The Eagles turned in a sloppy performance in a 27-24 loss to the Detroit Lions Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
How did the offense, defense and special teams perform? Paul Domowitch offers his grades, and then you can award your own.
The Eagles ran the ball effectively early out of “12’’ personnel with Halapoulivaati Vaitai as the second tight end. But Miles Sanders had a drive-killing fumble, and the Eagles had just two rushing first downs and averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in the final three quarters.
Carson Wentz sorely missed Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson as the Lions doubled tight end Zach Ertz and the wideouts struggled to get open. Nelson Agholor had eight catches and two touchdowns but also had a drive-killing drop on third-and-6, and a fumble that gift-wrapped a Matt Prater field goal.
The Eagles gave up 44 yards on a second-quarter reverse by J.D. McKissic, which set up the first of Prater’s two field goals. But they held the Lions to 44 yards and four rushing first downs on their other 27 rushing attempts.
Much like the Falcons a week earlier, the Lions used a lot of max protection against the Eagles’ pass rush. Matthew Stafford wasn’t sacked a single time and was only really hit once. That put a lot of pressure on an Eagles secondary that lost its best corner, Ronald Darby, to a hamstring injury in the third quarter. Still, they only allowed one touchdown pass to Stafford.
The Eagles’ coverage units had played very well in the first two games, but they laid a very large egg in the first quarter when they gave up Jamal Agnew’s 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. They blocked a Matt Prater field goal late in the game. But they even managed to screw that up when Malcolm Jenkins was called for an illegal block in the back, which moved the Eagles out of range for a game-tying field goal.
The Eagles certainly have been weakened by injuries. But injuries didn’t cost them the game on Sunday. With or without Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Malik Jackson, and Tim Jernigan, they should have beaten the Lions. Blame this one on carelessness. Blame it on turnovers and drops and dumb penalties (three offensive pass interference penalties) and a pass rush that now has just two sacks in three games.