The Philadelphia Eagles travel to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions this Halloween. Unfortunately, both teams are having more tricks and nightmares than treats this season.
Both teams have struggled under the guidance of first-year head coaches in 2021.
The Eagles are 2-5 under Nick Sirianni while the Lions are 0-7 and the NFL’s only winless team under Dan Campbell. Both teams are looking to add a win to their resumes when their teams collide Sunday.
While these aren’t the starts either of the two coaches wanted to begin their tenures with their new teams, both have plenty of blame to pass around. Both sides of the ball have struggled for the Lions and Eagles.
Detroit, led by new quarterback acquisition Jared Goff, has struggled mightily to put points on the board. They are averaging 18.3 points per game, which ranks 28th in the NFL. They are also near the bottom the league in total offense, ranking 24th.
While Goff ranks 11th in the league with 1,773 yards, he only has eight touchdowns to six interceptions. He has also fumbled six times and leads the league with four lost fumbles.
The ground game hasn’t been much help either. Backup running back Jamaal Williams leads the team in rushing with 312 yards and two touchdowns. Starter D’Andre Swift is averaging 3.4 yards per carry and has only 262 yards and three scores on the ground.
Swift has shined in another area, though, as he leads the Lions with 42 receptions and 391 receiving yards. Both numbers lead NFL running backs.
The Philadelphia native could be for a big homecoming game as the Eagles rank 29th against the rush and allow quarterbacks to complete 74.4% of their passes. If that number holds up, it would break the record of 72.7% allowed by the 2016 Lions.
As for the Eagles, they are led by QB Jalen Hurts. On the year, he has 1,716 passing yards, ten touchdowns and four interceptions. While Hurts has been good, not great, with his arm, his legs have been his biggest weapon.
He leads the team in rushing with 361 yards and five touchdowns. Lead running back Miles Sanders averages 4.8 yards per carry, but was placed on injured reserve yesterday with an ankle injury. He will likely be replaced by a committee of Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott.
Gainwell will likely take the lead role as he has 120 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries this season while Scott only has seven carries on the year.
Rookie DeVonta Smith has had a rather solid rookie season and has become Hurts’ favorite target with 406 yards and a touchdown through seven games. His yards rank third for rookies behind Ja’Marr Chase of Cincinnati and Kyle Pitts of Atlanta.
This could be a shootout as both teams struggle to stop opposing offenses and rank 24th and 25th, respectively, in points allowed. The Eagles give up 26.4 points per game while the Lions give up 28.6.
Each team does, however, have some bright spots on the defensive side of the ball.
For Philadelphia, linebacker Alex Singleton is tied for third in the league in tackles with 76 while defensive tackle Javon Hargrave is tied for seventh in the NFL with six sacks. Cornerback and former Lion Darius Slay has two interceptions.
On Detroit’s side, cornerback Amani Oruwariye has three interceptions, which is good for third in the league. Linebacker Charles Harris leads the team with four sacks.
Now time for the prediction.
I think this game could honestly go either way. Both teams are desperate for a win. For Philadelphia, they are looking to end a two-game losing streak. As for Detroit, they are trying to get out of the cellar of the NFL and give Campbell his first win as a head coach.
Hurts is better than Goff while Detroit should have the edge on the ground. Both defenses struggle, but I think Philadelphia has a slight edge on this side of the ball as well.
I think it could come down to the turnover battle and what quarterback can make the big play when crunch time arrives. I think the Philly defense and Hurts will win both of these. Both of the Eagles wins this year have come on the road and I think that trend continues.
The Eagles get back on track against Detroit while the Lions will fall to 0-8 entering their bye week.
Eagles 28, Lions 24.
All stats are courtesy of ESPN.com and Pro-Football-Reference.com.