Know your Eagles enemy: The Detroit Lions

The Eagles are now 1-1 after a heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Falcons (whom are celebrating this victory like they won the Super Bowl, congrats on the week 2 win, guys!).

It’s time to focus on the next enemy, the Detroit Lions.

The Lions are undefeated…well I guess technically that’s right.

They started the season off with a tie against the Arizona Cardinals and pulled off a win over the decimated Los Angeles Chargers. They’ve scored 40 points in two games, 27 and 13, which is twelve less than the Eagles.

This game will be a tough one for the Eagles and could be a “must-win”, even if it’s only the third game of the season.

A 1-2 start could be costly with the 2-0 Cowboys facing a college team this weekend. Wait, you mean the Miami Dolphins are an NFL team? Couldn’t tell.

Let’s take a look at what this Lions did in the off-season and what makes them tick.

Key additions: 

Wide receiver Danny Amendola (free agency – Dolphins), defensive end Trey Flowers (free agency – Patriots), cornerback Justin Coleman (free agency – Seahawks), tight end Jesse James (free agency – Steelers), tight end T.J. Hockenson (first round draft pick), wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (free agency – Jets [currently on IR]), running back Paul Perkins (waiver claim September 17th – Giants)

Key departures: 

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah (free agency – Seahawks), Running back LeGarrette Blount (free agency), Running back C.J. Anderson (released September 17th)

Despite averaging 20 points per game in the first two games, the Lions’ offense has been severely underwhelming.

They do not have a 100 yard rusher, as Kerryon Johnson has 90 yards total in two games. Next on the list is C.J. Anderson with 43, whom was just released in favor of Paul Perkins.

However, they do have a big time wide receiver in Kenny Golladay and an uber talented tight end in rookie T.J. Hockenson. Neither have played the Eagles yet, which is obvious for the rookie, but the Eagles have plenty of film to game plan for them.

One player who has played the Eagles four times is the man under center.

Dear John

Why John? Well because that’s Stafford’s first name. You learn something new everyday.

Anyway, Stafford has played the Eagles four times, going 3-1. The last time he played them was in the 2016 season, winning 24-23 on a Matt Prater field goal with 1:28 left in the game. It was Doug Pederson’s first loss as a head coach, as well as Carson Wentz’s first loss in his career.

Stafford averages 245 yards passing, 2.3 touchdowns, and .3 interceptions in his career against the Eagles, stats that will need to change if the Eagles want a chance on Sunday.

With all the weapons Stafford has at his disposal, stopping the offense will be tough. Especially with an Eagles secondary that is 31st in passing yards allowed per game so far. However, on the flip side, the Eagles can take advantage of a below average defense that is featuring a big name.

Wilting Flowers

Don’t you hate it when you go to Home Depot, spend a lot of money on flowers, only to see them wilt a few weeks after they’re planted?

Well, that’s what Detroit has going with their highest priced free agent acquisition, Trey Flowers. 

Flowers signed with the Lions on the first day of free agency in March. He received a five year $90 million contract after four seasons with the Patriots. Lions’ head coach Matt Patricia was Flowers’ defensive coordinator for three seasons.

In four seasons with the Patriots, Flowers had 164 tackles and 21 sacks. So far through two games with the Lions, Flowers has three tackles.

Not quite the impact that the Lions were hoping for from Flowers. 

ProFootballFocus had Flowers ranked as the ninth best edge defender going into the 2019 season, largely due to his career highs in overall grade (89.7), pass rush grade (79.9), and run defense grade (84.9).  He also had a pass rush win percentage of 17.4%, eighth among edge defenders in the NFL.

Flowers’ talent is undeniable, but he has had an extremely sluggish start to the season.  It’ll be up to the Eagles offensive line to keep his sluggish start going. 

The Eagles’ offensive line does have some familiarity with Flowers.  Although they have never faced him in the regular season, they did face him in some game called the Super Bowl. In that game, he had five tackles, two QB hits, and one loss.

How have the Eagles fared against the Lions in their history? Find out on the next page, as well as some predictions!

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