Instant Observations: Lions 26, Eagles 23
Here are instant observations from today’s 26-23 Eagles’ loss against the Lions.
* With 5:18 left, it looked like the Eagles were in control. Michael Vick beat the blitz and hit a wide-open Jeremy Maclin over the middle for a 70-yard touchdown. The Birds led 23-13, but couldn’t hold on. Overall, Vick was 28-for-46 for 311 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Vick took a pair of sacks on the first possession of overtime, helping to set the Lions up with great field position. They kicked the game-winning field goal for a 26-23 win.
* Maclin had six catches for 130 yards. He also drew a couple pass interference penalties. DeSean Jackson finished with five catches for 74 yards.
* Vick saw a streak of 115 passes without an interception snapped when he was picked off by Louis Delmas in the first half. It looked like he held on to the ball on the play and then threw one up to Jason Avant deep down the middle of the field. Vick threw a second interception in the second half, looking for Jackson on a deep ball down the middle of the field. It appeared Jacksonw as open on the play.
* Vick’s most impressive throw of the day might have been a 30-yarder to Jackson down the sideline in the third quarter. Vick fit the ball in between Lions defenders and beat the blitz.
* LeSean McCoy left the game briefly with an injury at the 6:53 mark of the third quarter. He made a couple moves and lost 2 yards on the play. McCoy had 14 carries for 22 yards. He had the Eagles’ first touchdown – a 2-yard reception in the third.
* Brent Celek could have easily had a two-touchdown game. He dropped what would have been an 8-yard score in the third. And later in the game, he had a touchdown negated because of a pass interference penalty. The Eagles had to settle for field goals on both drives.
* Damaris Johnson was inactive for the first time all season. Mardy Gilyard and Jackson handled punt return duties. Late in the first half, it looked like Jackson went up to Andy Reid and said something. He then ran to grab his helmet and was back to return the next punt, which resulted in a 3-yard loss, as he had nowhere to go.
* This was probably the most no-huddle the Eagles have used all season.
* Vick once again took plenty of hits, particularly in the first half. Defensive tackle Sammie Hill hit him late in the first quarter and drew a 15-yard penalty. Linebacker Stephen Tulloch crushed Vick in the second, but he got rid of the ball to Maclin and drew a 21-yard pass interference penalty.
* In the first, Dallas Reynolds snapped the ball before Vick was ready, resulting in a turnover.
* Vick ran nine times for 59 yards.
* The defense looked great for three quarters before allowing four scoring drives in the fourth quarter and overtime. On the first touchdown drive, Brandon Hughes lost tight end Tony Scheffler for a 57-yard completion. On the next touchdown drive, Nate Burleson caught a 17-yard touchdown between Hughes and Kurt Coleman. The Eagles gave up a field goal at the end of regulation and again in overtime.
* With the game on the line, the Lions had the ball at Eagles’ 1 at the end of regulation, but came up empty on a pair of throws to Calvin Johnsonand had to settle for a field goal. They only had to go 23 yards to set up a field goal in overtime.
* Nnamdi Asomugha was on Calvin Johnson for much of the game. Often playing with safety help, Asomugha had a first-half interception, his first of the year. Johnson finished with six catches for 135 yards, doing most of his damage in the fourth quarter and overtime.
* The Eagles brought Curtis Marsh in to play outside on certain plays where Asomugha followed Johnson inside. Marsh was called for a defensive holding penalty on third down in the first, keeping the Lions’ drive alive. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie also saw some action on Johnson. Brandon Boykin sometimes played outside for the first time this season.
*Matthew Staffordwas 7-for-21 for 91 yards at one point, but finished 22-for-45 for 311 yards.
* Fletcher Cox was kicked out of the game after drawing a personal foul penalty on an extra point in the fourth quarter.
* Special teams was up and down. The Lions returned a first-quarter punt 48 yards and got a field goal on the drive. On the flip side, Boykin had his best return of the year, a 30-yarder in the first, setting the Eagles up with field position at their own 35. Riley Cooper had a nice block on the play. And Alex Henery booted a 49-yard field goal in the fourth.
* DeMeco Ryans and Trent Cole combined to drop Joique Bell for a 2-yard loss on 3rd-and-2 in the second.
* The Eagles had zero sacks for the third consecutive game.
* Nate Allen left the game with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Colt Anderson. Anderson was called for pass interference on the Lions’ final drive of regulation.