The Eagles have earned their right to this. Four game winning streak. Eight straight games of holding their opponent to 21 or less. They're on a hot streak, but expectations are reasonably tempered. The Eagles aren't this loud, obnoxious unit profressing their greatness from the mountaintops. No, instead, they're coming each week ready to play and giving it their all. Simple as that. Sure, everything isn't perfect. There are still some issues to clean up, such as executing better in the fourth quarter. But the team has been playing good football recently and there's reasonable optimism that this success can continue.
In order for the Eagles to stay hot, it's up to Nick Foles to lead his team on Sunday. The Lions are stout against the run but weak against the pass. Foles should have some favorable match-ups to work with. It's up to him to clean up some accuracy issues he displayed in last week's win over the Cardinals. The Eagles' ground game doesn't need to be a force. The Lions have a good defense so it's hard to see LeSean McCoy having a huge day, but he can still be effective in moving the ball down the field. It will be interesting to see what kind of affect weather has on the game. Cold temperatures and precipitation (rain/sleet/snow) are expected.
On defense, it's up to the Eagles to force turnovers. Easier said than done, but it's something they've had a knack for doing recently. Detroit turns the ball over a lot, so when they get sloppy, it's up to Philadelphia to make a play. The defense won't be able to completely shut down some of these Detroit Lions offensive talents (see: Calvin Johnson.) Forcing turnovers will go a long way, and it's also up to the Eagles to generate points off of those turnovers as well.
This isn't really a "prove it" game such as the last two weeks were. The Eagles have already "proved it". Now it's about keeping up the effort and earning a win against a solid, but beatable team. It's about keeping pace for the NFC East lead and keeping playoff aspirations alive.
By no means does this figure to be an easy game for the Eagles. It honestly seems like a toss up. But given the way the Eagles have been playing recently, they have earned the right to garner faith in themselves. It's not about being overconfident or egotistical. It's about that's quiet confidence that allows them to believe in themselves. Let's see if they keep it up against Detroit.
Score prediction: 27-23, Eagles win.
Bold prediction: Nick Foles game winning touchdown drive. TD pass caught by James Casey.