Eagles

Eagles-Lions NFL Week 3 predictions 2019

Eagles-Lions NFL Week 3 predictions 2019

The Eagles (1-1) will try to get a pretty important win against the Lions (1-0-1) in Week 3 at the Linc at 1 p.m. on Sunday. 

These two teams haven’t played since 2016 (a 24-23 Eagles loss) and the Lions have actually won three of the last four in the series. But from 1996-2010, the Eagles were 5-0. 

To the predictions: 

Reuben Frank (1-1)
It’s a game the Eagles have to win and a game they will win. Even without three of their top weapons. The Eagles are 21-6 at home under Doug Pederson and 17-3 in their last 20 games at the Linc. The Lions have the ability to put up some points with Matt Stafford and that trio of wideouts, but they’re not a complete enough team to come into South Philly and win a football game. They don’t run the ball well and they don’t stop the run. They’re 25th in the league in yards per rush and 26th against the run. The Eagles have never lost a home game under Doug Pederson when they’ve rushed for 100 yards — they’re 18-0. And when they allow less than 100 yards at the Linc, they’re 16-2. If they can’t run the ball and can’t stop the run against this team, they’re in trouble. I'm confident they will. 

Eagles 33, Lions 30

Dave Zangaro (1-1)
Because they play the Packers on Thursday night in Green Bay, this game is pretty darn important, but I think the Eagles will be up for the challenge. I expect Carson Wentz to have a solid game, even throwing to backup receivers, who at least have a week to prepare. This Eagles team should have beaten the Falcons on the road last week. They will beat the Lions at home on Sunday. I think Detroit is a mediocre team. They have some decent players, including at receiver, but they don’t exactly scare me and they shouldn’t scare the Birds. If the Eagles really are Super Bowl contenders, I don’t care who’s hurt, they shouldn’t be losing at home to Detroit. 

Eagles 24, Lions 17 

Derrick Gunn (1-1)
The Eagles not only lost to the Atlanta Falcons, but they came out of that game with lost players. Tim Jernigan is out indefinitely with a foot injury. DeSean Jackson has an abdominal strain and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks. Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert both have calf strains and are in question for this Sunday. Then there’s a whole laundry list of players with aches and pains that forced Doug Pederson to cancel practice on Wednesday and conduct a walkthrough instead. Young players on both sides of the ball will have to step in and step up against a Detroit squad that’s coming off the high of slipping by a short-handed Chargers unit.

The Birds’ pass rush needs to improve (just two sacks in two games), and the secondary has leaks, allowing big pass plays. Matthew Stafford who has averaged almost 38 passes in the first two games has a pair of wideouts in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. who can get deep. The Lions’ defense is stout in the trenches (six sacks) and Darius Slay is their big play cornerback on the back end. Carson Wentz has gotten off to slow starts in both games, but finished with a flourish. Some of the nicked-up Eagles will be game-time decisions, but whoever suits up, they still have enough talent to tame the Lions. 

Eagles 24, Lions 14

Ray Didinger (2-0)
The Eagles will be without many of their big play weapons Sunday and this is a game they cannot afford to lose. They have a very tough Thursday night game in Green Bay next week so if they lose to the Lions on Sunday they could very well find themselves in a 1-3 hole. That would be a major problem, especially with Dallas likely to be 3-0. The Cowboys host the pathetic Dolphins on Sunday.

That's why I don't see the Eagles losing this game. They know how important it is. Even in their depleted state, they are still a better team than Detroit. The coaches had an entire week to put together a game plan that doesn't include Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson so they will not be drawing up plays in the dirt the way they were in Atlanta. With time to prepare, I think JJ Arcega-Whiteside could have a big game.

Through two games, the Lions have committed six penalties on special teams, fumbled a punt, had a punt blocked and missed two kicks. Big advantage to the Eagles in that area.

Eagles 24, Lions 14

Andrew Kulp (2-0)
Dave is pushing me to submit my prediction without seeing the final injury reports, probably because I'm now ahead of him and most of the group. Fortunately, I'm confident in my choice.

(Editor’s note: Kulp was the last one filed this week)

Believe it or not, without Jackson no Jeffery, no Goedert, I think this is the week where the Eagles get off to a fast start. We watched Carson Wentz and the offense move the ball at will against the Falcons — once his ragtag group of receivers knew where to go — not to mention Nelson Agholor dropping the potential game-winning touchdown pass. I like Zach Ertz and JJ Arcega-Whiteside to be factors, the latter having a week to prepare for a role this time.

The Lions might be a bit better than preseason projections indicated, but they have some injuries too, specifically on the defensive side. If the Eagles can build an early lead on that unit, we should see the pass rush finally get going, with Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett picking up some sacks.

Eagles 23, Lions 21

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What has Miles Sanders done to turn his season around?

What has Miles Sanders done to turn his season around?

Remember how overmatched Miles Sanders looked after gaining just 25 yards on 11 carries in the opener against the Redskins? Remember how lost he looked a week later when he was just 10-for-28 in Atlanta?

Three weeks into his rookie season, Sanders was averaging 3.1 yards per carry and ranked 28th out of 33 qualifying running backs.

Six from the bottom.

Since then?

Sanders has blossomed.

In the Eagles’ last nine games, Sanders is averaging 5.1 yards per carry, 7th-best in the league of 53 backs during that span.

Six from the top.

In a season with very few positives, Sanders’ development has been fun to watch.

What’s been the difference?

Sanders is just seeing things better, he’s running more decisively and he's moving the chains forward.

Nothing demonstrates that better than his percentage of carries that have gone for one or fewer yards.

In his first game, more than half his carries went for one or fewer yards (6 of 10). Through five games he was still at 35 percent, with 19 of 53 runs that went less than two yards.

In the last seven games, that number has dropped precipitously. Of his 62 carries since the Vikings game, only nine — nine of 62 — have been one or fewer yards. 

“I feel like I’ve been getting better and better each week,” the second-round pick from Penn State said. “Everybody’s been telling me that, but most importantly, I’ve been noticing it myself, just trying to get better and do it each week. I feel more confident just as far as reading where I’m supposed to be, getting my eyes in the right place and just playing ball out there.”

Sanders has 520 rushing yards and needs 118 to break LeSean McCoy’s franchise rookie rushing record of 637, set in 2009.

He has 879 scrimmage yards and needs 130 to break DeSean Jackson’s franchise rookie scrimmage yards record of 1,008, set in 2008.

Going into this weekend, he was second to Raiders 1st-round pick Josh Jacobs among rookies with 879 scrimmage yards and fourth in rushing (behind Jacobs, David Montgomery and Devin Singletary).

Is Doug Pederson using Sanders enough?

That’s a different question. 

Sanders is averaging 4.5 yards per carry overall but still has only the 30th-most carries in the league and the 25th-most touches among running backs. 

“I think you're seeing the patience in the running game,” Doug Pederson said. “His vision is better, it's improved from Week 1 to Week 13. The more he gets time, the more he gets snaps, the better he'll get.”

Sanders has taken care of the production. Now it’s up to Pederson to take care of getting him more snaps.

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Eagles vs. Giants live: Highlights and analysis from NFL Week 14 game

Eagles vs. Giants live: Highlights and analysis from NFL Week 14 game

9:57 a.m.: Good morning, everyone! 

We have waited a long time for tonight, but the Eagles will host Eli Manning and the Giants tonight at the Linc. Here are five matchups to watch.

If you’re heading to the game, bring your rain gear. 

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