The Sports Bash: What to Watch vs Detroit Lions
After the Eagles first loss of the season in Atlanta, its time to pick up the pieces and move on as the return home Sunday to face the Detroit Lions.
The first-team offense and the first-team defense both are feeling the injury bug, the defense will be without Malik Jackson for the rest of the season and Tim Jernigan for the foreseeable future. On offense, DeSean Jackson is out, and Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert could also miss the game or be limited.
Who will Carson Wentz have at his disposal this week? Well it would seem he should have a better rhythm with guys like Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside.
For the Lions, they come to town having a lot of questions even coming off a win over a good Chargers team last week.
The weapons are there with wide receiver Kenny Golladay, tight end T.J. Hockenson and quarterback Matt Stafford, but the offensive line does not do a good job of running blocking, an area where the Eagles defense excels - run defense.
On the Lions defense, two guys to keep an eye on are cornerback Darius Slay, and defensive end Trey Flowers.
Here are things to look for Sunday:
• The Eagles defensive front needs to force Stafford into mistakes by sending different looks, similar to what they were able to do last week vs Matt Ryan. If the Eagles get three interceptions this week, like last week, they should win the game going away.
• The Eagles secondary will have their hands full with Golladay, Marvin Jones and underneath with Danny Amendola. Tight end T.J. Hockenson is also a talented weapon for Stafford, but the Eagles, who rank 30th against the pass this season, giving up 340 yards per game, will need to be much better this week.
• The Eagles need to run the ball with more success. With some weapons down this week, will the Eagles run the ball with regularity against the Lions front? The opportunity for yards on the ground certainly exists if Doug Pederson decides to go that route.
Geoff Mosher's Take: Offensively, the key for the Eagles is devotion to the run. That doesn't mean they have to be 50-50 or deviate from what they do best. But they need an honest running game and can't abandon the ground game if they fall behind early. It'll be a bad day if Carson Wentz has to throw the ball 40-plus times. Defensively, they must be stout on third down. That usually behind with pressure from the front four. Matt Stafford will make mistakes if you hit him.
The Pick: Eagles 26, Lions 20 (Record 1-1)
Ryan's Take: So much talk about this Eagles secondary and the concern specifically around Darby. For me, once again, it's the trenches. The defensive line must find ways to hit Stafford and get into the backfield without forcing Schwartz to dial up blitz all day. On the other side of the ball I want to see the run "established" early. Like Geoff said, doesn't need to be 50-50. But I'm sick of the slow starts, and I fell the run game is the answer to open up the offense early and get Carson in a rhythm. I think it's going to be close.
The Pick: Eagles 20, Lions 19 (Record 1-1)
Mike Gill's Take: A lot has been made about this game being a scary matchup for the Eagles. My take is, if the Eagles struggle at home against an average Lions team, maybe they aren't that good. Yes, injuries are an issue, but they are the more talented team, with the better QB.
I know it sounds simple, but if the QB is better, they win.
The Pick: Eagles 27, Falcons 18 (Record 1-1)