After making the playoffs last season for the first time in more than a decade, the Detroit Lions have been one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments at 1-3. Their chances of returning to the playoffs likely will vanish with a loss at Philly. This is the first meeting of these teams since 2010.
The Lions were off last week and entered the bye on a 20-13 loss to Minnesota. It was the second game in a row that Detroit allowed a kick return and punt return for touchdowns – that’s a first in NFL history in back-to-back games.
Matthew Stafford passed for 319 yards on 30-of-51 attempts and scored the lone touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run for the Lions, who have dropped three straight after winning their opener against St. Louis.
The Lions tend to be pass-happy with their offensive philosophy and are ranked 24th in rushing yards per game. The Eagles have not put up big sack numbers but have one of the league’s better edge rush tandems in Jason Babin and Trent Cole.
Jahvid Best won’t return this week, but Detroit has other capable ball carriers (Kevin Smith and Mikel Leshoure). Look for offensive coordinator Scott Linehan to work for better balance, mixing in more running plays on early downs in Week 6.
The Eagles have won their three games by a total of four points, an NFL record for fewest margin in a team’s first three wins of a season. Last week, the Iggles were on the wrong end, losing 16-14 at Pittsburgh. LeSean McCoy gained 80 yards from scrimmage and caught a touchdown pass from Michael Vick, who threw for 175 yards and lost two fumbles in the first half. He leads the NFL with 11 turnovers.
The Eagles offense ranks 31st in the NFL in points scored this season, averaging just 16 points per contest. Turnovers are a big reason for the struggles as the Eagles have 14 giveaways, 11 from QB Michael Vick.
However, the offense has not had good field position so far, either. The average starting field position in the first five games has been their own 24.5-yard line, which is more than four yards worse than last season. Opponents have also done a good job of taking away the deep ball. The Eagles have just two pass plays of 40-plus yards and 18 completions of 20-plus yards in their first five games.
VEGASSPORTSBETTING ODDS: Eagles -4 (47.5)
LIONS : QB Matthew Stafford passed for 319 yards in Week 4. Since Dec. 2011, has 3,101 pass yards, 3rd most in NFL. Lions are 10-0 when Stafford has 105 rating … RB Mikel LeShoure rushed for 100 yards & TD in NFL debut in Week 3. RB Joique Bell had career-high 6 catches & 72 yards in Week 4. Ranks 3rd among NFL RBs with 175 rec. yards …
WR Calvin Johnson had TD in last meeting. Since 2008, has 46 TD catches, most in NFL. In past 4 road games, has 38 catches for 716 yards (179 per game) & 4 TDs. Has 2 200 yard games & 3 150 yard games in those 4. Since 2011, has 2,104 rec. yards, most in NFL & his 105.2 yards per game avg. during span ranks 1st. Since 2010, TE Brandon Pettigrew is 3rd among TEs with 177 catches. Had 7 catches for 108 yards in last meeting … DE Cliff Avril is 1 of 2 NFC players with 12 sacks (12.5) & 6 FFs (6) since 2011 (John Abraham). Since 2010, DT Ndamukong Suh has 16.5 sacks, tied for most by NFL DT. DE Kyle Vanden Bosch had 1.5 sacks in last game vs. Phi.
EAGLES : QB Michael Vick won last start vs. Det. & completed 21 of 34 (61.8 pct.) for 284 yards with 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 108 rating. Since 2010, is only NFL player with 7,500 pass (7,642) & 1,000 rush (1,411) yards … RB LeSean McCoy rushed for 120 yards & 3 TDs in only game vs. Det. Eagles are 10-1 when McCoy rushes for 100 yards. In past 7 at home, has rushed for 674 yards (96.3 per game) & 9 TDs …
In last meeting, WR-PR DeSean Jackson had 4 catches for 135 yards (33.8 avg.) & TD (45 yards). Incl. playoffs, has 31 TDs (24 rec., 4 PR, 3 rush) & avg. 44.5 yards per TD (1,380 yards). WR Jeremy Maclin has 100 yards or TD in 4 of past 6. Had TD in last meeting … DE Jason Babin has 10.5 sacks in past 10. In 9/23/07 game vs. Det., DE Trent Cole had 3.5 sacks & FF. Since 2006, has 64.5 sacks, 3rd most in NFL. In last game vs. Det. (12/20/09 with Arz.), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had 2 INTs. S Nate Allen had INT in last meeting. DE Brandon Graham had 1st career sack vs. Det.
VEGAS TRENDS: Lions are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall. Lions are 1-11 ATS in their last 12 vs. NFC. Lions are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. loss. Lions are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss. Lions are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Lions are 0-8-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Eagles are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 6. Eagles are 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a S.U. loss. Eagles are 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 home games. Eagles are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.