The Eagles had a ton of chances to beat the Lions Sunday afternoon but just couldn’t take advantage. Dropped passes from Mack Hollins and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, combined with a porous defense, doomed them to a 27-24 loss at Lincoln Financial Field.
Philadelphia got the ball back 1:40 left in the fourth quarter after Malcolm Jenkins miraculously blocked a 46-yard field goal attempt. Carson Wentz and the offense took over around midfield trailing by three points and couldn’t complete the comeback in a game they really needed to win.
It wasn’t all the quarterback’s fault. Wentz sent two beautiful spirals in the direction of two different receivers but both passes fell incomplete. The first ball went through the fingertips of Hollins, while the second one bounced off the hands of Arcega-Whiteside at the goal line.
Wentz finished 19-of-36 for 259 yards and two touchdowns, with Miles Sanders pacing the rushing attack with 53 yards. Jordan Howard also chipped in with 37 yards, including his first touchdown in an Eagles uniform. Starting receivers DeSean Jackson (abdomen) and Alshon Jeffery (calf) watched from the bench as Hollins and Arcega-Whiteside were forced into pivotal roles.
Nelson Agholor led the team in receiving with eight catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns. However, he also dropped two easy targets and fumbled the ball away before the half. Tight end Zach Ertz hauled in four balls for 64 yards, with Sanders chipping with 73 receiving yards. In addition to the other two drops, Dallas Goedert also watched a perfectly-lobbed touchdown fall through his hands. Hollins finished with 62 yards on the day.
Jason Peters, Andre Dillard Go Down with Injuries
Starting left tackle Jason Peters went to the bench in the second quarter and was surrounded by trainers. He was later ruled out with an illness and sat out the remainder of the first half. Peters would return in the second half and finish the game, maybe more by need than willingness.
Rookie Andre Dillard came in and replaced Peters after the initial ailment, only to go down hard clutching his right leg. He was ruled out moments later and never returned. Halapoulivaati Vaitai took his spot at left tackle until Peters re-entered the game. Things did not look for Dillard.
The Eagles incurred a rash of other injuries in the game. Defensive end Derek Barnett left with a bum ankle and cornerback Ronald Darby went out with a bad hamstring. Neither player returned to the contest and the team provided no additional update.
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Lions Return Take Kickoff Back 100 Yards
Detroit’s Jamal Agnew returned a kickoff 100 yards for the game’s first touchdown after taking a Jake Elliott boot back all the way from the goal line. The Eagles had just scored a field to take a 3-0 lead in the first quarter.
It was the first kickoff return Philadelphia had allowed for a touchdown since 2013, ironically it was accomplished by the Lions when Jeremy Ross raced it back 98 yards to paydirt in the Blizzard Bowl. Ross also had a 58-yard punt return for a score in that one.
Agnew reached the sideline and turned upfield after receiving two huge blocks to clear the way. The return man was gone by the time he reached the 20-yard line, with no Eagles defenders in front of him. Agnew had been benched last week by head coach Matt Patricia for fumbling the ball.
Detroit Lions lead 17-10 in First Half
Detroit got touchdowns from Jamal Agnew and Kerryon Johnson, plus two field goals from Matt Prater, to build a 20-10 lead in the first half. Philadelphia received a field goal from Jake Elliott and a touchdown from Jordan Howard. The Eagles were nursing their wounds after losing three players, including two starters, to injury.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was 9-of-14 for 142 yards with no touchdowns. Zach Ertz paced the offense with three catches for 58 yards, while Miles Sanders had 10 carries for 33 yards and Jordan Howard five carries for 23 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was 8-of-12 for 80 yards with no touchdowns. Detroit had the ground game going with J.D. McKissic running for 44 yards and Kerryon Johnson had 21 yards on the ground.
Nelson Agholor picked up where he left off against Atlanta after dropping a wide-open pass and then fumbling the ball away in the second quarter. The Philly faithful let the struggling wide receiver hear it late in the first half. He had three receptions for 16 yards as the Eagles went into the locker room down 10 points.