Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) vs. Detroit Lions (1-3)
Sunday, 1:00 pm EDT at Ford Field, Detroit
Spread: Eagles -3.5
If the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t coming off a bye-week, this week’s matchup against the Detroit Lions might have the look of a classic trap game. In week three, the Eagles demolished the potential AFC-contender Pittsburgh Steelers 34-3. The Birds’ defense held the Pittsburgh rushing attack to just 29 yards. Carson Wentz continued his arrogant refusal to play like a rookie – throwing for 301 yards, two touchdowns, and still no interceptions. Had the Eagles gone up to play lowly Detroit immediately after this excellent, uplifting win, the team might certainly be in danger of looking past a weak Lions squad and getting caught with a bad loss on their hands.
With the benefit of a bye-week and the extra preparation for coaches (including defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz who returns to Detroit after being fired in 2013) that accompanies that bye, the Eagles players should be able to forget about the high of defeating a strong Steelers team and focus on beating the Lions on the road. With a very difficult stretch of the Eagles’ schedule (Vikings, Seahawks, Packers, Cincy, and road division games) right around the corner, it is crucial for the Eagles to win games against inferior opponents like the Lions if they intend to win the NFC East.
As we await kickoff, here are the predictions from the football minds here at Pattison Avenue and what we’ll be watching throughout the game – please follow and harangue them on twitter dot com:
The Eagles should win this game handily since the Lions are basically fielding a team you only see in the fourth preseason game. Still, Eagles are 3-0 when I pick against them and I’m not gonna stop now. Let’s get to 4-0 baby. Detroit, 27-24
The Eagles will not fall for the trap game. The Eagles will not fall for the trap game. The Eagles will not fall for the trap game. The Eagles will not fall for the trap game. But seriously, everything about this game screams Birds, whether it is the impenetrable defense of the Eagles to the quite penetrable defense of the Lions. Maybe it’s the rising line that shows betting is skewed towards the Eagles. Or just maybe I believe that Dougie P. is a complete Andy Reid disciple and will dominate after the bye week. Regardless, Eagles win, but the defense will finally let up a passing touchdown. Eagles, 27-13
The Lions are a hard team to figure out. They are 1-3, but have won at Indianapolis and had their chances in Lambeau Field. They’ve also lost to two really bad teams in Chicago and Tennessee. This is only the Lions’s second home game of the season. They lost their home opener to the Titans 16-15. Their first four opponents have a combined record of 5-10 and the Lions have been within 7 points in all three losses and beat the Colts by 4 points. So every game they’ve played has been close, but it’s misleading because they’ve played three really bad teams and only won one of those games.
The Eagles are playing the Lions are the perfect time. The Eagles are coming off a bye week, healthy, while the Lions will be without their top rusher, second best receiver and best pass rusher. Marvin Jones is the only player on either side of the ball that Eagles fans should worry about, otherwise it’s a pretty average group. Talent and coaching wise, the Eagles have a huge advantage this week. Eagles 34-14
Zach Bates ()
The boys are back! This is going to be another great week for the birds. Wentz got some time to rest, Zach Ertz is back (which my fantasy team is happy about) and everyone got to recharge. Plus they haven’t lost Lane Johnson to suspension, yet. Maybe a plus for the Eagles is that Detroit lost to the Bears and Philly clobbered the Bears. Here’s to 4-0. Eagles 42, Lions 24
The last time Jim Schwartz coached against his former team, he told the defensive players to carry him off the field if they won. Schwartz is a man of not a little pride. He also knows the weaknesses of Lions’ QB Matt Stafford quite well, and one of those weaknesses is struggling against pressure. I expect Fletcher Cox and company to make Stafford’s day miserable. Offensively, I see Wentz managing the game well, as long as the defense does its job. Eventually, Wentz will try to do too much to win the game for his team and run into some bad rookie mistakes, but this week should not put him in that position. Eagles, 24-14
Just like the Eagles were on a bye, I have been on vacation this past week, most of it on the road, so I did not get to watch the game film 😉. For this reason I have little facts to back up this week’s pick. I will echo the lead of this post of the bye week mostly negating the trap gameness of this one. Because it appears that the Eagles are good and the Lions, not so much, I have to favor the Birds, with the defense scoring once. Eagles 28-14
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