Detroit going through the motions
Detroit News contributor Nolan Bianchi offers his first-half observation as the Lions chase the Eagles 17-0 at Ford Field.
There is a glass breaking point in every Detroit Lions season, fans realize “this year is not getting any better,” and apathy is starting to pile up at an exponential rate.
The Lions’ valiant effort against Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams a week ago seems to have been the final boost for this year’s team – at least for now.
While there is certainly a chance this team can take a few wins in the back half of their schedule, this Sunday the Lions look like a team just trying to make it into Bye Week.
The energy in downtown Detroit wasn’t there before game time – one might assume the Lions were playing a street game, depending on what the typical tailgate hotspots looked like. Not much of that changed as fans entered the stadium, which appeared to be only half full during its peak.
And that energy – or lack of it – begins to come into the field.
The Lions’ defense doesn’t look like they can stop the Eagles with 12 men in the field. Boston Scott’s return run (nine tries, 55 yards) has spearheaded an attack by the Eagles that has already spanned 124 yards.
And on offense, Detroit’s inability to open receivers was made worse by how bad the offensive line played. Matt Nelson is bullied at the right tackle, and that is a big reason why Goff was sacked four times for losing 34 yards.
Murphy’s Law in full
If something can go wrong, it will go wrong.
That feels historically special for the Lions, but it was even more pronounced than usual on Sunday against a not very good Eagles team.
The Lions took over Philadelphia 45 in their second offensive series and couldn’t get away with points when Goff was dismissed in second place and Austin Seibert missed a 47-yard field goal two games later.
On the following Eagles drive, Lions security Dean Marlowe Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts realized for a loss of 12 on the first and the goal of the 4 out that since Philadelphia technically ran the ball, there was no foul for an ineligible Man in the field could give. So it was completely wiped off the board and Philadelphia walked halfway to the gate.
And then, in the Lions’ biggest game of half-time – a 35-yard finish to Amon-Ra St. Brown with just a minute to go in the second quarter – the Lions were charged with illegal formation.
It is raining and it is pouring.
Special teams get A +
If there’s one group that deserves a few slices of orange at half time, it’s the Lions special team group. They were actually solid.
Jack Fox defeated the Eagles with a punt after the first drive on their own 4-yard line. Godwin Igwebuike made kickoff returns to the 34 and 30. Caliph Raymond nearly broke a punt return for a touchdown on his first attempt but ended up at the Eagles 45 and still came out 11 yards.
A good starting field position doesn’t really matter if the team can’t manage a single first down, but yes. It’s something I think.