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Detroit Lions Week 3 scouting report: The Eagles are average in a lot of ways

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The Eagles are buzzworthy, but should they be?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles host the Detroit Lions this week, and Detroit will head to the City of Brotherly Love as significant underdogs.

It’s a little curious considering just how beat up the Eagles are and how disappointing their performance was on Sunday night against the Atlanta Falcons. Still, the Lions didn’t exactly wow anybody with their win over the Chargers last week, seeing as both teams played a fairly sloppy game.

So can the Lions pull off another upset this week? Let’s take a closer look at the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia Eagles

Last season:

9-7 record (2nd in NFC East) — 1-1 in playoffs
18th in points scored, 12th in points allowed
Overall DVOA: 16th (16th on offense, 15th on defense)

2018 offseason

Key free agent additions: DT Malik Jackson (IR), WR DeSean Jackson, S Andrew Sendejo, QB Josh McCown, DT Akeem Spence, RB Jordan Howard, LB Zach Brown

Key losses: WR Golden Tate, QB Nick Foles, LB Jordan Hicks, RB Jay Ajayi

2019 NFL draft picks:

Round 1 - OT Andre Dillard
Round 2 - RB Miles Sanders
Round 2 - WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside
Round 4 - DE Shareef Miller
Round 5 - QB Clayton Thorson

Last year, the Eagles were a pretty average team. Their DVOA landed them right in the middle of the league both on offense and defense. Their 9-7 record was nothing special and they didn’t do anything particularly good nor bad.

However, they did finish extremely strong, winning five of their last six regular season games and they nearly made a deep playoff run, but a 14-point first quarter was all they could manage on offense against the Saints in the divisional round of the postseason.

This offseason was a fairly quiet one for the Eagles. Their biggest offseason signing—veteran defensive tackle Malik Jackson—has already landed on IR. However, they got creative and nabbed offensive weapons DeSean Jackson and Jordan Howard in trades that barely cost the team anything.

The Eagles likely got better, but I wouldn’t say it was by a significant amount. Even their draft was a bit underwhelming. Andre Dillard was a draft pick for the future, seeing as the Eagles already have Jason Peters as their lockdown left tackle this season. Meanwhile Miles Sanders (2.5 YPC) and JJ Arcega-Whiteside (one catch, 4 yards) have underwhelmed thus far.

2019 Season (1-1)

Week 1: Win over Washington, 32-27
Week 2: Loss to Atlanta, 20-24

Stats:

  • 8th in points scored; 25th in points allowed
  • 10th in DVOA (11th on offense, 21st on defense)*

*Note: DVOA statistics aren’t adjusted to strength of opponent until Week 5

The Eagles are as close to 2-0 as they are 0-2 after splitting their first two games by the narrowest of margins. In the first game, they quickly fell into a 17-0 hole, but their defense stiffened up in the second half and Carson Wentz balled out, leading to 25 unanswered points and the eventual win.

Sunday night’s game against the Falcons was less impressive. They again had to overcome an early deficit, gaining their first lead of the game with just 3:13 left in regulation. Unfortunately, their struggling defense turned around and gave up a 54-yard touchdown to Julio Jones on a key fourth-and-3 play with just over two minutes remaining.

Key injuries: TE Dallas Goedert, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Alshon Jeffery, RB Corey Clement, DT Tim Jernigan, DT Malik Jackson (IR), CB Cre’Von Leblanc (IR)

Much like the Chargers last week, the Eagles are extremely beat up after Sunday night’s contest. There are key injuries on offense—specifically to the team’s top two receivers. DeSean Jackson is expected to miss this week’s game; while Alshon Jeffery’s status is a little less certain, it also does not look promising.

The Eagles’ injury situation is so bad that head coach Doug Pederson decided to make Wednesday’s practice a walkthrough, a significant change in their routine.

Biggest strength: Interior defense

Through two games, the Eagles have allowed just 85 total rushing yards and just 2.8 yards per carry. Led by veterans Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, it’s been damn near impossible to run against this defense, which is no change for this team. Last year, they were seventh in rushing yards allowed and their run defense ranked ninth in DVOA.

Biggest weakness: Secondary

There’s a reason the Eagles have been at the forefront of Jalen Ramsey rumors. Philly’s secondary is led by former second-round pick Ronald Darby, who has yet to look like himself after tearing his ACL late last season. Opposite Darby, the Eagles have already benched Rasul Douglas in favor of Sidney Jones, who played fairly well in Week 2.

Overall, the Eagles rank 23rd in pass defense DVOA while allowing a passer rating of 98.8 (19th) and 8.0 yards per attempt (t-21st). Only the Miami Dolphins have allowed more passing touchdowns.

Vegas line for Sunday: Eagles by 7