Dissecting Most Crucial Matchups in Eagles' Week 14 Contest with Detroit

Yueh HoCorrespondent IDecember 4, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 14: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions runs after catching a pass against Nate Allen #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 14, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Lions won 26-23 in overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Last week, the Philadelphia Eagles dominated their matchups against the Arizona Cardinals early on, scoring 17 points in the first half and 24 points by the third quarter. They have a tough matchup against the 7-5 Detroit Lions, who also have a dominant offense and a leaky secondary. Both teams are very similar, and it may come down to just a few big plays.

Below are a few matchups to watch.


WR Calvin Johnson vs. CB Bradley Fletcher

Calvin Johnson cannot be stopped by the Eagles secondary. The best corner to match up against him is Bradley Fletcher, who stands at 6'0" but is more physical. But Johnson is 6'5" and faster.

The Eagles can only hope to contain Johnson. Limiting him to under 120 yards would be a victory. It may be best to pair Nate Allen with Fletcher on a double-team, as Allen has better ball skills than both Patrick Chung and Earl Wolff.


DT Ndamukong Suh vs. C Jason Kelce

Ndamukong Suh, still one of the best D-linemen in the NFL, is on pace for over seven sacks. The Eagles' ability to limit him will affect Nick Foles' effectiveness. 

Jason Kelce will not only be tasked with blocking him, but he is responsible for much of the O-line adjustment. It will be his responsibility to keep track of Suh and to ensure that he is properly double-teamed.


WR DeSean Jackson vs. CB Chris Houston

Chris Houston is still listed as questionable, but if he can go, the Lions passing defense will get a huge boost. It will be interesting to see if he is 100 percent, and even if he is, whether or not he can slow down DeSean Jackson.

If Houston can go, he may not even be the best option against Jackson. In Week 12, Houston allowed an 85-yard touchdown to Tiquan Underwood before his foot injury. Darius Slay, on the other hand, played fairly well in Houston's absence last week against the Green Bay Packers.

In either case, Detroit has the 26th-ranked pass defense in the NFL. It's hard to imagine any of their corners can slow down Jackson or Riley Cooper.