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Eagles Travel to Detroit Looking to Avenge Thanksgiving Shellacking

Fletcher Cox (Getty Images)

Fletcher Cox (Getty Images)

 

Kanye West cancelled his concerts in both Philly and Detroit this week, after his wife and Rhodes Scholar Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris. Luckily for citizens of both cities, the Carson Wentz show will go on as scheduled Sunday afternoon.

The last time Jim Schwartz was at Ford Field in Detroit, he was the enemy. As defensive coordinator of the 2014 Buffalo Bills, he was carried off the field on his players’ shoulders in a 17-14 win against his former team.

The last time the Philadelphia Eagles were in Detroit, they got shellacked in a 45-14 loss on Thanksgiving in what may have been the final nail in former coach Chip Kelly’s coffin. On Sunday, the Eagles look to avenge that loss and their defensive coordinator hopes to get another win against a team he coached for five seasons.

“Being home you want to get the ‘W’ so you can go back and talk some stuff to your family,” DE Brandon Graham said.  “Because it’s my hometown, I do want to get a win because last year did give me a bad taste. I had to eat in front of my family who are big Lions fans. You can call it what you want, I ain’t gonna say revenge, I’ll just say we wanna go 4-0.”

Graham and the rest of the defense look to continue their impressive start to the season. DT Fletcher Cox was just named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September. Through three games, he’s been absolutely dominant, with three sacks, a forced fumble and 11 tackles. These numbers are even more impressive when you consider how often he’s been double teamed (answer: a lot), and the fact that the Eagles defensive line rotates consistently. Eight linemen have had 31 snaps or more this season. Detroit’s offensive line has given up 10 sacks on the season.

“I’m not selfish at all,” Cox said. “I like to give praise to the guys in this locker room. These are my teammates. Without them, I don’t think any of the success would be happening with me or just anybody on this team.”

The NFC East leading Eagles are 3-0 and are as healthy as can be coming off their early bye week. CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) and TE Zach Ertz (rib) missed both the Chicago and Pittsburgh games and are primed for a return to action.

“Obviously with the bye week when it was, it’s a big help for me in particular,” Ertz said. “A lot of guys that were banged up love it. I’m ready to go on Sunday.”

Last season was Ertz’ statistical best with 75 receptions for 753 yards, developing a great rapport with then-QB Sam Bradford. The four-year man out of Stanford will be a major boost to the offense, especially the three-tight end sets the Eagles has often used so far this season. However, OL Matt Tobin has filled in admirably while both Ertz and fellow tight end Trey Burton have been injured.

“We have three really talented tight ends, in my opinion. Three of the best in the league,” Ertz said. “All offseason there was a lot of work put into that package and I think it’s gonna grow this week, because all three guys will be able to catch passes, no offense to Matt [Tobin].”

The offensive line will also see a boost, as it seems Lane Johnson will remain at his right tackle position. It appears his impending 10-game ban will be delayed another week, as his appeal was heard Tuesday morning at league headquarters in New York.

“There are a number of issues related to Lane’s appeal,” his agent Steve Zashin said. “Many of those issues strike at the heart of substantive player protections. We await the decision of the arbitrator. In the meantime Lane will prepare and play as scheduled.”

It’s not all glitter and rainbows for the Eagles though. LB Nigel Bradham was caught trying to board a flight with a loaded gun at Miami International Airport during the bye week, something that seems to be common among athletes but absolutely insane to a normal human.

The Lions are 1-3 and will possibly be missing LB Deandre Levy and DE Ziggy Ansah, two of their best players on defense. WR Marvin Jones Jr. has done admirable job since coming over from Cincinnati in the offseason, but Calvin Johnson’s shoes are impossible to fill. Talented young running back Ameer Abdullah is out for the season.

The prediction is in and it’s the good guys over the Lions 27-10 with Carson Wentz connecting with business associate Jordan Matthews for two touchdowns.

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