Lions Preview

Posted: December 8th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 76 Comments »

There seems to be a subdued buzz for the Lions-Eagles game. This might be a good thing. That could help the Eagles players stay focused and not get too caught in the trappings of the game.

I wrote my preview for

My prediction is Eagles 58, Lions 37.

No wait…that’s dumb. No NFL game could ever end in the score of 58 to 37. Silly of me.

I am willing to bet a 12-pack of PBR that the game won’t be a 6-3 defensive struggle.

* * * * *

Mike Florio is at it again. After a couple of recent articles on the drafting of Nick Foles, Florio put up a gem of a post.

If you want to know the articles he’s referring to, here ya go.

Here is Jeff McLane’s story.

Here is Reuben Frank’s story.

Florio had this to say.

Now that Nick Foles has become Nick Freaking Foles, you’ll hear no chatter about what might have been in Philly.  Instead, the current buzz centers on the front office’s foresight.

That’s the gist of the latest item from Reuben Frank of, with extensive quotes from G.M. Howie Roseman:  The Eagles saw in Foles that which no one else did.

Fine.  So why did they nearly trade for Kaepernick?  And why did they covet Wilson?  And why did someone (possibly with the Eagles) leak that in September?

The competing, albeit chronologically separate, quarterback narratives hint at a certain amount of insecurity in the organization, especially as it relates to the selection of players before the arrival of coach Chip Kelly.  While the Eagles successfully concealed for months the post-Andy Reid power structure, word eventually emerged that Kelly negotiated final say over personnel as part of his deal.

As a result, Roseman sets the table for Kelly.  And Roseman needs Kelly to regard Roseman as a competent table setter.  Otherwise, Kelly eventually could have the power to hire his own guy to set the table.

In September, the message is that Roseman wanted Kaepernick or Wilson over Foles.  Now, the message is that Roseman wanted Foles.

The Eagles did like Foles last year prior to the draft. But no one…and I mean NO ONE…thought Foles was going to play like this. Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, Howie Roseman and Foles parents would all tell you that this is a surprise. If anyone thought Foles could become a star QB, he’d have been taken in the 1st round or early 2nd.

No person inside the Eagles organization is trying to create the impression that the Eagles knew that Foles would play like this. They liked the guy. They thought he was a talented QB that could be developed. Simple as that. Howie Roseman went out of his way to give credit to Reid. How the hell is that Roseman trying to make himself look good?

Florio is obsessed with ulterior motives and conspiracies. Ugh.

The Eagles had other QB plans. Reid admitted that he went after Alex Smith last year. SF wouldn’t give him up. There are rumors that SF did offer Colin Kaepernick, but that didn’t work out. The Eagles then focused on Russell Wilson and Foles in the draft. You can bet that Reid coveted Andrew Luck and RG3, but just didn’t have the ammo to get them. Let’s not confuse the issue. One of the reasons the Eagles wanted Foles and Wilson is because they would be available outside the 1st round. The only QB who was close to the Eagles picking spot was Ryan Tannehill. I’ve heard mixed things about the Eagles interest in him.

As for Foles, let’s also eliminate this idea that he’s some incredible find. Foles played at a major football school. He started for 3 years. He played in 2 bowl games. He went to the Senior Bowl and Combine. Everyone in the football world knew about Nick Foles. Most people had him rated as a mid-round type of guy.

Trent Dilfer loved Foles. He said in December of 2011 that Foles should be a 1st round pick. Foles got the Senior Bowl invite because teams wanted to see him up close.

For whatever reason, Foles struggled in Mobile and at the Combine. He was up and down at his Pro Day. The Eagles went beyond that and scheduled a private workout. The Eagles were the only team to do that. Other teams felt that all the game tape and other workouts told them enough. The Eagles decided to be more thorough and it paid off.

No one person gets credit for the drafting of Foles. The scouting staff, assistant coaches, Reid and Roseman all had a hand in it. Just as importantly, Foles was developed well by Reid, his coaches, Kelly and his coaches.


76 Comments on “Lions Preview”

  1. 1 Sean said at 1:11 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Florio may be an unscrupulous, sensationalist hack, but before you criticize him too much, just think of how many people in the hairgel industry he singlehandedly keeps employed.

  2. 2 SteveH said at 2:31 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    And in this economy, could we really afford the collapse of the hair gel industry? The man is a modern day American hero.

  3. 3 Sean said at 2:41 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    As long as it’s dried, I don’t think there’s any danger of it collapsing.

