The Detroit Jock City writers make their predictions for the Detroit Lions’ week five home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Week five is here and the natives are already restless. A year after the Detroit Lions got off to a disatrous 1-7 start, the team is starting slow once again. Last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears was particularly painful and calls for Jim Caldwell’s job came quickly after the final seconds ticked off the clock.
For just the second time in their first five games, the Lions get one at home, this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. It has been a slow start for the Lions but anything but for the 3-0 Eagles. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has been more than up to the task and the Eagles defense, led by coordinator Jim Schwartz, has been one of the league’s best so far this season.
As the first game of a three game homestand, this week is a chance for the Lions to get back on track. Will it happen or will it be more of the same? Here is what the Detroit Jock City writers see ahead for this week’s game.
Colton Wesley (2-2) – The Lions were supposed to be 3-1 at this point. They’re 1-3. That is bad. If the Lions are going to be un-bad, they’re going to have to beat teams like Philadelphia, who are un-bad. This may be difficult considering the Lions have been losing to bad teams like themselves.
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Seriously, the Lions woefully underperformed during the first quarter of the season and now they have to deal with Jim Schwartz’s defense and a rookie in Carson Wentz who has looked nothing like a rookie.
The Eagles are among the league’s best in passing and rushing defense. They’ve allowed nine points per game, 71 rushing yards per game and are third in total defense. Not to mention that they’re coming off a bye after holding Pittsburgh to three points in week three. Given the Lions’ struggles moving the ball against Chicago a week ago, I don’t see how the offense gets it going this week, especially if they are missing Eric Ebron.
Also, the lack of a pass rush without Levy and Ansah will only become more apparent against a competent Philadelphia offense. The Eagles don’t have a ton of weapons in the passing game, but if Wentz gets a clean pocket it won’t matter, just like it didn’t against Chicago last week. The Lions will really need to step it up if they don’t want to see Schwartz being carried off the field by his players again. I don’t think they will. Eagles win, 27-16.
Matt Pelc (1-3) – It’s odd how predictions can change so quickly. After the Lions shellacked the Eagles on Thanksgiving last year, and seeing as how many thought Philly was a 4-12 team heading into the year, I figured this game was a sure-fire win for the Lions. I no longer figure that. With Ebron, Ziggy, and Levy out, and the problems the Lions have had on both sides of the ball, I just dont see that happening. Eagles win big 30-17.
Erik Schlitt (2-2) – Despite the Lions 1-3 record, each game has ended as a one score contest. Granted, last week was a disaster, but a return home should help the Lions overall performance. I’d love to see more creativity on defense because they looked stuck in the mud last week. Getting Miles Killebrew more reps in “Big Nickel” sets should help them defend the Eagles tight ends and running backs.
The Eagles defense has been impressive and their front four looks to have an advantage over the Lions offensive line. But as we’ve seen with Jim Schwartz’s defenses in the past, their pass rush can be stunted by the quick pass. This plays into the Lions strengths, but they’ll need to execute much better than they’ve done the last two weeks.
The bottom line is, even if the Lions know how to beat the Eagles, they haven’t proved they can execute for four quarters. I expect this game to be closer than most think, but I still have the Lions losing. Eagles 27, Lions 20
Zac Snyder (2-2) – One reason Bob Quinn stuck with Jim Caldwell after taking over as general manager was the feeling that he still had the attention of the locker room and the players liked playing for him. We should find out how true that is this week with the Lions’s season already on the ropes and calls to fire Caldwell heating up from fans after last week’s loss to the Chicago Bears. Lions 23, Eagles 16
Matt Snyder (1-3) – This feels like the Lions’ last chance to get their season back under control before it gets thrown into the dumpster for good. Unfortunately for the home team, events are conspiring against them. The Eagles enter Sunday’s game coming off a Week 4 bye and should be supremely rested and prepared. That Philadelphia is 3-0 isn’t a fluke either — they’ve averaged more than 30 points of offense while holding their opponents to a single-digit average. This one doesn’t look good on paper. Eagles 27, Lions 17