could give the Eagles secondary problems.
This has been a horrendous week for the Eagles, with reports of Chip Kelly losing the locker room, just one of the questions surrounding a team that seems on the brink of destruction. We should learn a lot about these claims this week vs. the Lions. If the Eagles come out and play well, maybe some of those whispers can be put to rest. If not, it will follow the Eagles around until they face the Patriots next Sunday.
This is a tricky game, the Lions have defended the run well, but much like the Eagles have struggled to show consistency on offense. Their run game features a three-headed monster look with Ameer Abdullah the featured runner instead of Joique Bell, with Theo Riddick in the mix as part of the passing game.
I have a hard time believing the Eagles locker room is as big a mess that is sounds like. Getting on the road could be exactly what the Eagles need here and they have a shot to get back on the winning path against a Lions team that is very beatable.
Not saying a win makes the Eagles a "good team", but it should quite all the fire Chip Kelly talk until at least after the New England game.
The Pick: Eagles 27, Lions 24
John McMullen’s Take: