Sunday, September 19, 2010
Wrap-up: Eagles 35, Lions 32
By Kevin Seifert
What it means: This is the kind of game many of us expected from the Detroit Lions: A wild scoring fest featuring plenty of explosive offensive plays and not much defense. Sunday, the Lions and Philadelphia Eagles combined for 849 offensive yards and 46 first downs. And even though they trailed 35-17 with less than five minutes remaining and were without quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Lions showed they still have enough offensive firepower to rally for two late touchdowns. Meanwhile, it should be no surprise that the Lions defense had trouble tackling Eagles tailback LeSean McCoy and receiver DeSean Jackson in the open field.
Tomorrow’s talker: How could you not notice rookie Jahvid Best, who scored three more touchdowns, including one on an electric 75-yard screen pass, and finished with 232 all-purpose yards? I don’t know if you could have imagined anything more for his second NFL game. That’s the type of explosive presence that made the Lions trade back up into the first round of the April draft to grab him. If anything, you wonder why the Lions didn’t make more of an effort to get him the ball on their final four plays. Coach Jim Schwartz said: “You want to give balls to your playmakers, but you also want to not try to press it too much.”
Injury of note: Receiver Nate Burleson suffered an ankle injury and didn’t return. His presence is essential to pulling defensive coverage away from No. 1 receiver Calvin Johnson. I realize Johnson got behind the Eagles defense for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but over time he is going to need Burleson’s help.
Trending: The Lions defense has given up at least 400 yards to both of its opponents this season and, other than getting a few more pass rushers into the backfield, isn’t showing much improvement in slowing down opposing offenses.
What I liked: For the second consecutive week, the Lions dispatched a game’s worth of ups and downs to put themselves in position for the winning points. We all know what happened Sept. 12 at Soldier Field. Sunday, the Lions recovered an onside kick and had the ball at their own 43-yard line with 1:48 remaining. There are no consolation points for persistence, but we’ll file it away for future evaluation.
What’s next: The Lions will take on the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday at the Metrodome.