  4. 4 JB said at 1:19 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Florio = Hack

  5. 5 Jason_E said at 1:25 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Its funny. In the article he starts with
    “In September, someone (possibly with the Eagles) was putting out the word that the Eagles nearly traded for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick prior to the 2012 draft, and that the Eagles otherwise wanted to pick Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.”

    I’m pretty sure I heard those rumors through PFT.

  6. 6 SleepingDuck said at 1:33 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I hate Florio too, but to be fair, the Kap rumor was started by Schefter and the Wilson one started immediately after the draft.

  7. 7 Jason_E said at 1:35 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Fair enough. Still a douche.

  8. 8 SleepingDuck said at 2:47 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I kind of think the Kap rumor was leaked by Banner though.

  9. 9 SteveH said at 2:33 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Maybe the lack of buzz is Eagles nation collectively holding their breath. IDK about you guys but I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know? Like this has been a great little run, and Foles is incredible and Chip is doing his thing and whatnot, but it almost feels a little too good to be true. So… I’m looking at this game tomorrow with a mixture of morbid curiosity and outright fear. So… no buzz being generated by this guy lol.

  10. 10 ICDogg said at 3:04 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Each win, each solid performance helps solidify the notion that this team is “for real”, but it’s hard to really be sure what quality a team we have until we play more better quality opponents.

  11. 11 Insomniac said at 3:24 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I fear for Foles this game. Suh, Fairley, and a hot Ansah isn’t something to sneeze at. It’s going to be a shootout and either QBs can crumble to pressure. Although, I give the edge to Stafford since he has Megatron as a safety blanket. We can’t have Foles be effective for only half a game again. I hope Chip drops 50+ on the Lions like that time when McNabb played them in those…*cough* throwback jerseys.

    My prediction: 41 – 35. Eagles win.

  12. 12 A_T_G said at 6:59 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Maybe this is the week to break out the powder blue and yellow monstrosities?

  13. 13 ACViking said at 10:27 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Why does Laurie hate the Eagles’ Kelly green uniforms from their 3 championship seasons? (Those blue/yellow things are the best circumstantial evidence of his dislike for Kelly green I can see.)

    Now he’s divorced from the alleged perpetrator. And it’s been nearly 10 years since the Birds went to the dark green.

    At minimum, it’s a marketing opportunity.

  14. 14 deg0ey said at 11:07 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Let’s be honest, though, if you take the sentimentality out of it the midnight green is a much nicer color.

  15. 15 Neil said at 11:19 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Different strokes. Midnight green just smacks to me of SO MODERN, SO MATURE. Kelly green is just trying to be beautiful.

  16. 16 deg0ey said at 11:23 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Haha fair enough. To me Kelly green is too Crayola. Kinda like fire-truck red.

  17. 17 Neil said at 11:24 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Yeah I’d say that’s exactly what I love about it.

  18. 18 GEAGLE said at 11:15 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    God no…I’d go black for this December run

  19. 19 Scott J said at 8:27 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    The Eagles will run a lot of screens today.

  20. 20 mtn_green said at 10:46 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Lions are an enigma, incredible talent on Dline but few sacks. The book on lions is to use max protect, keep TE, RB in to chip or block, then take advantage of weak secondary.

  21. 21 ICDogg said at 5:34 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I think in Detroit they feel similarly about this game than we do here… after all, they’re also a team that finished 4-12 last year, had the pick right behind us. They’re a team that is also trying to get a measure of where they are.

  22. 22 ACViking said at 10:16 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    ICD . . .

    Really good point.

    Detroit has some fine offensive talent in Stafford, Johnson, Bush — and ex-Eagles Joique Bell (love that name) — at RB, Pettigrew, and Reiff, Raiola and Warford on the Oline.

    On defense, they Suh, Fairly, Ansah, D’Andre Levy — a LB w/ SIX INTERCEPTIONS!!!! — Tulloch and Delmas.

    I assume most talent evaluators would say the Lions have the edge in the talent department overall. And the edge at QB and WR. Stafford’s an incredibly gutsy guy, big arm, but inconsistent in the decision-making dept.

    Anyway . . . your comment is what makes this particular game so exciting for me from the outside looking in:

    * Two teams with talent that belied their 4-12 records in 2012.

    * Two teams with good QB and offensive weapons.
    * Two teams playing pretty good defense.

    I really like the test today for the Eagles offense against the best D-line they’ll probably see this season.

    Plus, the elements will add a wildcard to the game’s deck.

    Football in December in Philadelphia, with a chance to learn a lot about this team. Should be a great day, win or lose.

