Sunday, October 14, 2012
How you feeling? Eagles-Lions
By Dan Graziano
As the Philadelphia Eagles prepare to take on the Detroit Lions at 1 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field, here's one reason for Eagles fans to feel good and one reason for concern.
Feeling good: This could be the week the Eagles' defensive line breaks its sack-free game streak. The Lions are a pass-first offense for whom the running game is practically an afterthought, and so the Eagles' defensive ends should be able to get after quarterback Matthew Stafford pretty much any time they want. Jason Babin and Trent Cole are dying to get on track after the Eagles have gone two games in a row without a sack, and Stafford offers a relatively stationary target they can be fairly confident is going to be in the pocket with the ball when they get there.
Cause for concern: Calvin Johnson. The Lions' top wide receiver is a matchup nightmare for any defensive back in the league, and there's no obvious plan for the Eagles in terms of covering him. Nnamdi Asomugha is no longer the type of corner who can just pin himself to Johnson and take him out of the game one-on-one. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has the speed but maybe not the size to handle Johnson. If they leave Brandon Boykin alone with him over the middle, that's asking for trouble. The Eagles will need to come up with a way of covering Johnson, and likely will have to adjust and alter the plan as the game goes along.