Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles Preview

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Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions punter

Sam Martin

(6) holds the ball as kicker

David Akers

(2) kicks a field goal against the Green Bay Packers during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Special Teams

David Akers missed an easy 31 yarder last week against Green Bay, and his return to Philadelphia may not be an easy one due to weather conditions. Sam Martin has been one of the better punters in the NFL this season and aside from last week’s poor performance, has been a solid kickoff man as well. Jeremy Ross showed some promise as a punt returner last week and I expect to see him returning kicks and punts again this week.

Philadelphia, like Detroit, is in the bottom half of field goals made this season. Alex Henery is 18-23 with a long of 48 yards on the season. If this game comes down to a late field goal, the Eagles will target to get to about the 30-yard line. Eagles punter Donnie Jones has had a steller season, pinning opposing teams inside the 20-yard line 29 times this season and averaging 45.3 yards per punt. DeSean Jackson has been limited as a punt returner this season but is capable of taking one to the house. Damaris Johnson has handled kick return duties this season, where he has been limited as well.

When two division leaders vying for playoff spots meet this late in the season, it’s typically a close game. This one could come down to special teams and who executes better. Advantage – Even