The wait for the Detroit Lions’ return from their bye week is almost over. The return to find the Philadelphia Eagles as their first obstacle as they look to overcome a disappointing 1-3 start to the season.
I had a chance to ask Inside the Iggles editor Bob Wankel a few questions about the Eagles in advance of Sunday’s game.
1. Last year was obviously a huge disappointment for the Eagles? Is there any reason to believe things will be different this year after five games?
Bob Wankel: Yes and no. Defensively, the Eagles are keeping opposing quarterbacks in check and keeping point totals down. Still, they’re struggling to overcome double teams to drive up sack numbers and creating turnovers continues to be a problem. On the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles seem have the necessary parts in place to be explosive, but have yet to find any consistent rhythm. They have the second lowest point total in the league. They’re impossible to figure out. My guess is they get to ten wins, but don’t make a deep playoff run.
2. Is patience wearing thin with Michael Vick’s turnover problems?
BW: Absolutely. This is the first time during the Vick era that I’ve said it may be time for a change. Vick hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 104 pass attempts, but his eight lost fumbles are laughable. What’s more, he’s not an explosive runner and has failed to hit big plays down field. This isn’t solely his fault, but it has to get better. And quick.
3. How hot is Andy Reid’s seat right now?
BW: I think Reid knows his job is on the line this season. What will it take for him to keep it? I think the Eagles will need to advance to the NFC Championship Game which is entirely possible. I don’t know that I buy the Eagles, per se, but I’m not blown away with any NFC team to this point.
4. What will it take for the Eagles to have success against the Lions and what must the Lions do to give themselves a shot at the road win?
BW: If the Eagles can hold on to the football, the opportunity to finally connect on big plays will be there. On defense, I’ll oversimplify by writing that if they stop Calvin Johnson, or at least contain him, Detroit is in trouble. For the Lions, they’ll need to have some success running the football. If they can’t, a recently quiet Eagles’ defensive line will erupt in a hurry.
5. What is your prediction for Sunday’s game?
BW: I don’t see myself as a homer. And I know the Lions are off a bye week, but I don’t see a team with what, for the most part, has been a one-dimensional offensive attack and a weak secondary coming into Philadelphia and stealing a win. The Lions are talented and they are desperate, but I don’t see it. 26-20 Eagles.