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Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles preview: 5 questions with Bleeding Green Nation

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Getting to know the bad guys of week three

Week 3 is upon us! Who would have thought that the Lions would be 1-0-1 right now? I don’t think there’s a person alive that would have predicted that, but here we are.

This week the Lions are headed to the City of Brotherly Love to face the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia will always have a place in my heart. I visited there recently and learned that the city has some of the best food options in the country. There’s a sandwich there at a place called Denic’s inside the Reading Terminal Market that I’ve been dreaming about for years. I actually asked Bleeding Green Nation’s Brandon Lee Gowton if I could move into a corner of his house like the Herlihy Boy.

Other than that, I don’t know much about the Philadelphia Eagles outside of the fact that Mark Wahlberg played for them and that I used to have a Bobby Hoying rookie card back when I thought he was going to be the man. He was most certainly not the man.

I also know that the Lions are 15-16-2 against the Eagles. The Eagles have won five of the last six meetings between the two teams in Philly, including their last meeting which was the infamous snow bowl game. The Last time the Lions won in Philadelphia, Michael Vick was their quarterback and “Taken 2” was a movie that people were seeing that weekend. So overall it was just a meh moment in time.

Anyways, we asked Brandon some questions about the Eagles. While he didn’t give me the go ahead on moving in, he did give me answers on other stuff.

What’s up with the Eagles latest injuries and how can it affect this play Sunday?

“Woof. It’s a long list. The Eagles’ Wednesday injury report had a whopping THIRTEEN PLAYERS listed on it. That’s almost 25% of the 53-man roster. And that doesn’t even include the combined five players on IR and PUP.

The players who did not participate in Wednesday’s practice: Corey Clement, Dallas Goedert, DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Timmy Jernigan, and Jordan Mailata.

Clement is the team’s fourth running back and top kickoff returner. He’s reportedly expected to miss one or two games.

Goedert is the team’s second tight end but he’s hardly a backup with the way the Eagles want to utilize 12 personnel. It seems like he might have a chance to play this week but it’s unclear. The Eagles promoted tight end Alex Ellis from the practice squad so that might not bode well for Goedert.

Jackson is reportedly expected to miss two weeks. That’s a big blow to the Eagles’ offense. Jackson gives Philadelphia an explosive deep threat. He went for 154 yard and two touchdowns in Week 1.

Jeffery’s status for this week and next week is reportedly in doubt. With Jeffery and Jackson out, the Eagles will be down without their top two wide receivers. All that Philly has left at the position is the trio of Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins, and rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Hollins and JJAW have combined for a mere 22 career catches.

Jernigan’s recovery time is reportedly four-to-six weeks. Jernigan was elevated to a starting role when Malik Jackson suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1. Now the Eagles are down to their fourth and fifth defensive tackles lining up next to a less than 100% Fletcher Cox. Not ideal.

Mailata, a reserve offensive tackle, would likely be inactive on game day anyway.

Now for the players who were limited on Wednesday: Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, Johnathan Cyprien, Rudy Ford, Nathan Gerry, and Kamu Grugier-Hill.

Barnett and Cox were also limited early last week; they’re expected to play.

Cyprien, Ford, and Gerry are new additions to the injury report. I’m guessing they’ll play but it’s not great that a lot of key Eagles special teams player are banged up.

Grugier-Hill said he’s going to miss this week’s game. This means Nigel Bradham, Zach Brown, and Gerry (if healthy) will be the Eagles’ top three linebackers. Grugier-Hill would be the team’s second best linebacker if he was able to play.

So, yeah, the Eagles are really banged up. The good news is they’ll have a full week of practice to prepare for these absences. It’s not like they’re going to suddenly lose three key starters in pregame warmups (knock on wood), which is what happened to them against the Falcons. The bad news is the Eagles are going to be without some pretty important players.“

Who was the best fake Eagle?

“Tony Danza.”

Who’s the difference maker for the Eagles right now?

Jackson was a huge difference maker for the Eagles in Week 1. He stepped up and made some huge plays down the field to break the offense out of their slow start.

Carson Wentz was the Eagles’ difference maker in Week 2. He played poorly in the first half against the Falcons but some of those struggles were to be expected. After all, the Eagles lost three key starters very early in the game. Those three starters (Jackson, Goedert, Jeffery) combined for 15 receptions, 221 yards, and four touchdowns in Week 1.

Wentz looked better in the second half against the Falcons after the coaching staff had some time to make adjustments. He pretty much put the team on his back and nearly willed them to victory. If Agholor doesn’t drop a potential game-winning touchdown, well, there’s probably a lot more focus on Wentz’s gutty Week 2 performance. That was the kind of outing that justifies the Eagles paying Wentz franchise quarterback money. The Eagles will need another big performance from Wentz against the Lions this Sunday.”

Is Philly concerned about Carson Wentz? Or are you guys still all in?

“There’s always going to be concerns about his ability to stay healthy until he proves he can avoid missing games. But who's to say he can’t become an iron man down the road? I don’t need to remind you that Matthew Stafford missed 19 games in his first two seasons before never missing a game again.

The majority of Eagles fans are all in on Wentz. He looked really good in Week 1 and he ultimately had the team in position to win in Week 2 despite some struggles early on. There’s ample reason to be confident in his outlook right now.”

Who’s winning this thing?

“Man. It’s hard to feel great about the Eagles right now given their injury situation. I can’t take Philly to cover the spread, which ranges from 6 to 7 points. I think this is going to be close game.

Ultimately, I feel better about Wentz and Doug Pederson than I do about Stafford and Matt Patricia. I also don’t think the Eagles’ home field advantage is insignificant considering they have the second best home winning percentage (only behind the Patriots) in the league since the Wentz/Pederson eras began in 2016.

The Eagles win this game in a close one, 20-17. Wentz puts the team on his back doe. Jim Schwartz’s defense does enough to stymie his former employer.”