Observations: Eagles 34, Lions 20

Dec 8, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) hands off to running back LeSean McCoy (25) during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Lincoln Financial Field. Photo | Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Photo | Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s what we saw during today’s game.

OFFENSE

*After a rough go in the first two quarters, the Eagles’ offense caught fire in the second half, scoring touchdowns on five straight possessions to lead the way during a 34-20 victory over the Lions.

* LeSean McCoy went off for a career and franchise high 217 yards on 29 carries. He put the offense on his back with touchdown runs of 40 and 57 yards in the fourth quarter. The Lions’ offense came into the game with the second-best run defense in the league, according to Football Outsiders.

* Nick Foles made some plays in the second half too, finishing 11-for-22 for 179 yards, a touchdown and an INT. It wasn’t always pretty, but he rebounded after a first half which saw him complete just four of 10 passes for 35 yards and a pick.

* In the third, Foles found Riley Cooper for a 44-yard bomb downfield. Cooper did a great job of adjusting to the ball. Foles capped the drive off with a 19-yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson. Jackson had four catches for 59 yards and a score. Cooper had three grabs for 74 yards.

* In the fourth, Chris Polk burst up the middle for a 38-yard touchdown. Polk had four carries for 50 yards on the day.

* The Eagles couldn’t get anything going for most of the first half in the snow. They managed four punts, an interception and a turnover on downs on six possessions, entering the half down 8-0.

* Foles’ no-INT streak ended at 237 attempts. He was intercepted by cornerback Chris Houston in the second quarter. Foles was looking for Cooper on the play, but overthrew him. That gave the Lions the ball at the Philadelphia 20-yard-line.

* The Eagles did not pick up a first down until the 9:20 mark of the first quarter.

* Late in the game with the Eagles up 14 points and facing a 4th-and-12, they ran play-action and found Brent Celek for a 27-yard gain. Celek slid down short of the end zone.

DEFENSE

* The defense played well once again, limiting the Lions to one offensive touchdown. Detroit fumbled seven times, and the Eagles recovered three.

* The lone scoring drive came after the Foles interception. Detroit went 20 yards on five plays. Joique Bell scored from 2 yards out. Matthew Stafford connected with Bell for the 2-point conversion.

* On Detroit’s second possession, Cedric Thornton forced a Bell fumble, and Connor Barwin recovered it. Then in the second, Barwin and Brandon Graham combined to strip Bell in the red zone, and Patrick Chung recovered. The other five were fumbled snaps by Stafford. In the fourth, Stafford couldn’t recover, Mychal Kendricks pounced on the ball, and the Eagles had their third takeaway.

* Stafford was 10-for-25 for 148 yards. His longest completion was to Calvin Johnson on a post that went for 33 yards. Johnson beat Cary Williams on the play. He finished with three catches for 49 yards.

* DeMeco Ryans broke up a fourth-down pass late in the fourth. The Lions also dropped multiple passes during the series.

* Reggie Bush apparently re-aggravated his calf injury during warm-ups. Bell carried 23 times for 69 yards.

* In the second quarter, it looked like Kendricks might have gotten away with a pass interference penalty on third down. Kendricks gave up a 23-yard completion to Brandon Pettigrew on 3rd-and-15 in the first.

* Brandon Boykin broke up a deep ball on third down in the second to force a punt.

* Eagles special teams were a disaster. They gave up a 58-yard punt return TD to Jeremy Ross in the third and a 98-yard kickoff return TD to Ross in the fourth.

* The Eagles have now won five games in a row to improve to 8-5 on the season. The Cowboys (7-5) take on the Bears Monday night.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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