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The Detroit Lions welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to Ford Field on Sunday for an NFC matchup in Week 8. It’s not been a great season for either team, with the Lions entering the game winless while the Eagles arrive at 2-5.
This might be the Lions best chance to pick up a victory over the entire season calendar. Having said that, the Eagles are also fully capable of humbling the Lions and extending the losing streak to 12 games, dating back to last season too.
Here are a few things to know about the Eagles, the history between the two teams and other tidbits that will help prepare for Sunday’s meeting in Ford Field.
Lions won the last meeting
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The two teams last met in 2019 in Philadelphia. The Lions prevailed 27-24 thanks to an electrifying 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Jamal Agnew.
Much has changed for both teams. The only QB/RB/WR left from either roster from the Week 3 matchup just two seasons ago is Eagles RB Miles Sanders, and he’s expected to miss Sunday’s game in Ford Field.
That win improved the Lions to 2-0-1 in the young season. Since that time, Detroit is 6-36.
The Eagles allow the league's highest completion percentage
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Despite having former Lions Pro Bowler Darius Slay at cornerback, the Eagles pass defense is incredibly vulnerable. Through the first seven weeks, they’ve allowed opposing offenses to complete over 74 percent of their pass attempts.
By way of comparison, the dilapidated Lions secondary allows just 67.8 percent of opposing passes to be completed, which ranks 24th. The Eagles are on pace for surrendering the highest completion percentage in NFL history.
Both teams rely heavily on YAC
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The Lions and Eagles offenses are both in the top three in yards after the catch, or YAC. While it’s something expected of the Lions with Jared Goff at QB and the dynamic D’Andre Swift coming out of the backfield as the leading target. Detroit leads the NFL with 61.2 percent of all receiving yards coming after the catch.
The Eagles are third at YAC percentage, gaining 53.7 percent of their yards after the catch. A lot of that comes from rookie wideout Devonta Smith, the Eagles’ first-round pick out of Alabama.
Former Lions in Philly
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Darius Slay will make his return to Detroit for the first time since the Lions traded the popular cornerback after the 2019 season. Slay is one of two Eagles starters who began their NFL careers in Detroit.
Punter Arryn Siposs has taken over for the Eagles. Siposs lost out to Jack Fox in the Lions’ punting competition in 2020.
Many Detroit fans recall former Lions RB Kerryon Johnson and WR Travis Fulgham being with Philadelphia, but neither is with the Eagles anymore. Running back Jason Huntley, a fifth-round pick by the Lions in 2020, is on the Eagles injured reserve.
The Eagles don't rush the passer well
Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports
One reason why the Philadelphia defense allows such an absurdly high completion percentage is their pass rush, or lack thereof. The Eagles rank 30th in sack percentage, getting the opposing QB on the ground on just 4.7 percent of dropbacks. The Lions defense ranks 13th at 6.8 percent.
Nearly all of their pass rushing success comes from nose tackle Javon Hargrave. The big DT has six sacks. Nobody else on the Eagles roster has more than 1.5.
The series history is tied
The Lions and Eagles go way back. This is the 35th meeting between the two franchises, a series that began in 1933 when the Portsmouth Spartans (now the Lions) shut out the Eagles 25-0.
The two teams have each won 16 times, plus two ties. Detroit has won four of the last five games. Prior to that run, the Eagles won six meetings in a row.