I proposed five things to watch prior to the Detroit Lions taking on the Philadelphia Eagles that might help tell the story of the game. Here is a look back at those five things to see how they played out.
1. New Start
Improved special teams play was evident from the start for the Detroit Lions. Other than that, it was looking a lot like the status quo coming out of the bye week. The offense still looked disjointed and couldn’t finish drives with touchdowns, instead settling for two first half field goals. However, by the end of the game the Lions were looking a lot more like the team we expected. The offense put together scoring drives to tie the game, the defense held when they needed to late in the fourth quarter and dominated the Eagles in overtime and the special teams came through in the form of a 45-yard game winning field goal. The Lions need to keep that kind of complete team effort going into next Monday night’s game in Chicago.
Michael Vick’s turnovers have been a huge story for the Eagles so far this season and yesterday’s game was no different. A couple botched QB-center exchanges resulted in one turnover and Vick threw two interceptions. The Lions finished +2 in the turnover battle for the game but the Lions did not turn three Eagles turnovers into any points.
3. Da Missile’s Impact
Louis Delmas returned to the Lions lineup in a big way with seven tackles, one pass defense and an interception, his first pick since 2009. Beyond the box score, Delmas had an obvious impact as a leader on the field and brought a level of energy that was lacking in his absence. As always with Delmas, the key will be staying on the field.
4. Win the First Half
A real downer. The Lions’ inability to capitalize on two first half turnovers and settling for field goals instead of touchdowns allowed the Eagles to take a 7-6 lead late in the first half. The Lions have now trailed at the half in each of their first five games.
5. TDs not FGs
Another downer. Settling for two first half field goals felt like the Lions were leaving big opportunities on the field and having to kick a chip shot game-tying field goal instead of punching it in for a game-winning touchdown was disappointing. Granted, the clock situation limited what the Lions could do in the final seconds of regulation but there were execution problems that prevented them from scoring the winning touchdown. A pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson could have won it in regulation had it not been high and sailed past Calvin. Scoring touchdowns is still an area of concern.