Fresh off their early bye week, the Eagles are getting set to face off against the 1-3 Detroit Lions. The Lions started the season with a thrilling last second victory over the Colts in Week 1 but have since taken a nose dive and have lost three straight.
The losses have been dreadful for the Lions. In Week 2, they blew a 15-3 lead in the fourth quarter and gave up two late TDs to an offensively-challenged Titans team. In Week 3 they were down 31-3 to the Packers by the middle of the second quarter. Then in Week 4 they seemed to go into a coma against a struggling Bears team where they couldn’t muster an offensive touchdown.
Does this mean the Lions are a bad team? No, I don’t think so.
They still have a dangerous offense, albeit an inconsistent one. However, Marvin Jones has proven to be a very good addition at Wide Receiver and Matthew Stafford has played better since Jim Bob Cooter took over as the Lions’ OC last season.
Even though they’ve struggled recently, the Lions still have a top-10 offense and are capable of putting points on the board (last season they scored 45 against the Eagles). Since Cooter took over, they’ve averaged roughly 25 points per game.
The Lions came into this season expecting to compete for the division and the playoffs. They’ve now lost three straight games and the season is starting to get away from them.
This will be a desperate and motivated team the Eagles will face this week.
Meanwhile, the Eagles and their fans have been flying high during their 3-0 start and have dominated their opponents. While everyone is celebrating the Wentz Wagon in Wentzadelphia, Wentzylvania, Detroit will be ready to come out like a starved wild animal fighting its life.
One good thing is that we have a wild animal of our own in Jim Schwartz. He doesn’t have a let-down demeanor and should have his No. 1 ranked defense ready to go wild on the Lions.
This is a homecoming of sorts for Schwartz as he was the Lions’ head coach for five seasons from 2009 – 2013. Although the people who fired him are no longer there, I’m sure this game may have some extra special meaning for him.
Schwartz knows Stafford as he was Schwartz’ first pick after he became the Lions’ head coach. He had five seasons with him so he knows his strengths and weaknesses, regardless of what Cooter has installed since then.
The Wentz Wagon may very well keep rolling this week against a leaky Lions defense. However, Wentz will inevitably have a bad game and it could come against the most unexpected opponent.
The onus this week will be on the defense. Hopefully Schwartz knows just how to rattle his former No. 1 overall draft pick. They can’t let Stafford get in any kind of rhythm and need to be able to match the intensity of the sure-to-be fired-up home team.
Good defense is a quarterback’s best friend, especially a rookie quarterback.