Looking at the Lions

Posted: December 6th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 44 Comments »

The Detroit Lions come to Philly on Sunday. They’re 7-5 and coming off a blowout win. Wait…that sounds familiar. The Cardinals came to town last week at 7-4 on the heels of a blowout win over the Colts.

The Cards had a terrific defense and hot offense. Detroit is the opposite. Explosive offense and hot defense.

Fran Duffy did a great All-22 preview of the Lions and what they like to do on defense and offense.

The question most people will focus on is how to slow down Megatron, WR Calvin Johnson. He is one of the most dominant players in the entire NFL. Think of him as the Donnie Jones of WRs.

In a way, the schedule-maker did the Eagles a big favor by having them play Arizona and Detroit in consecutive weeks. The Eagles got to try some things against Larry Fitzgerald last week. The coaches have to see what worked well and what can be done this week when they try to deal with Johnson. You don’t just put a CB on him. You don’t just give him a double team. You must be creative with Johnson. You’re not going to stop him. The goal is to make life difficult for him. By doing that, you also make things hard on QB Matt Stafford.

The Eagles did a pretty good job vs Fitz. They were physical with him. LBs regularly jammed him at the LOS. That kept Fitz from getting a clean release and into his routes smoothly. Other times the Eagles used bracket coverage, with one defender under Fitz and another over the top. Sometimes this was a LB and a S. Other times it was a CB and a S. Expect more of the same vs Megatron.

The Eagles got a bit of potentially good news today. Lions CB Darius Slay has now been listed as doubtful due to an injury. He’s their most talented CB. They have CB Chris Houston coming off injury from the previous game so that secondary could be vulnerable if the Eagles can give Nick Foles time to find the open guy.

Matt Bowen, former NFL DB and now an analyst for Bleacher Report, did a fantastic video explaining some of the route concepts the Eagles like to use. This is must-watch material.

* * * * *

I’ve got a slew of questions from people that I’ll answer in another post later this evening.


44 Comments on “Looking at the Lions”

  1. 1 A_T_G said at 5:44 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    So, I think the Eagles are missing out on a marketing gold mine: The Eagles ARE Catching Fire.

    The campaign would draw parallels to DJax as Prim, the undersized fan favorite with a big heart. The defensive front seven cast as the imposing gladiators from the wealthy districts. Shady as Peeta, the good-natured and naturally talented right-hand man who blooms after being thrust into the thick of things. And, of course, Foles as Katniss, the unchosen volunteer who swoops in to catch everyone’s attention with his supernatural ability loose the right shot at the right moment, uncanny accuracy and unflappable drive, all the while capturing their hearts with his humble ways and focus on continuing to improve the situation around him.

    This marketing campaign would focus on teenagers, primarily females. Not only is this an underrepresented demographic in the NFL, and so an untapped wallet for the Eagles to get into, but it has long-term benefits. Ten years from now, when the camera panning the crowd shows an unusually large demographic of 20-something females, there will be a second wave of fans emigrating to the Birds, from the more traditional pool.

  2. 2 Baloophi said at 10:54 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Some other cross-promotional marketing thoughts for current films and teams across the NFL…

    Patriots – “The Playbook Thief”
    Cowboys – “Dallas Sellers Club”
    Chiefs – “About Time’s Yours”
    Packers – “Frozen”
    Texans – “Couldn’t Delivery Man”
    Redskins – “Hall is Lost (in coverage)”
    Vikings – “Ponder: The Dark World”
    Cardinals – “Lee Daniels’ The Whiner”
    Giants – “Cloudy With a Chance of Fumbles 2”

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 11:14 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    I love the Giants. Fantastic.

  4. 4 Baloophi said at 11:47 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Tommy Lawlor: “I love the Giants.”


  5. 5 sonofdman said at 9:34 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Boom – Florioed!

  6. 6 Sean said at 12:44 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    “The Texans: The Desolation of Schaub”

  7. 7 ICDogg said at 1:23 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Saw this earlier this week… someone did several Disney-ish logos for some NFL teams.

    http://dailysnark.com/wp-content/gallery/disney-nfl-logos/01-bagheera-carolina-panthers.jpg http://dailysnark.com/wp-content/gallery/disney-nfl-logos/06-shere-khan-cincinnati-bengals.jpg http://dailysnark.com/wp-content/gallery/disney-nfl-logos/12-iago-arizona-cardinals.jpg

  8. 8 BlindChow said at 10:01 AM on December 7th, 2013:


  9. 9 shah8 said at 6:03 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    I enjoyed the Bowen video, thank you Tommy.

  10. 10 Anders said at 6:03 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Bowen in general has some great break downs. He is one of the few BR writers who are worth reading

  11. 11 knighn said at 6:09 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    And a former NFL player that shows brains! That doesn’t happen all of the time!

  12. 12 Anders said at 6:13 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    I bet most of the talking heads on ESPN and NFLN would be really good at breaking film down, but they are hired to yell and say stupid things instead.

  13. 13 knighn said at 6:15 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Could be…

  14. 14 Anders said at 6:16 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Of course there is the Heath Evans types who most likely have brain damage and cant help it.

  15. 15 knighn said at 6:18 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Lol. You read my mind. That was the first one I was thinking about!

