Lions at Eagles: View from the other side
Lions at Eagles
Kickoff: 1 p.m. Sunday, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Records: Lions 1-0-1, Eagles 1-1
Line: Eagles by 6
View from the other side
Paul "Domo" Domowitch is a reporter and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He breaks down the Eagles for The Detroit News, answering five questions heading into Sunday’s Lions-Eagles game. You can follow him on Twitter @pdomo.
► Question: The Eagles’ injury report is wild. We obviously won't have a full grasp on who will play and who won't until Sunday, but what's the injury you believe could have the biggest impact on Sunday's matchup?
► Domowitch: DT Tim Jernigan's foot injury. It comes a week after DT Malik Jackson suffered a likely season-ending foot injury. Along with All-Pro Fletcher Cox, the Eagles thought they were going to have one of the best interior pass rushes in the league. Now, well, now, it's just Cox. And he's also coming off a foot injury that didn't allow him to start practicing until 2 1/2 weeks ago. As a result of all that, the Eagles pass rush in the first two games has been lukewarm. They have just two sacks and 12 QB hits.
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► Question: Philadelphia revamped their run game with the additions of Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard this offseason. Why hasn't the team gotten a return on its investment to start the season?
► Domowitch: The two backs and the offensive line appear to be in the getting-to-know-you stage of their relationship. With the exception of the second half against Washington in Week 1, they've been out of sync. Plus, last week, the quickness of the Falcons' front seven gave the offensive line problems. Not sure why since the O-line is one of the more athletic units in the league, but it did.
► Question: It's been several years since Jim Schwartz left Detroit. People might forget he inherited an 0-16 team and got them to the playoffs in three years. You've been around him these past few years. Are you surprised he hasn't received more consideration for another head coaching job?
► Domowitch: Yes and no. I think he deserves another shot, but not a lot of defensive coaches are getting head coaching shots. Owners seem to be infatuated with offensive guys. Also, Schwartz doesn't have a warm and fuzzy personality. He's had a couple of interviews, but I could see where an owner might not fall in love with him. Also, the fact that he's not a big blitzer doesn't lend itself to him gaining attention as a defensive genius.
► Question: Given all the injuries, where do you still see the Eagles holding a big advantage?
► Domowitch: Don't know if it's a big advantage, but despite their problems last week, I think they're going to be able to run the ball pretty well against the Lions Sunday, and that's going to open things up with their passing game. Being back home should help as well, although, if they get off to a slow start, the fans will turn on them quicker than a car wreck.
► Question: The Eagles win this game if?
► Domowitch: They convert on third down and put Matthew Stafford in a lot of third-and-longs.
Players to watch
► Nelson Agholor, WR: He will stay busy against the Lions, especially with receiver DeSean Jackson expected to be out for at least two more weeks. Receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight end Dallas Goedert are questionable, and Agholor is expected to draw more targets even if they play. He is averaging 11.8 yards per reception on the season and caught eight passes (11 targets) for 107 yards and a touchdown in Philadelphia’s loss to Atlanta in Week 2.
► Brandon Graham, DE: The former Michigan player forms a brutal wall with teammates Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat. The Detroit native Graham, who has five tackles through Week 2, will put major pressure on the Lions’ offensive line, making it difficult to protect Matthew Stafford.
► Zach Ertz, TE: Ertz will carry a heavy workload, especially if fellow TE Goedert doesn’t play. Ertz is averaging 9.7 yards per reception on the season and had eight catches (16 targets) and 72 yards in Week 2. Still ranked top 10 at his position, Ertz has yet to score a touchdown this season, but expect that to change soon.