The Philadelphia Eagles are visiting the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday afternoon. In order to preview this Week 8 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Pride Of Detroit. The magnificent Mike Payton kindly took the time to answer my questions about this upcoming tilt. Let’s take a look at the answers.
1 - The book on the Lions is they fight hard and they’re better than their 0-7 record indicates. To what extent is that true? What’s your satisfaction level with Dan Campbell and his coaching staff thus far?
This team is so wildly untalented in some areas and not developed in others, but the fact is that they do keep fighting and, with the exception of their game against the Bengals, they seem to keep getting better every week. Their biggest issue is that they’re so young and so many players are going through a trial by fire due to injuries. But, those guys are showing actual development every week. This team could be pretty good before you know if they continue to develop and make the right decisions in terms of roster building.
The reason for any amount of success here is this coaching staff. In particular Dan Campbell. It’s really easy to be a winless team that’s given up on the season. It’s easy for a coach to lose his team in times like this. But, these guys are fighting so hard because they love and respect this coach. I can’t say for sure because I’ve only ever covered this team, but I have never seen a team buy in this hard and this fast on any head coach before. It’s wild.
2 - If you could steal one player from the Eagles’ roster (current contract included), who would it be and why?
This might be cheap on my end, but it’d sure be nice to have Darius Slay back right now. The Lions have had so many injuries at corner this season. Especially right after a player starts catching on. The next men up have been working pretty hard to some success, but with Slay, you automatically take away half the field and often the opponents best receiver. It’s a shame that Matt Patricia was all time bad at his job. Maybe Slay would still be here.
3 - What is the Lions’ biggest strength? How should they be attacking the Eagles?
It has to be the run game. The Lions have a pretty good duo of running backs in DeAndre Swift and Jamaal Williams. Swift keeps getting better every week and could wind up being one of the best in the league once he has a healthy line to block for him. Willimas hard running has really been helping the Lions in short yardage situations. If the eagles take away these guys by getting out to a big league, the Lions will have a really hard time catching up.
4 - Whats is the Lions’ biggest weakness? What should the Eagles be looking to exploit?
Exploit Jared Goff all day long. The kid is broken. I hate saying it and I hate seeing it even more. There has to be some sort of mental or confidence issue happening with Jared Goff. That’s why if the Eagles take the run game away and force Goff to beat them, they’re going to win. Just put any amount of pressure on him and that should work. Although I will give him some credit. He played his best game in Detroit last week. Even if that game did come with a backbreaking interception late on what would have been the go ahead score.
5 - Who wins this game and why? Score prediction? And what are your expectations for the rest of this Lions season?
I don’t know why I’m doing this. I have a really hard time claiming the Lions will win what looks like a winnable game. But, with that said, I think the Lions win this game on Sunday by a score of 21-13. Going forward I think this win will be one of the three games they win this season. I can’t see it getting any better than three and that’s totally ok.