What They’re Saying About the Eagles
SI.com’s Peter King has the Birds winning, 26-24:
Alternate Universe Stat of the Week: Stafford/Vick totals: nine touchdowns, 10 interceptions. But this could be — could being the operative word, because monitoring vital safety Louis Delmas’ health is an exercise in futility — the week the important Lions safety returns, nine weeks after camp knee surgery. The Lions hoped he’d be ready to play on opening day, and they’ve been hoping since. Delmas is Detroit’s Ronnie Lott, both in spirit and in the anvil in his shoulder pads, so if he’s back at anything close to normal, the Lions will finally be competitive in the back end.
Mike Tanier of SportsOnEarth.com goes with the Eagles, 20-17:
The Lions’ kick coverage unit looks like a field of dandelions in front of a riding mower, and their running game treats the line of scrimmage like the parapet of a castle, but otherwise the team is solid. But that is not the opinion of the unnamed general manager who ripped the team in Pro Football Weekly, claiming that coach Jim Schwartz and GM Martin Mayhew are “both overrated” and that Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril belong on an “all-hype team” — criticism that is way off-base about Avril.
Peter Schrager of FoxSports.com likes the Birds, 31-24:
The Lions started the year 5-0 last season and enjoyed a nice little media blitz about their young defense. They’ve gone 6-10 since that 5-0 start and the defense has been routinely lit up. Detroit’s one fortunate last-minute victory over the Rams away from being 0-4 and in the “What’s wrong with the ___?” conversation on studio shows across cable TV. They’ll lose again on Sunday. Michael Vick struggles against good defensive lines. I’m not sure the Lions have one of those.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com goes with the Eagles, 31-20:
The Lions are coming off a bye and a trip to Philadelphia isn’t an easy way to do so. The Eagles will be feisty after a tough loss last week at Pittsburgh. The Lions have issues on defense, which you don’t want against the Eagles — if they hold onto the ball. I think Mike Vick does what he did last time at home and takes care of the ball. Eagles roll.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com likes the Birds, 33-17:
Whether or not Mikel Leshoure is the man at tailback, the Detroit Lions will struggle offensively versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Quarterback Matt Stafford clearly is not in 2011 form, and the Eagles’ secondary has been more effective this season. The starting safeties (Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman) have shown me something this year, and are a big reason Philly is only allowing a miniscule 5.5 yards per throw — one of the lowest figures in the league. Another matchup to watch will be the Detroit front four vs. Michael Vick, but the latter must be supremely motivated to win at home, considering his mediocre campaign thus far.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk predicts a 24-17 Eagles win:
The Lions think they can recapture last year’s attitude simply by wanting to. It’s not that easy, especially when the team remains flawed on both sides of the ball. The Eagles have more talent — enough to overcome Mike Vick’s inevitable mistakes.
Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com predicts a 27-20 Eagles victory:
Michael Vick didn’t play nearly as badly in Week 5 as some might lead you to believe. Though he admittedly got off to a rocky, fumble-filled start, Vick had Philly’s offense on the move throughout the game. Dating back to Week 5, Vick has completed 38 of his last 57 passes (66.7 percent) for 411 yards (7.2 YPA), three touchdowns, and no picks in a tough division win over the Giants and narrow road loss at Pittsburgh. And I think his season is ready to hit its stride. The Lions do not play imposing pass defense, serving up a 66.1 completion rate to enemy passers and a 5:0 TD-to-INT ratio in four games. Detroit’s offense also forces opponents to respond aggressively when it pours on points and yards. This can be the matchup and kind of game that jump starts Vick’s fantasy season.
Eleven of 12 ESPN experts are going with the Birds.
Only three of eight CBSSports.com experts think the Eagles will cover the 4.5-point spread.