Detroit Lions vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Live Grades and Analysis for Detroit

Nick KostoraContributor IIIDecember 8, 2013

Dec 8, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) runs with the ball after a catch against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter action at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports
Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY S

The Detroit Lions fell to the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 34-20 in Week 14.

Detroit Lions Game Grades
Positional Unit1st-Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseB-D
Pass DefenseAB+
Run OffenseB-D+
Run DefenseA-F
Special TeamsCA
Lions vs. Eagles

Final Grades for the Detroit Lions

Pass Offense:  Wow, did things fall apart quickly in the second half. The Detroit Lions offense completely fell apart, after featuring a passing attack that looked capable of handling the conditions in the first half. Matthew Stafford had five fumbles and Detroit did not sustain lengthy scoring drives as a result. His 148 yards passing and zero touchdowns further highlight just how bad this unit was against Philly.

Pass Defense: For once, the pass defense finished this game slightly better than their rush defense counterparts. Nick Foles threw for a mediocre 179 yards and the Eagles success came almost exclusively on the ground. Chris Houston and Rashean Mathis, however, continue to be torn apart at the cornerback position.

Run Offense: The goodwill established in the first half went by the wayside in the second as Joique Bell stopped finding holes to run through in the Eagles defense. He totaled 69 rushing yards on the day and shouldered almost the entire load with Reggie Bush sitting this game out. Bell had his moments, but his fumbles and second-half struggles combine for a poor grade.

Run Defense: The first half looked like the usual Lions rush defense as they contained LeSean McCoy. That all changed later on as McCoy gained 217 yards and scored two touchdowns on the ground. He went up the middle, outside the tackles and everywhere in between as he torched a Lions defensive line that had been dominating everything in its path.

Special Teams: David Akers had an extra point blocked. It was unfortunate, but Jeremy Ross performed so well that a good grade is still coming here. Ross returned both a punt and kickoff for scores. It was just about all the offense Detroit mustered all day, and Ross is asserting himself as one of the better return men in the NFC.

Coaching: Whatever adjustments Detroit made at halftime backfired in a big way. The Lions came out of the break flat and the Eagles figured out how to run the ball with 227 rushing yards in the fourth quarter alone, Detroit simply cannot sustain momentum from week to week and it is tough to trust this team to hang onto the division.

Dec 8, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) gets ready to snap the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles  during the first quarter action at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sp
Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY S


First-Half Grades for the Detroit Lions

Pass Offense: A couple overthrows aside, Stafford has looked pretty good in this game. He is managing the weather and getting the ball to his playmakers. Calvin Johnson had a nice reception where he came up looking like the Abominable Snowman, and Stafford finished the half with 87 yards passing on six completions.  

Pass Defense: Houston has an interception! Sure, it came on a tough overthrow in the snow, but still its an interception. That turnover led to a Lions score and highlighted a sluggish started for Foles and the Eagles passing game. Some momentum was gained late in the second quarter, but Foles has only thrown for 35 yards on four completions.

Run Offense: All things considered, the rushing attack has been a mild success so far. Reggie Bush has been kept off the field due to injury, but Bell has found the end zone and rushed for 54 yards on 17 carries. His two fumbles may have held Detroit back from more points, but again, there are fumbles all over the place in this snow storm.

Run Defense: It does not matter if the Lions play in the sunshine, a snow storm or a dome, the defensive line is always stout against the run. This weather makes the job the easiest, and McCoy has only 51 yards on 13 carries. Philadelphia has tried to establish a balanced ground game, but it has not worked in the first half.

Special Teams: It would be a shock if we see Akers at all in this contest, and it wouldn’t be right to give Sam Martin a low grade on his punts either. No returns are even possible because the ball is getting no lift in the air. The best thing to do here is keep this grade at a solid “C” unless something great or egregious happens.

Coaching: How do you judge coaching in this game? It is tough to make adjustments in conditions like this, but the Lions have mixed up their offensive sets and are clearly outdueling the Eagles. The two-point conversion was another smart decision.