Both teams possess talent-heavy passing attacks equipped with some of the most electrifying players in the entire league. Combine that with relatively mediocre passing defenses on each side, and there is sure to be an offensive explosion in the mist.
Eagles’ QB Michael Vick is without a doubt facing some early struggles this season, especially on the turnover front.
He has also yet to really explode in the rushing game, as opposing defenses have kept him in check, allowing Vick to an average of just over 29 yards on the ground per game.
From my point of view it looks like this is not due to a lack of burst by Vick, but is more so a product of the defensive schemes used against him.
But come this Sunday I see great success on the horizon for Vick, as the Lions’ defense had boat-loads of trouble against the Tennessee Titans’ Jake Locker, another QB with the ability to run.
Not only did the Lions allow Locker to rush for a season-high 35 yards, but they clearly had trouble trying to defend against his arm as well, allowing a monster 378 yards passing with 2 touchdowns.
If the Lions try too hard to keep Vick contained on the ground, they are going to leave huge passing windows open, and the QB will pick apart their secondary with the likes of WR DeSean Jackson and WR Jeremy Maclin looming down field.
On the same note, if they drop too many men back to defend the pass, Vick will have miles of beautiful green grass open to let his wheels churn.
Over on the Lions’ sideline, a duo of future Hall-of-Famers lurks in QB Matthew Stafford and WR Calvin Johnson.
In my opinion, Johnson is the most dominant NFL wide-out since (the vintage) Randy Moss.
No matter how many defenders are draped all over him, he simply can not be kept in check. I don’t care if Johnson is triple or quadruple covered, he is just too massive and too athletic to be stopped.
And when you consider the fact that the Eagles have allowed all-star caliber receivers to have field days against their secondary this season (Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald, New York Giants’ Victor Cruz), Johnson should be an absolute beast on Sunday.
Even if Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid decides to blanket Johnson with cornerbacks and safeties, Stafford has shown no problem in finding his other receivers Nate Burleson and Titus Young wide open among the defensive voids.
And with Eagles’ CB Nnamdi Asomugha and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie performing nowhere near expectations, there is no reason to believe that Stafford won’t utterly humiliate them.
I don’t see either team’s running backs being factors in the outcome of this one. The Lions’ running game is pure awful (24th in the league) and sure, Eagles’ RB LeSean McCoy may break off a couple of long scampers, but the real game will be played in the air.
I see Vick and Stafford each throwing for 300+ yards, with at least 2 touchdowns a piece.
And when it comes to the final kneel-down in this aerial onslaught, the Lions will claim victory over the Eagles with a final tally of 34-28.
Please follow Joe on Twitter @JoeD_Rant for all Eagles/NFL insight.