The Eagles headed into Detroit looking to start their season 4-0 for the first time since 2004. That did not happen. The 1-3 Lions stunned the Eagles for the second year in a row as they captured a 24-23 win in the final moments of the game.
After starting 3-0, the worst possible thing the Eagles could have gotten was a week of inactivity. Everyone going into this week five match up was counting on Jim Schwartz’ head coaching experience in Detroit to slow down Matthew Stafford, yet it was Stafford who had the upper hand in the first half. A QB who faced Schwartz’s 4-3 defensive scheme every day in practice for five straight years, knew exactly how to attack it.
The Lions targeted Mychal Kendricks and boy was it a problem for the defensive coordinator. Lions running back Theo Riddick was the x-factor out of the back field in the first half, scoring two of three first half touchdowns for Detroit on their first three possessions. Philly came out flat.
Down 14-0 to start the game and later 21-10 at half time, Carson Wentz was staring adversity right in the face all game, and knocked it out. The kid stayed composed, and eventually led the team down the field to take a late 23-21 lead in the fourth quarter with 6:40 to go. The defense in the second half made a complete 180-degree turn and allowed under 100 yards in the second half, but it still wasn’t enough.
Penalties riddled the Eagles success on both sides of the ball, missed tackles were frequent, but the bottom line was Philly should have escaped with the win. A late momentum swing in the game ensued when Ryan Mathews fumbled on a 3rd-and-2 toss to the short side of the field. Mathews held the ball in the wrong hand, and after it was stripped, the Lions took over at midfield, having to drive only 15-20 yards to hit a field goad that would put them on top. They did much more. Matt Prater nailed a 29-yard field goal with 1:28 left remaining in the final quarter.
With no time-outs remaining, the Eagles tried to go for the jugular. Carson Wentz on 1st and 1o aired it out down the field to Nelson Agholor, but the throw dropped into the wrong teams grasp. Lions corner back Darius Slay who also caused Mathews to fumble, obtained Wentz’s first interception of the year, and sealed the second victory of the Lions’ season, snapping a three game losing streak.
There were many other areas in the game where Philadelphia did not capitalize. The loss will sting, but they need to move on quickly. The rest of the schedule is above .500. The chances of making the playoffs after a 4-0 start would have been tremendously in their favor, but a 3-1 start with a rookie QB isn’t bad. On to Washington they go.
Here is a look at the stat leaders for Philly:
Image Courtesy: Yong Kim – Philly.com Staff Photographer