Philadelphia's Keys To Success: Five Ways the Eagles Can Beat the Detroit Lions
The Philadelphia Eagles lost a week one heart breaker to the Green Bay Packers, now focusing on their week two match up against the Detroit Lions. The Lions are also coming off a heart breaking loss against the Chicago Bears, on a disputed touchdown call.
Both of these teams were dangerously close to putting a win in the column week one, and they are looking to get back on the field and secure their first. With both teams walking off of disappointing losses, and many wild cards thrown into the mix, this promises to be a great match up.
Here are five ways the Eagles can win against the Lions in week two:
5. Michael Vick Has To Show Up To Win
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Andy Reid has just announced that Michael Vick will be starting Sundays game against the Lions, as Kevin Kolb is still failing tests from that concussion.
Here is one of the wild cards I was talking about.
Vick played very well in the second half of the Packers game, and if he has the same success that he had last week this should be a great game for Philadelphia. The Lions defense has nothing against the Packers and if Vick moved the ball that well against Green Bay, it should be a breeze against the Lions.
The question is, how will Vick perform in his 1st start since his jail sentence?
It's obvious one of two things will happen, Vick will tear it up and show that he actually deserves to be a starter in the NFL, or he will be a totally fail and lose the Eagles the game offensively.
I don't really believe that there will be any median for Vick's performance. Like I said, it will be ever a great game, or a really bad one.
What To Look For: Vick to explode onto the scene and have a huge game, possibly reaching 200 yards in the air, and maybe even 100 yards rushing.
4. Without Stewart Bradley The Defense Must Adjust
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The Eagles second concussion victim.
Bradley, along with Kolb, failed his concussion tests, which means the Eagles will be playing Sundays game without him. It is not like the Eagles have never had to play without Bradley, he tore his ACL last training camp and was gone the entire last season.
Bradley is a great linebacker, and backing him up on the depth chart is Omar Gaither. Gaither is a suitable back-up and will be able to get the job done. But he is no all-star.
Ernie Sims and Akeem Jordan are going to have to really step it up to contain the Lion's rising young star, RB Jahvid Best. If the Eagles can keep Best contained the Lions will have to bounce back to there passing game, which is where Jordan is best acclimated.
What To Look For: Sims and Jordan to really turn up their game, to help the back-up Gaither. Watch the Lions start with the run and then eventually turn to the pass.
3. The Eagles Secondary Must Contain Calvin Johnson Jr.
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Calvin Johnson Jr., might just be the most under rated receiver in the entire NFL. I know it is tough to look good as a receiver when you have no one good to throw you the ball, but with Matthew Stafford in Detroit Johnson Jr. is looking like a very serious threat. A very psychical and aggressive deep threat that will put the Eagles secondary to the test.
Going back to the Lions week one match up against the Bears, Johnson Jr. was the player who made the controversial catch. Not only was it an incredibly athletic play, but he kept that same attitude and game play the entire game.
I beleive that Asante Samuel, with the help of Mikell over the top, the will be able to hold Johnson Jr. to minimal gains. If the Eagles can contain him, the Lions will have some trouble finding other receivers capable of catching big gains.
Maybe even look for another shot at the ground game, if Johnson Jr. is locked down the entire game.
What To Look For: Johnson Jr to make several big catches, but no touchdowns. Expect at least one interception off a pass thrown in his direction. Reid will make sure to contain the Lions best receiver and not let them get burned.
2. The Offensive Line Must Contain Kyle Vanden Bosch
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Kyle Vanden Bosch was an absolute nightmare for the Bears offensive line, and I can't see that changing when he goes against the Eagles. The Eagles O-Line is proved to be very weak, and the fact that the Lions have a rusher like Vanden Bosch is not a good combination.
Vick may be quick on his feet, but that can't work for him every play. If the O-Line does fail to contain Vanden Bosch, it could turn out to be a real struggle for Vick to keep the ball moving.
We need to have Winston Justice and Nate Cole step it up, and maybe even just try to double team him every play. But the killer is, if you do that it leaves Mike McGlynn to cover the always dangerous Ndamukong Suh all by himself.
It will be a rough game in the trenches, and I don't see it ending well for the Eagles.
What To Look For: Vanden Bosch walking out of the game with at lest two sacks maybe more, and having constant pressure on Vick. Maybe even causing a turnover, via fumble or forced interception.
1. The Eagles Must Continue To Put Points On The Board
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The Eagles first half against the Packers was bad, scoring only three points in several offensive possessions. In the second half however, Vick helped the Eagles score a quick 17 points.
If Vick can keep this offense rolling, we should see the Eagles keep a lead and be able to maintain it through a tough defense. This will be key to the Eagles winning, in fact this is the most important factor.
This means that everyone on the offense, O-Line, Vick, McCoy, Jackson, have to work together and really stick it to the Lions defense.
If the Eagles can keep consistent drives going then it should be lock for them to win this game, but as stated before Vick is the wild card. Really this game could swing in the Lions favor, and they could win it with some last second heroics. Who knows? This is the NFL, and it comes down to what team wants it more.
What To Look For: The offense to get some momentum and score on the majority of there drives, there will be at least two punts. Scoring mainly touchdowns, and maybe one or two Akers field goals.
Vick will be a spark plug for the offense to keep moving, making big plays with his feet on third and longs.
Final Score: 31-14 (Eagles)