Dean Holden – The Lions face perhaps the toughest test they’ll see all season this weekend, which perhaps says more about the Lions’ schedule than anything. It isn’t just that the Philadelphia Eagles are good, it’s that they’re red-hot, with four straight wins and Nick Foles on a historic pace at QB.
Still, with all the focus on Foles this week, the best matchup to watch may be LeSean McCoy, the NFL’s second-leading rusher, against the Lions’ third-ranked run defense. The Lions have not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season, and have shut down guys like Matt Forte, Eddie Lacy and Le’Veon Bell in recent games.
Regardless, this is ultimately a game that will come down to the passing game, and the big difference right now is that the Eagles have a quarterback who seemingly can’t turn the ball over, and the Lions have a quarterback who seemingly can’t stop. For that reason, I have to take the Eagles in this one. The Lions have the talent to win, but we haven’t seen it come completely together yet in 12 games. Why would the 13th be different? Lions 31, Eagles 35.
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Matt Pelc – The last few weeks, the Lions have been on a roller coaster ride. After a bad, turnover-plagued loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it looked like the team was doing all they could to give back the early holiday gift of a division title from their NFC North rivals. What a difference four days makes. After shaking off turnovers to give the hated Packers a Thanksgiving trouncing, fans were back on the bandwagon, including some saying that the Lions are the only team capable of beating the Seahawks in Seattle.
Before we go to the Pacific Northwest in a hypothetical postseason contest, there is still plenty of football left—including this game in Philly. The Lions won there in overtime with a ton of breaks last year and notched their first win against the Eagles since 1986. This once looked like an easy victory, but Nick Foles has taken the team on his back and got on a historical ride to make Philadelphia contenders in the NFC East.
If the defensive line can have another tremendous performance, as they did on Thanksgiving, the Lions have a good shot at winning, however if Foles gets time, and gets the ball out, it could be a long day. The Lions have not beaten the Eagles in two straight games since World War II. Look for that to continue: Eagles 28, Lions 24.