Turnovers and drops cost the Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) as the team failed to rally back from a double-digit deficit in a home loss to the Detroit Lions (2-0-1), leaving Detroit unbeaten through three games. Detroit built a big enough lead to hold on in this one, despite giving Philadelphia two chances to win the football game late.
After the Eagles went four-and-out, Detroit tried to run out the clock and ice the game, but had to settle for a field goal. Malcolm Jenkins blocked the field goal and the Eagles had life down a field goal at midfield with 1:39 left.
The Eagles were unable to get past the Lions’ 45-yard line as a Darren Sproles fourth-down catch was taken away by offensive pass interference. Wentz threw a pass deep on fourth-and-15 to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, but the rookie second round pick couldn’t complete the catch that would have put the Eagles down inside the 5-yard line.
Wentz completed two passes on the final two series with the Eagles down three, highlighting a brutal day for the Eagles offense, which had seven drops and three fumbles. A crazy game ended in disappointment for Philadelphia, which was a NFC favorite heading into the season.
Why the Lions won
Detroit was able to take advantage of many Philadelphia miscues in this game, but the biggest was holding Philadelphia’s defense to zero sacks and forcing two turnovers. The Lions were outgained in total yards (373 to 287), yards per play (5.4 to 4.8) and time of possession (32:18 to 27:42), but scored six points off two Eagles fumbles in the second quarter and had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. That’s 13 points and no turnovers from Matthew Stafford (18 of 31, 201 yards, touchdown), which led to the upset win.
Why the Eagles lost
Miscues cot the Eagles throughout this one. Two fumbles by Miles Sanders (one recovered by Eagles) and a fumble by Nelson Agholor put the Eagles in a double-digit deficit they could not overcome. Every time the Eagles rallied to get the game within three, the Lions had an answer to combat it. Philadelphia still had an opportunity to win the game late, but Carson Wentz went just 2 of 7 for seven yards on the Eagles’ final two drives. This includes Malcolm Jenkins blocking a field goal and putting the Eagles at midfield with 1:37 left, meaning the Eagles needed just 15 yards to get in range for a Jake Elliott field goal. This loss isn’t on Wentz — not even close. The miscues by the Eagles (three fumbles, seven dropped passes, three offensive pass interference penalties) were just too much for Philadelphia to overcome.
This game was determined from a series of errors by the Eagles offense in the first half. Sanders’ fumble at the Eagles’ 43-yard line midway through the second quarter stalled a promising drive that led to a Lions field goal and put Detroit up 17-10. On the Eagles’ next possession, Nelson Agholor, who had a dropped pass already in the first half, fumbled and gave the Lions excellent field position at the Eagles’ 22.
Kudos to the Eagles defense for doing its job and leaving the Lions up by just 10 points heading into the half. At the end of the day, the deficit was too big for the Eagles’ offense, which made plenty of mistakes throughout the game.
Play of the game
The Eagles went right down the field on their opening drive, going nine plays for 50 yards to get a field goal and an early 3-0 lead (their first points in the first quarter all season), but the lead didn’t last long. Jamal Agnew, who was benched last week for two fumbles on returns, took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for the touchdown to put the Lions up 7-3. Agnew’s touchdown is the only kick return for a score this year.
That was the Lions’ first kickoff return TD in six years, also in Philadelphia against the Eagles (Jeremy Ross). There were eight inches of snow on the ground when Ross had that return.
“I mean I love getting in the end zone. At the end of the day get in the end zone. We might have to go back and look at the tape. There were a lot of things going on within those plays and no huddle communicating. I’m going to go take a really hard look and see where I can be better personally. Like I said earlier it was super frustrating to have a shot like that and come up short.” — Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz on how he could have been better the last two drives.
This one isn’t on Wentz, but the Eagles offense twice got the ball in the final 3:16 down three points and failed to record one first down. Philadelphia ran eight plays and gained just 13 yards, with a fourth-and-5 pass to Darren Sproles taken away by an offensive pass interference call on Sproles and a drop by J.J. Arcega-Whiteside on the ensuring fourth-and-15 play that would have given the Eagles a first-and-goal inside the 5-yard line with 41 seconds left. Wentz was 2 for 7 for seven yards on the final two possessions.
The Lions (2-0-1), who are unbeaten through three games for the first time since 2011, will host Patrick Mahomes and the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs in a true litmus test of whether Detroit is among the NFL‘s elite. This is the third time since 1980 the Lions have been undefeated through three games.
The Eagles are 1-2 for the first time under Doug Pederson, and the road doesn’t get any easier. Philadelphia has a short week as the Eagles travel to Lambeau Field to face the undefeated Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football.
To relive the game and see all the highlights, check out our live blog below.
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