  23. 23 GEAGLE said at 10:19 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Weather is gonna get ugly today…I don’t fear this sissy dome team…I think the final score might be close, but we will be in control the entire game..if they do end up scoring points in the 4th it will end up a close score, but the weather could be real bad by the 4th…I can see them struggling to get 20points on the board this week….not enough is made of the dr off between their Home play and when they go on the road

  24. 24 ACViking said at 10:24 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Love the weather challenge for Foles.

    If he delivers today, he’ll have cracked the ceiling separating him form the top QBs. What’s made Brady so great is his bad-weather performances.

  25. 25 mtn_green said at 10:44 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Tom does just enough to win games, sometimes with lesser talent.

  26. 26 ACViking said at 11:11 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    M_G . . .

    You are so right. Talk about elevating the players around you, that’s Brady.

    He’s had 1 season with a top-end WR, and that was 2007 when the Pats offense was off the charts.

    Otherwise, he made a lot of money for guys like Deion Branch, David Givens, David Patten, Troy Brown.

    Peyton Manning’s never done that. He’s always had great (or at least very good) WRs to throw to.

  27. 27 deg0ey said at 11:18 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    The other way of looking at it is that the Patriots offense didn’t drop off much in 2008 when they had a year of Matt Cassel – still finised 8th in point and 5th in yards.

    That’s the point that, for me, suggests a large amount of Brady’s success is on Belichick’s shoulders. Incidentally, the similarities between Nick/Chip and Tom/Bill are quite striking. Certainly won’t be complaining if the level of success is the same.

  28. 28 GEAGLE said at 11:13 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Nicky the saint delivers today…The rainmaker bringing the snow down on these dome pansies…I so DONT fear this very talented bunch, but I wouldn’t want to play them at home.

    So jealous of Seattle…lol they are soooo cool! They hired a plane to fly a 12man banner over candlestick park before they kick off at San Fran….if this doesn’t piss off San Fran’s players then they are frauds

  29. 29 planetx1971 said at 6:24 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    It’s been interesting to go over into “enemy territory” & read just what Detroit beat writers & to some extent, coaches & players, are thinking about this game. I’ll admit that as usual I’m a bit nervous about the game but MAN, over there you basically hear one big collective GULP. lol They are really freaked out! I couldn’t find one article where they were predicting a Lions win. They all seem petrified by our O, equally petrified of their O turning it over & all hate the idea of playing in crummy weather. I have no idea how this is gunna go but I will say it put a monstrous grin on my face to read & see us being feared again. GO BIRDS!!!!!!

  30. 30 A_T_G said at 7:34 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    It is encouraging that someone is worried about playing us.

    If you look from their perspective, our PTSD-like reactions must seem like a huge overreaction. We talk of wasted potential and undeveloped talent, they had high draft picks littered across underperforming units. We talk of misused draft picks, they had Joey Harrington, Ernie Sims, and Matt Millen.

    Both teams now seem to be on the rise and headed in the right direction. It makes one a little more appreciative of the path we took when you note other teams that took the scenic route and got lost in the basement.

  31. 31 Finlay Jones said at 8:38 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    last 5 games we’re +8 turnovers, they’re -13, and Foles passer rating so far this season is 35 points higher than Staffords. Of course they’re nervous.

  32. 32 A_T_G said at 7:15 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Florio represents all the worst parts of a 24-hour news cycle and draws the lowest common denominator of commenters, but, to be fair…



    …his name rearranges to “for oil,” so…there’s that.

  33. 33 since1961 said at 8:09 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Well, he IS a lawyer, so there’s that……

  34. 34 GEAGLE said at 9:19 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    “Aren’t you sharp as a tack , you some type of lawyer or something or somebody important or something? We will see how sharp you are when the EAGLES come…”

    “If you havin QB problems I feel bad for you son! I got 99 problems, but a QB ain’t one” Hit mE!!!

  35. 35 ACViking said at 10:05 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Hey, I take that insult personally.

  36. 36 Ark87 said at 9:36 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    or iFloor

  37. 37 Sean said at 10:25 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    He’s like the war! Another reason to hate him

  38. 38 Baloophi said at 11:38 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    If we can use Michael Florio…

    Rich Email Fool
    Rim Lice Loofah
    Orifice Mall Ho

  39. 39 ICDogg said at 11:48 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Limo Life Roach

  40. 40 Baloophi said at 11:55 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Oh, Fecal Rim Oil

  41. 41 AnirudhJ said at 8:02 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I’m not sure how much the extra couple of days helps the Lions but it has to be something – unless they spent it all enjoying Thanksgiving with their families. Still – they’ll be marginally better rested than us and have incrementally more game planning done.

