As soon as I laid eyes upon the field in Philadelphia, I knew this had the potential to be an odd game. It was a huge game between the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles, but it would apparently be played in horrendous weather. The field was buried in snow, and it was still falling heavily to boot. This is why I am a proponent of every team playing indoors, but I digress. I figured this game was be a muddled mess, and that something weird could be the difference between a win and a loss. I expected unusual things to be afoot. And I was not incorrect.
Early on, this game was indeed a mess. The Lions had the better of it, as they actually managed to get a couple drives going, but they kept fumbling the ball as well. Seriously, they just could not hold onto the ball. On multiple instances, Joique Bell fumbled, and the Eagles recovered, ending potential scoring drives. The Lions didn't really have any other options either, as Reggie Bush aggravated an injury before the game because the FIELD WAS COVERED IN SNOW. So, you know, not good early, but the game remained scoreless, because everything was ludicrous.
Then, the Lions picked off Nick Foles, which was notable because this was Foles' first interception of the season. They managed to actually turn that into points, as Bell rushed for a 2-yard score. Then, the Lions went for two, kicking the ball would not be an option in this game, and Matthew Stafford connected with Bell to make it 8-0, which held up to halftime
In the third quarter, Jeremy Ross scored a 58-yard punt return touchdown, which was amazing, because the Lions had not had a punt return for a score since 2004. Eddie Drummond did it. EDDIE DRUMMOND! The Lions could not convert the two-point conversion this time, but Detroit was up 14-0 and, honestly, it seemed like that could be enough to hold up given the weather. Then, the Eagles finally ended up scoring, as they were able to march down the field relatively easily. They did not convert their two-point try, however, so it was 14-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
Alas, at this point, things changed. The Lions continued to play like they were in a snowstorm. The Eagles, meanwhile, seem to be playing just a regular football game. Still, Detroit looked like they were going to keep Philly from scoring on a drive starting late in the third, but then the refs called a terrible penalty on Nick Fairley to keep the drive going. The Eagles ended up scoring on a 40-yard touchdown from LeSean McCoy. They did not convert the two-point try, but Ndamukong Suh got an explicable holding penalty called on him, and the Eagles then did convert, making it 14-14. The game was slipping away.
Or so it seemed, until Ross returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for the touchdown. Inexplicably, the Lions tried a extra point, and it was blocked. However, the Lions were up 20-14. They just had to hold on through the bad weather. This is when everything fell apart.
McCoy rushed for a 57-yard touchdown, and the Eagles made their two-point conversion to take the lead. Then, Foles rushed for a 1-yard touchdown. Late in the game, Chris Polk rushed for a 38-yard score to put the game away. The Eagles won 34-20. They scored 34 points in the second half. The Lions fell to 7-6.
Well, that was supremely disappointing. It would be easy to blame the weather and the refs, it'd be fun too, but it would not be fair. The Lions made a ton of errors, and that was part of the problem. Stafford had a bad game. He only went 10-for-25 for 148 yards, and he fumbled a whopping five times, losing one fumble. Bell lost two fumbles. The team took a bunch of bad, legitimate penalties. Detroit only had 228 yards of offense. Meanwhile, this team that has been great against the run gave up 299 yards rushing. It was a bad game. They blew two special teams touchdowns. Nothing positive can really be said about this one.
Now, the Lions have three games left. They have to win at least two of them to make the playoffs, and possibly all three, given that Green Bay won today and Aaron Rodgers may return. The Bears could win tomorrow two, making the margin even thinner. Fortunately, the Lions play their three remaining games indoors against teams worse than the Eagles. Detroit put their backs against the wall by losing this game, but they still have hope. They just need to take care of business... for once.