The Lions looked to get new life as the Eagles looked to stay undefeated. Philadelphia was riding high and Carson Wentz was playing strong through the first quarter, but questions remained as to whether they could go 4-0, just as there were questions if the Lions could rebound from their three-game losing streak.
The Lions struck quickly to open the day. Jim Bob Cooter made some heavy changes on the offense. With Corey Robinson lining up in a sort-of tight end formation to block defenders, while Golden Tate was set to take hand offs out of the backfield to start the game, the offense was definitely trying something else with their offense this week. Both paid off early as Robinson laid down blocks for Theo Riddick to make several runs out of the backfield and Golden Tate got 11 yards himself on the ground. It was Riddick that would strike first as Stafford found him on a pass from the goal line, earning the Lions their first score of the game.
The Eagles started slow as Carson Wentz worked to shake some rookie-riding-high nerves while the Lions defense got to him early. On third down, his pass was nearly picked off by Nevin Lawson, but ended up getting batted into the air and landing harmlessly. The Lions got the ball back quickly and got to rolling. Boldin caught the ball through a small window on third down to keep the drive going, and later Theo Riddick racked up his second touchdown reception of the day after nine plays.
On the second Eagles drive, Wentz began to look for Zach Ertz and Ryan Mathews out of the backfield, which began to take apart the weakest chain in the Lions defense: its linebackers. Darren Sproles got out for ten yards to set up the Eagles close to the Lions end zone and sure enough Wentz found Mathews for the short pass and the first Philadelphia score on the day.
The Lions had a chance to answer and rose to the bell. A nifty flip from Stafford to Golden Tate kept his day rolling out of the backfield. He nearly found the end zone, but was stopped inches short. Marvin Jones would filch the touchdown with a toe-tap reception at the back of the end zone on the very next play to put the Lions back up 14 points.
The Eagles had one more chance to answer before the half. Flags would fly as the play got ugly, but the Eagles managed to get off a field goal as time expired. The teams went to the locker room with the score 21-10, and the Eagles receiving the ball to start the second half.
The Eagles came out firing to start the second half. Nine plays was all it took as Carson Wentz found his footing and marched down the field, culminating in a Josh Huff short pass for the second Eagles’ touchdown.
The Lions had a chance to answer, but a personal foul by Anquan Boldin uncharacteristically losing his cool pushed the Lions back towards their own end zone. On the next play, Stafford looked to roll out, but his pass was aborted and turned into a fumble, which the Eagles recovered to set up an extremely short field for themselves. But the Lions defense held strong, holding Philadelphia to a field goal and maintaining a 21-20 lead.
The Lions and Eagles fought for field position, and the Lions offense began to sputter to a halt. The Eagles finally broke through with another field goal, and they finally had their first lead of the day at 23-21, but the Lions defense still held firm for this period to prevent a touchdown.
The Lions struggled, went three-and-out and the Eagles began to march again. But just as the Eagles reached the middle of the field, Ryan Mathews went up against Darius Slay, who forced the ball out when he put his helmet on it. Tyrunn Walker recovered and the Lions came up with a huge turnover.
As the two minute warning loomed, Golden Tate caught the ball on third down and rushed down towards the red zone, and earned some supplemental yardage when a late hit penalty was accepted against Philadelphia. The Eagles defense would keep the Lions out of the blue paint, but Matt Prater’s 30-yard field goal was right on the mark. While Detroit forced Philadelphia to burn their remaining timeouts, the Eagles still had ample time to get the three points they needed for a victory.
With about 80 seconds left, Carson Wentz looked to make a big play. He looked down field and threw a deep pass to Nelson Agholor. Darius Slay was there again, and picked off the ball for his second turnover of the day, and putting the final stamp on a Lions’ victory.