  42. 42 Scott J said at 8:20 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Sounds like Reid and the Eagles were desperately looking to replace Vick. I wonder why it’s taken Kelly so long to figure out Vick is on the decline.

  43. 43 ACViking said at 10:04 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I’ll defer to BlindChow on this one.

  44. 44 bill said at 10:11 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I’m generally a Vick critic, but…even if Reid loved Vick unconditionally as his #1, wasn’t there a giant gaping hole in the organizational chart for #2 QB? And knowing that while some QBs can play into their late 30s, the more likely occurrence is that Vick only had a year or two left in his body, wouldn’t it make sense to start looking for the next guy in line?

    I don’t think this is any conclusive evidence of Reid’s attitude towards Vick.

  45. 45 ACViking said at 10:19 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Well framed. Plus, Reid’s from the “Ron Wolf School of Draft a QB to Trade for a High Pick Later”.

  46. 46 Scott J said at 12:55 PM on December 8th, 2013:

    Unconditionally? Reid benched Vick for Foles. If Reid kept his job, Vick would not be on our team this year.

  47. 47 BlindChow said at 11:40 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Because he actually played well for a couple games?

  48. 48 Mike Flick said at 9:09 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Foles was even on Gruden’s quarterback school show.

  49. 49 Mike Flick said at 9:13 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    The other thing about Florio, is he is typically wrong about the Eagles.

    Over the years, the things he brings out shows he does not have a good contact in the Eagles front office.

    He never gets any advanced draft nuggets. (Except Cory Simon, but Spadaro let that one out of the bag as well)

    He sure does throw a lot of crap at the walls, but everyone who reads him knows that.

  50. 50 GEAGLE said at 9:15 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    We aren’t losing today boys…NOT TODAY!!

    People see Suh,fairly and Ziggy, look at their rankings and think they have a good defense. They aren’t half the defense that Arizona brought to town…There are so many more ways you can attack this lions defense that you couldn’t because of Arizonas stout secondary and we still carved them up for most of the game..

    TWo similarly talented teams face off, the better coached team tends to win. ADVANTAGE Chippah! The lions are an Undisciplined bunch, that will compound itself when they leave their dome and go on the road…there is NO way such an Undisciplined team is going to be in better condition than our team built of 53 Scientifically advanced Ivan Drago’ move the chains and turn up the tempo and Suh and fairly will wear down! commit penalties! screw up gap assignments….we have this saying in mixed martial arts “Conditioning makes cowards out of Lions” there is nothing worse than sucking wind when your opponent still has a ton of energy.

    Sorry but it’s game day, I don’t give a cotton pickin F***(method man style) about Florio on game day…Yous already gave that hack more publicity then that weasel deserves

  51. 51 jshort said at 10:38 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Wow, you got me so psyched up, put my head through the wall.

  52. 52 GEAGLE said at 11:37 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Lol dude I woke up at 6am after going to bed drunk at 3am…I can’t even sleep I’m so jacked up!! I’m doing my best weapon X impressions in my living room

  53. 53 GEAGLE said at 9:23 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Vinny Curry will have his biggest game as an eagle. he is forcing a fumble today! Dirty OL washburn wouldn’t even let him wear a Gameday jersey!!! Stafford gonna have to pay for that.

    Barwin and Graham are Detroit/michigan guys….expect both to bring it!

    After seeing DRC just lay down for Calvin in the 4th, I will shed tears of Joy watching Cary and Brad get physical with Calvin and battle him for 60 min…Calvin will get his! but like Fitzy, it won’t be enough

    Kemdricks needs to hAve a big day covering bush out of the backfield. We will SHUT DOWN his run game…but it’s so damn important that Kendrick keeps him in check in the pass game

  54. 54 GEAGLE said at 9:27 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    FOles has been under center 12 times, he completed 9 of those passes for 220yards,and 4TDs….when you see Nicky with his hands up Kelce’s ass, expect DANGER DANGER DANGER

  55. 55 SteveH said at 10:05 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I’m sure Kelce is thinking DANGER DANGER DANGER when that happens too.

  56. 56 Always Hopeful said at 12:29 PM on December 8th, 2013:


  57. 57 P_P_K said at 9:46 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Not only will the Eagles win 58-37, Foles will also throw 3 tds and 0 interceptions.

  58. 58 AnirudhJ said at 10:25 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    8 TDs and 0 picks. And we of course then need to pick up a safety.

  59. 59 mtn_green said at 10:36 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Two point conversions, fast and furious. Detroit will have ‘forgotten’ to practice swinging gate defense. Wide open all day.