  16. 16 ICDogg said at 8:16 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Those particular routes look like they’re right out of Andy Reid’s playbook.

  17. 17 bentheimmigrant said at 5:02 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    I think Andy tried to have every route in his playbook.

  18. 18 ICDogg said at 5:26 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Yeah, but Hi-Lo crosses were favorites of his. I think they’re more a part of what Shurmur brought back with him here than what Kelly brought over.

  19. 19 Anders said at 5:39 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Hi-lo crosser is a core wco play design. I do think some of the routes we see is the effect of Shumur been a hard core wco guy

  20. 20 theycallmerob said at 9:30 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    the WCO does play well to both the offense mentality of Chip and the current talent. get the ball out quick (Foles) to playmakers (Ertz, DJ, Riley) with a good pass catching and run-blocking back as well (shady). quick routes take advantage of the 1on1 exploited matchups Chip so desires. the spread, read, hurry-up, and packaged plays are a nice touch!

  21. 21 TommyLawlor said at 11:14 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Met him at the Senior Bowl last year. Real nice guy. Smart and friendly.

  22. 22 bill said at 7:33 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    I’m thinking Thornton is the key defender this week. Crazy, I know, but…the Eagles are probably going to do a lot of schematic things and dedicate alot of attention to Megatron. Stopping the run is going to be left largely to the DLine. Since Thornton brings little to the pass-rushing table, and is largely credited with being a great run stuffer – this is the game where he’s going to have to prove it.

  23. 23 Anders said at 7:55 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    I actually think Cox will be the important guy. Stafford makes a lot more mistakes on the move and pressure up the middle is always the best

  24. 24 planetx1971 said at 8:24 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    I’m thinking the best way to slow Johnson down is for us to get Stafford acquainted with the turf. Early & OFTEN please.

  25. 25 theycallmerob said at 9:12 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    I liked watching the LBs chipping the WRs, especially Fitz, last week to throw off the timing. Stafford is a bit more gifted and willing to take chances against a rush, but a worse decision maker than Carson.
    Plus, I’d love to see DeMeco destroy CJ at least once if he lines up in the slot. Anything resembling a crossing or seam route should face Ryan’s Wrath. early and often.

  26. 26 ICDogg said at 8:35 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    December 7, 2013

    Jeopardy question!

  27. 27 ICDogg said at 8:38 PM on December 6th, 2013:

  28. 28 theycallmerob said at 9:15 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    hahahahahahahaah thank you so much. hadn’t seen that particular meme yet, but man…skeptical african boy gets me every time

  29. 29 SteveH said at 9:05 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Calvin Johnson terrifies me this me this weekend. That is all.

  30. 30 ICDogg said at 9:30 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    What’s up with his knees though? At age 28, he’s always missing practice to rest them.

  31. 31 JayGloab said at 9:45 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    6’5″ 240 and doing a lot of running around really fast and getting hit seems like it would be tough on the knees.

  32. 32 ICDogg said at 9:56 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    It does indeed.

  33. 33 A_T_G said at 9:35 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    I am actually more concerned about their Dline. I hope by the end of the game I can put my desires to have drafted Ansah behind me.

  34. 34 SteveH said at 9:57 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    Re: Awesome video by Matt Bowen

    If I see too many more of these and chipwagon type things pretty soon I’ll be yelling at the TV “Call the scissors chip! The DB’s aren’t passing off coverage!”


  35. 35 Mitchell said at 10:13 PM on December 6th, 2013:

    I’m tryin to learn more about football and videos like these really help! Keep ’em coming Tommy!

  36. 36 ICDogg said at 12:21 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Very good article on how we got Foles


  37. 37 Mitchell said at 1:32 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    That was a great article. Kinda cool how things work out. I think I have even more confidence in Foles now because of how Andy and Marty gushed over te kid.

  38. 38 ICDogg said at 12:28 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Redneck Santa?

  39. 39 SteveH said at 1:52 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Random 2 a.m. thought: could the 2012 draft class end up being the defining class of the decade?

    Fletcher Cox
    Mychal Kendricks
    Vinny Curry
    Nick Foles
    Brandon Boykin
    Bryce Brown
    Ced Thornton

    That’s quite a list if you ask me, and if Foles ends up being the franchise QB we’re hoping, that’s a hell of a draft. Might it be the one that produces a new core of guys to take us into the next decade? Here’s hoping!

  40. 40 SteveH said at 1:55 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Combine last years with this years and you get:

    Lane Johnson
    Fletcher Cox
    Zach Ertz
    Mychal Kendricks
    Vinny Curry
    Bennie Logan
    Nick Foles
    Brandon Boykin
    Earl Wolfe
    Bryce Brown
    Ced Thornton

    That could end up being as many as 10 starters on the team.

  41. 41 Mitchell said at 1:56 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Dnt forget Da Kruger!

  42. 42 anon said at 8:14 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Good coaching makes good players. Bad coaching has a lot to do with busts. So i think if we have legit coaches we’ll have legit players.

  43. 43 Andy124 said at 10:07 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    I think Ced was a UDFA in 2011.

  44. 44 jshort said at 8:16 AM on December 7th, 2013:

    Any ice or snow fall in S. Philly? Trying to figure who the weather effects more.