October 09, 2016
After an early bye week, the Eagles got the chance to improve to 4-0 against the reeling Detroit Lions on Sunday at Ford Field, site of last season’s Thanksgiving Day massacre. In the first half, it was the Lions that looked like the undefeated team.
Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes on three drives, and the Lions head into the locker room with a 21-10 lead over the Birds. Here’s what I saw:
• The Eagles needed a spark in the second quarter, and their rookie quarterback provided it. Down 14-0, Carson Wentz turned nothing into something, avoiding a free blitzer and finding Ryan Mathews for an easy first down.
• After three games, Wentz hadn’t come close to throwing an interception. The rookie avoided turning the ball over, but he did put a couple of throws in dangerous spots.
• For a unit that had been absolutely balling through the first three weeks, the Eagles defense was dominated at every level in the first half. Jim Schwartz’s crew did nothing right. The play that summed up the half best was the defensive line ending a Lions drive with a sack… and then Fletcher Cox yanked off Matthew Stafford’s helmet.
• The Birds defense looked like they were still on their bye week early on, as Matt Stafford and JIM BOB COOTER orchestrated an 11-play, 75-yard opening touchdown drive that looked very easy.
• In two first-quarter drives, the Lions chewed up 10:32 of clock, shortening the game. A well-designed 17-yard screen pass to Theo Riddick capped off the second drive.
• It was impressive that Connor Barwin was whistled for being ineligibly downfield on offense. Not a particularly smooth first half for the zebras.
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