Bleeding Green Nation already took some time to chat with Pride of Detroit in order to preview this Week 3 Philadelphia Eagles versus Detroit Lions matchup. (You can read that here.) Today, we’re back with three reasons why each team might lose. This format allows us to show what the other side is worried about.
1 - The Eagles’ defensive front
The Detroit Lions offensive line did a great job dealing with the Los Angeles Chargers pass rush in Week 2, but can they put together another great performance in Week 3?
They will need to this week, as they face off against the Eagles devastating front-7.
Frank Ragnow is a young player still making the adjustment to Center in the NFL. Joe Dahl still has not proven himself as a starting caliber NFL guard, and he could be a liability up front as Detroit tries to deal with the likes of Fletcher Cox. The Eagles have devastating edge defenders as well, and it will be hard for the Lions tackle duo of Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner to deal with the likes of Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat.
Detroit will need to keep Matthew Stafford upright to even stand a chance in Week 3, and that will be a tough task against a defensive front as talented as the Eagles’.
2 - Zach Ertz
Anyone who has been watching the Detroit Lions over the past decade knows that dealing with tight ends has been the thorn in the teams side for years. The Lions have not been able to deal with tight ends and have often lost games outright due to their inability to cover them. This week they will face the biggest challenge of the season.
Zach Ertz is easily one of the best tight ends in the NFL and is one of the top receiving threats for the Eagles. With both Desean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery possibly out this week, Carson Wentz will need to rely on his tight end more than ever.
More targets for Ertz means more targets for the player on the field most likely to torch Detroit this week, and him being one of the best in the business makes him an even more dangerous prospect for the Lions defense.
3 - Can Detroit generate a pass rush?
The best way to beat Wentz is to pressure him and force him into a tough downfield throw. His deep ball accuracy is not anywhere near where it needs to be, and as great as he is making plays with his feet, if you can force the ball out of his hands before he wants to pass then you’ve probably won the down.
Wentz is great from a clean pocket, though, and the Eagles front five is perfectly built for him. Jason Peters is a potential Hall of Famer at left tackle, and the rest of the Eagles offensive line is packed with some of the best offensive line talent in the league.
Detroit’s pass rush has been lackluster so far this season, and it’s hard to see them stopping Wentz if they can not pressure him. Philadelphia’s offensive line has the talent to quell Detroit’s pass rush and give their quarterback enough time to carve up the Lions defense.