Sunday, December 8, 2013
Three halftime thoughts from Lions-Eagles
By Michael Rothstein
PHILADELPHIA -- Three halftime thoughts from the Detroit Lions' game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Detroit leads 8-0 at halftime from Lincoln Financial Field.
Let it snow: The weather was, by far, the big story in Philadelphia during the first half. It snowed throughout the first half and made moving the ball essentially impossible. More than midway through the second quarter, the Eagles had 16 yards on 15 plays. No real ability to gain traction and footing, so all straight ahead running here. It was the same for Detroit, which mostly used Joique Bell during the first half, especially with Reggie Bush essentially not playing after aggravating his injured calf muscle during warm-ups.
Fumbles all over the place: Part of the issues in the snow were holding on to the ball. Detroit fumbled six times in the first half -- the NFL record for fumbles in a game is 10 -- but only lost two, both on Bell runs. Quarterback Matthew Stafford fumbled four snaps in the first half, out of shotgun and under center. Not a pretty sight.
Johnson breaks a record: Calvin Johnson caught two passes in the blizzard of a first half Sunday, but one of them was a big one. Johnson caught a 33-yard post, giving him the Detroit Lions franchise record for receiving yards with 9,175. He passed Herman Moore, who has 9,174. Johnson also caught a facemask full of snow on the play for his effort on the post. That, though, was fairly common throughout the game Sunday.
Bonus thought: Rashean Mathis had a heck of a half in the snow. He had three pass breakups, including two in the end zone on Philadelphia’s only sustained drive of the half. Mathis had no tackles in the first half, but he might have had the two best defensive plays. Also helping was Chris Houston, who picked off Nick Foles for Foles’ first interception of the season.