Coming off their bye week, the Lions hope to turn the season around—before the team permanently takes itself out of playoff contention.
The Eagles meanwhile, frustrated that they have repeatedly “dropped the ball,” hope to regain the sole lead in the NFC East. All fumble jokes aside, with both teams needing to win desperately, who will prevail? Here are four factors that will determine the fate of this game.
1. Michael Vick vs. Himself: Simply put, Vick gave away the game to the Steelers the previous weekend and it is certainly not the first game he has cost the Eagles this season. There are those who are asking for Vick’s job but it is not as if Nick Foles would provide even the slightest of upgrades. Still, it is an important week for Vick to show everyone he can actually lead his team to victory. Speaking of quarterbacks, Vick is not the only one who needs to have a good Sunday.
2. Matthew Stafford vs. The Law of Averages: Last season if the Lions were down, they could simply rely on Stafford to just gun his way past the defense and throw a ludicrous amount of touchdowns. This year? Stafford only has more interceptions than touchdowns and only has one more touchdown pass than his backup, Shaun Hill. Is this the real Stafford or was last season what Stafford can deliver each season? Coming off a bye week, Stafford has his only chance to truly regroup and come out slinging.
3. Can Mikel Leshoure jumpstart the Lions: Aside from being able to turn his last name in to a great fantasy football name (Jersey Leshoure anyone?), it is hard to predict what Leshoure can bring to the table. The only thing we do know is that as soon as he was able, Jim Schwartz let him cut right in front of Kevin Smith and take the lion’s share of the carries (boy I am killing it with the puns today). Bottom line is someone needs to score some points on the Lions’ offense and if it is not Stafford it needs to be Leshoure.
4. Will the bye week be beneficial for the Lions: Bye weeks can be great if you are struggling; it can give you an extra week to rest and plan for your opponent. On the same side of the coin, it can make you a rusty football team. For those keeping track at home, Schwartz is 1-2 coming off of a bye week with the Lions.
Will the Eagles soar or will the Lions finally break out of their cage? I cannot promise either but I can promise the next preview will not contain as many puns.