As we've done every week this season, we take a look back at some keys plays and funny moments from Sunday's game.
First, let me start off with the disclaimer that the Eagles had a 10 point lead with 5 minutes to go. They have only themselves to blame for losing. Having said that... The officials clearly played a part in this outcome with this offensive pass interference call on Brent Celek.
As we see here, Celek does push the defender, but he does not extend his arms and the defender pushes back. This contact is within 5 yards and by any reasonable standard is what you would call a jam. The defender clearly moves into Celek's path to engage him. That defender has a right to jam the receiver there and Celek has the right to fight off the jam. It's absurd to me that an OPI would have been called there and that it negated a TD is an embarrassment. Not enough was made of this call, which was as bad as any the replacement refs made in any Eagles game this year.
That negated a TD and forced the Eagles to settle for a FG. Had it stood, The Eagles would have been up 14 points and the final play of regulation would not have been a chip shot FG attempt, it would have had to have been an attempt to score a TD, which is significantly tougher to do. Actually, that whole last drive by the Lions would have been different. When they got in FG range, they were running the ball. If they needed a TD there, they would have been much more worried about the clock and more focused on trying to make a big play. That's where mistakes could have happened.
Moving on... I don't know how many others caught this, but it was maybe the most useless attempt at play action I've ever seen. As you can see here rookie Bryce Brown is lined up in the backfield. As soon as the ball is snapped he sprints out on a pass pattern as Michael Vick turns around to fake a handoff. It results in a completely ridiculous scene where Vick is faking to no one at all.
I'll just assume here that the rookie messed up.
And if you look, the play is basically dead right there. The very defenders that play action might have fooled or slowed up are all those guys at the top of the screen who now have the play completely covered. The Lions LB, who might have bitten on the play action, never even has to react to it because he's playing coverage on Brown the whole time. So now not only is Brown no open, but Vick has no where to run as he rolls out.
Let's move onto something positive... DeMeco Ryans led both teams with 13 total tackles, but none was more meaningful and impressive than this one. On a 3rd down with 2 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Ryans gets matched up with WR Nate Burleson on a crossing route. It's likely the exact matchup Matt Stafford was hoping for, a WR already in full stride on the opposition's middle linebacker, who is basically stationary.
As you can see, DeMeco does 2 great things here. For one, he steps up and forces Burleson to alter his pattern from 2 yards beyond the first down marker, to a yard inside it. If he stands where he is and Burleson stays on his current path, even if Ryans makes the tackle it's a first down.
Second, he makes the tackle. Burleson makes the catch, but DeMeco shows perfect form on a wrap up tackle that doesn't allow the WR to gain another inch. The Lions are forced to punt.
How about a little palette cleanser after all this hardcore analysis? DeSean Jackson helps the ref with his hat.
This ended up being a much longer review than I expected, so I've decided to break it up into 2 parts.