Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions are desperate for a win, growing tired of being the only winless team in the NFL.
The freshman coach was excited for the opportunity to turn around the long-suffering franchise when he was hired 10 months ago, but seven unsuccessful setbacks have taken their toll.
Campbell cried in front of cameras and reporters after a failed comeback earlier this month. And, he made no secret of his hopes and feelings about the Lions (0-7) who could possibly beat Philadelphia (2-5) on Sunday at home.
âThat would mean everything, look, especially for a goodbye too,â Campbell said softly. “Anytime that would be nice, but man you end up on a high note and we get these guys, get their bodies back a bit and then you come back. You almost feel like you’re starting over a bit.”
Likewise, the Eagles and their freshman coach are aiming for a win to potentially begin their season’s rescue process after losing two straight games.
“Here is what I told the team: ‘The results are not there at the moment, but what is happening here is that there is growth under the ground,” “recalled coach Nick Sirianni. âI put a picture of a flower, and it goes through the ground, and the roots grow. The roots continue to grow. Everyone wants to see results. Shoot, no one wants to see results more than us, do they? “
LAUNCH AND TAKING
Opposing quarterbacks complete 74.4% of their passes against the Eagles. If that holds up, it will shatter the 72.7% NFL record set by the Lions in 2016. Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr had 31 of 34 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns last week against Philadelphia. Carr’s 91.2% completion rate was the second highest by a quarterback throwing at least 30 passes in NFL history.
“This needs to be fixed because it is difficult to play winning football when the ball is off the ground,” said Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
Second-year running back D’Andre Swift, originally from Philadelphia, was perhaps the brightest point during a dark season in Detroit. After being slowed down at training camp due to a groin injury, the former Georgian star has steadily improved, although defenses have focused on his efforts to slow him down.
Swift recorded a peak of 144 yards on offense last week, averaging 93.3 yards per game this season, and tied his career high with eight receptions. He leads the NFL running backs with 42 catches and 391 receiving yards. Swift leads the Lions with five touchdowns, three more than any teammate.
Campbell said he sees similarities with Alvin Kamara, whom he coached in New Orleans.
âThey can both, I think, get a bit of the upper hand,â Campbell said.
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts has completed just 53.6% of his passes in the last three games. Hurts’ accuracy issues have been a concern throughout his first two seasons. Its overall numbers are inflated by several late scores that came in after the outcome was decided. Seven of Philadelphia’s 18 offensive touchdowns were scored after the team trailed at least 19 points in the second half.
âIt was all self-inflicted things that stopped us,â Hurts said.
Eagles cornerback Darius Slay will face his former team for the first time. Detroit drafted Slay in the second round in 2013 and after a rather productive career, former general manager Bob Quinn traded him to Philadelphia after the 2019 season.
âIt’s like my second home,â Slay said. âI stayed there for seven years. I appreciate (former Lions GM) Martin Mayhew and the Lions for taking my chance. It’s a good home visit for me. I appreciate the fans, for sure, because I am really important in the community there.
GO FOR HIM
The Lions try almost anything to win. Detroit recovered from a side kick and managed to fake two punters to recover the first down, including one with kicker Jack Fox throwing a clean pass from 17 yards, in a loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
âLast week was special, obviously, with what they did, bringing us three more possessions there,â said quarterback Jared Goff. âI think Jack is pretty versatile with his ability to throw the ball. I was around Johnny Hekker for five years and he was very similar to where he played in high school too, and he could throw it a bit. It’s still a weapon you have there.