On Paper: Lions vs. Eagles


Before I get into this week’s matchup, I can’t ignore what happened last week.  I’ve tried sitting in the fetal position for five days straight, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to accept what happened. 

On the positive side, last week I said this:

            “I technically picked both teams to win this game, so I'm bound to be right.”

Turns out I was exactly right: both teams won that game.

Okay, on to this week, where we get the rare backup quarterbacks matchup early in week two. 

Lions Pass Offense (26th) vs. Eagles Pass Defense (14th)

Team rankings based on Week 1 yards (so basically ignore them)




Preseason QB Rating

Opponent’s 2009 QB Rating

QB Rating vs. Eagles






Aaron Rodgers lit it up in the preseason but got smacked down to reality in week one against the Eagles.  The Eagles defense held Rodgers to his lowest QB rating since week nine last year.  Rodgers was sacked three times and was picked off twice last Sunday.  He was held to fewer yards passing (188) only twice last year (against Chicago both times).

What does this mean for the Detroit passing game that will feature Shaun Hill at the helm for the first time as a starter?  Commence Operation: Pants Defecation.   Against the Bears, Hill led the Lions to drives of the following distances: -4, -8, 9, 11, -8, 9, 0, 83 (okay, the last drive was actually only 58, but I added 25 yards because…well, you know why).  So, yeah.  Things not looking too good.  Obviously, this offense is better than it performed under Hill and I don’t expect him to perform so carefully this week, but I don’t expect anything stellar.  Asante Samuel could very well shut down Calvin, which means it’ll be up to the Lions’ other threats to help out Hill.  Nate Burleson needs to come out of his shell in order to pick this team up, while the tight ends need to continue what they started last week (Tony Scheffler was quite impressive vs. the Bears).  Hill’s projected final line: 14-27 for 190 1 TD 1 INT.  Eagles +2

Lions Run Offense (32nd) vs. Eagles Run Defense (24th)



Opponent’s Preseason YPC

Opponent’s 2009 YPC

YPC vs. Eagles





*Ryan Grant’s stats only, as he is GB’s first string                  

The Eagles struggled a little to contain Ryan Grant before he succumbed to an ankle injury in the second quarter.  He only had eight carries, which is hard to draw conclusions from, but his replacement, Brandon Jackson, had a somewhat successful day, getting 63 yards on 18 carries (3.5 YPC). 

Of course, we’re all familiar with how bad the Lions struggled last week.  Jahvid Best had the most disappointing debut since the premiere of “Joe Buck Live” (just kidding, Joe; no one had high expectations for that).  Like Hill, I don’t think Best is as bad as he played on Sunday.  The Bears’ linebackers looked like they did five years ago, and it’s irresponsible to ignore the fact that Best is a rookie.  The Eagles’ linebackers and defensive tackles are nowhere near as impressive as Chicago’s, so there’s a chance for a breakout here.  Am I about to give the 32nd ranked rushing offense an edge in this matchup? Heck yeah. Lions +1.

Eagles Pass Offense (17th) vs. Lions Pass Defense (31st)



Opponent’s preseason QB rating allowed

(against starters)

Opponent’s 2009 QB rating allowed

Vick’s QB rating*





*Kevin Kolb omitted because Vick is starting

“Is Old Michael Vick back?”  Seems to be the hot question that people in Philly are asking.  Normally, I’d answer with some sort of inappropriate, overused dog-fighting joke, but this year, it might actually be a good question to ponder.  Vick certainly has the athletic ability he’s always had, and his statistics were somewhat impressive, too.  But watching the game last week, it was clear that Vick has also kept with him his accuracy problems.  Though he finished with a more-than-respectable 67% completion rate, his incompletions were often his fault alone.

That being said, Vick is facing the Lions’ infamous pass defense.  The Lions gave up an ungodly amount of yards to Cutler last week, but actually held it together for most of the game (save two costly, costly plays).  The defensive line, as expected, came up big, and will have a chance to do it again against Philly, as their offensive line struggled last week (five sacks allowed).  On top of this, the Eagles lost their starting center for the year.  Ndamukong Suh should be licking his lips this week.

Of course, this is where the “Vick Factor” comes into play.  Detroit needs to make sure they cause pressure both from the ends and interior of the line, otherwise Vick will run all over them. 

Philly’s receivers don’t strike fear into me, but as usual, our secondary does.  I am much more afraid of Vick’s feet (more later) than I am his arm.  Eagles +1.


Eagles Run Offense (3rd) vs. Lions Run Defense (15th)



Opponent’s Avg YPC Allowed (against starters)

Opponent’s 2009 YPC allowed

YPC Allowed vs. Eagles*





*Vick + McCoy

This is a pretty difficult matchup to predict.  While I expect the Lions’ run defense to stay middle of the pack or even better this year, I don’t like the looks of this matchup.  LeSean McCoy doesn’t seem like a huge threat against the Lions’ front four, but Vick is the wild card. While Vick won’t be cutting any brakes or jumping out the back of any vans on Sunday, I find it extremely likely that he’ll bust out a couple of 20+ yard runs.  Detroit’s linebackers had trouble pursuing Jay Cutler at times last week, and things are obviously more complicated with Vick back there.  The Lions may get DeAndre Levy back this week, but let’s not forget that he’s still very much a work in a progress himself.  I expect Vick to put in another 100 yard performance, with McCoy being a non-factor (in the running game, at least).  Eagles +2.


That totals up to an Eagles’ advantage of +4, which I consider a moderate advantage.  I think this is one of the better matchup for Detroit’s defense.  But, obviously, my confidence in Detroit’s offense has taken a huge hit.  If Hill can get some protection and Best can provide at least a mild threat to keep the defense honest, the Lions have a very good chance to even their record in front of a home crowd.  But, in the end, I think the Lions’ offensive woes will cost them another game.  Lions 10 Eagles 20.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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