    Eagles will score on 2 point conversions so often they will need to add a new stat.

  60. 60 P_P_K said at 10:46 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    In the 1st 58-37 game in the 95 playoffs (I think it was), Rodney Peete threw 3tds. I hope you are right and Nick tops him with an 8 pack.

  61. 61 ACViking said at 9:47 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Re: Ulterior Motives and Conspiracies


    Speaking of conspiratorial motives . . . there’s only 1 person who strikes me as having sourced Florio for this particular “insider’s perspective” — albeit just *a perspective* not *the definitive perspective* — on the 2012 Eagles draft who’d be willing to, umm, share that personal point of view with Florio.

    That would be Joe Banner.

    Of course, in pointing the finger at Banner, I probably am getting bolixed up in my own ulterior motives and conspiratorial objectives.

    As an aside, McLane’s story on the Eagles’ road to Foles is the kind of scoop that I think your readers see too little of in the local sports MSM.

    However, let’s remember that you periodically share your own well-sourced Eagles personnel nuggets and contextualize them for us — better than anyone out there.

    Nobody’s bigger than you, TL.

  62. 62 SteveH said at 10:05 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    “Nobody’s bigger than you, TL.”

    It’s all those Funyons and PBR.

  63. 63 ACViking said at 10:19 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    well played.

  64. 64 livingonapear said at 10:30 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I think this points less to conspiracy theory and ulterior motive, and more to an unchanging landscape in sports wherein you have to be constantly trying on new pants or you’ll be stuck with mom jeans.

    You always want to put yourself in a position to land something big, so it behooves any front office guy to have his fingers in as many pies as possible, even if he doesn’t really like the taste of all of them.

    The issue comes with someone like Florio where every potential move is indicative of true intention: if you felt a guy out, you must want to get your hooks in him.

  65. 65 mtn_green said at 10:56 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I predict eagles doing WCO max protect with TE and RB chipping or blocking every play. Slow down the pass rush get balls over the top of the secondary, very AR game. Rewatched the cards game and very few runs, in first quarter. Cards stacked the box and chip threw the ball. I think lions will do same.

    Then running game comes at end of first half when lions put 2 safeties deep. Eagles switch to 11 personnel and run the ball on a 6 man box.

    Stafford will get his Tds and his ints. Eagles have a deceptive pass rush.

  66. 66 ACViking said at 11:14 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Is today the day we see Casey playing H-Back with some regularity?

    One play I think we’ll see is out of the old Joe Gibbs playbook, with the 2nd TE motioning back to trap the DT.

    At least I hope we do.

  67. 67 planetx1971 said at 11:07 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Here’s hopin that the weather is nasty enough to make Megatons pistons seize!!

  68. 68 BlindChow said at 11:33 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    I hear when he’s wet he’s only 5’9.

  69. 69 ACViking said at 11:20 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Today’s a day for traps and traps and more traps.

    Bring Jason Peters across the formation to blindside Suh. A couple of times early. Run the same play with Johnson against Fairly.

    All you want to do is give McCoy 18 inches of daylight. Just 18 inches of daylight and he’s gone.

  70. 70 BlindChow said at 11:33 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    All you want to do is give Brown 18 inches of daylight. Just 18 inches of daylight and–hey, no, not the sideline WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?

  71. 71 Always Hopeful said at 12:32 PM on December 8th, 2013:

    Bryce needs to find that North – South GPS in his game to be effective for us!

  72. 72 Always Hopeful said at 12:41 PM on December 8th, 2013:

    Can McCoy channel Steve Van Buren? Snow game and all…

  73. 73 A Roy said at 11:38 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Either way (W-L) this game is a growing experience for Foles and Eagles. My take on Foles so far is that he doesn’t react well to pressure the first time he sees it, but he learns from the experience and performs better the next time. This is his first time with a dominant DL and they will bring pressure in a different form than what the Giants brought last time. (Dallas pressure was a 1st place game. Mental rather than physical, and I expect him to handle it well week 17.) Hopefully, the scheme and the pace will help.

    I have to miss the game. Anyone know when it will be rebroadcast? Thanks.

  74. 74 GEAGLE said at 11:44 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    Uhhh you are seriously under selling Dockett,Cambell and abraham

  75. 75 GEAGLE said at 11:55 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    FOles “when I’m low on digest I throw TDs in a blizzard”

  76. 76 GEAGLE said at 11:58 AM on December 8th, 2013:

    They used Barwin to jack Fitzgerald up before he got out in his route! they said they plan on using Connar the same way against me some Cool Ass Billy Dee aka jethro