Detroit Lions fall to the Eagles in the snow

A matchup between the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles was predicted by many to be an offensive, high-scoring shootout. The Lions (7-6) just couldn’t get things together offensively as they battled the Eagles’ (8-5) defense and nearly a foot of snow on the ground all game. After a slow start offensively for both teams, The Eagles eventually came out on top 34-20.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It appeared to be all Lions early on, as they scored the game’s first 14 points. 14 appeared to be enough considering the weather, but a powerful running attack helped the Eagles offense to outgain the Lions 478-228.

Running game

The Lions’ run defense was arguably the unit’s strength, but they didn’t show up on Sunday. Philly’s LeSean McCoy absolutely erupted to score a pair of touchdowns and set a franchise record for rushing yards. With the weather the way it was, passing the ball was difficult for both teams, so the Eagles leaned on McCoy for much of its offensive production. His two touchdowns came on 40-yard and 57-yard runs in which he broke a few tackles and then pulled away from the Detroit defense. McCoy ended up with 217 yards on 29 carries, and the Eagles ran for 299 as a team. Chris Polk added a 38-yard score late in the fourth quarter that all but sealed the Philadelphia victory.

Offensively for the Lions, they took a hit before the game even started when Reggie Bush went down in warm-ups with an apparent hamstring injury. With Bush out, Joique Bell got the bulk of the carries for the Lions. Detroit couldn’t hold onto the ball early in the game, and ended up with SEVEN fumbles, losing three of those. Bell lost two fumbles in the first half, with one of those coming deep in the Eagles’ territory. Bell ended up running for 69 yards on 23 carries and a score. As a team, the Lions ran for just 80 yards. Not only did they struggle running the ball, but the offense couldn’t throw the ball effectively in the snow either.

Passing game (or lack there of)

When Matthew Stafford and Nick Foles were set to face of on Sunday, you figured they would both put up huge games. Well, that wasn’t the case during the blizzard that hit Philadelphia on Sunday. Stafford really struggled early on, especially handling snaps from under center. Stafford fumbled five times and lost one of those. Through the air, he was just 10-for-25 passing for 148 yards. The Lions lose most of the games they play in when Stafford doesn’t play well. Thanks to some crazy weather, Stafford did not play well.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Calvin Johnson was almost a non-factor in the game, as he caught just three passes for 49 yards. His 33-yard grab in the first half did make him the Lions’ all-time leading receiver.

Foles didn’t play his best game, but he fared a little better than Stafford. He finished 11-for-22 passing for 179 yards and a touchdown. He also threw his first interception of the season, after throwing 19 touchdowns in that span.

Foles found DeSean Jackon in the third quarter for their first score of the game. The 19-yard pass was reviewed as Jackson nearly exited the endzone before catching the pass. Nobody could really tell if he actually was out of bounds because of the snow on the ground. Jackson finished with 59 yards receiving. Riley Cooper made some tough catches and finished with 74 yards on his three catches.

Special teams

The Lions’ Jeremy Ross did his best to keep the Lions in the game with his spectacular returns. He had a total of 243 return yards on punts and kicks, including a two returns for touchdowns.

Looking ahead

The Lions can’t afford to lose many more games, if any. At 7-6, they might need to win out depending on how the Chicago Bears fare in their final games. Fortunately for Detroit, they have one of the easiest remaining schedules in the NFL. They will play host to the Ravens and Giants in the next two weeks before traveling to the Vikings to close out the regular season. Getting an injured Reggie Bush back will be an instant lift. There’s no doubt that they will be glad to be back home inside of the comfortable and snow-free Ford Field next week.