5 matchups to watch as Eagles host Lions in Week 3


The Eagles (1-1) welcome the Lions (1-0-1) to the Linc this Sunday for a 1 o’clock game.

In Week 1, the Lions blew an early lead and let the Cardinals come back and tie them. In Week 2, they beat the Chargers 13-10. So it’s a little hard to figure out exactly what the Lions are.

But the Eagles certainly can’t take them lightly.

The Eagles host the Lions on Sunday, but then have to fly to Green Bay on a short week to play the undefeated Packers on Thursday Night Football. That makes this Lions game so important.

Here are five matchups to watch: 

Taylor Decker? vs. Derek Barnett 

The Lions’ left tackle missed the game against the Chargers last week with a back injury and Tyrell Crosby played in his place. That came after Decker struggled in Week 1, when he gave up two sacks and was called for four penalties.

So whether or not he’s playing this week, Derek Barnett should have a decided advantage against the left tackle. Barnett has actually gotten plenty of pressure so far this season, even though he doesn’t have a sack. Barnett has six QB hits to lead the Eagles and rank him second in the NFL behind just Myles Garrett.

But no Eagles defensive end has picked up a sack through two games. Getting a big play or two on Sunday would really help.

Lions’ WRs vs. Eagles’ CBs

The Lions’ have a nice trio of receivers that’s probably underrated: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola in the slot. Meanwhile, this Eagles’ secondary has given up 680 passing yards in two games, their second-most ever surrendered after two games. The secondary, as always, is tied to the pass rush, so if the Eagles can’t get pressure on Matthew Stafford, the veteran quarterback has the weapons to do some damage.

T.J. Hockenson vs. Malcolm Jenkins

The tight end from Iowa was the eighth overall pick in April and is off to a good start. While he had just one catch for seven yards in Week 2, he caught six for 131 and a touchdown in the opener. So he’s definitely talented. The Eagles would prefer to have Jenkins cover Hockenson, but that doesn’t always happen. It’ll be a team effort with the linebackers too.

Nelson Agholor vs. Justin Coleman

The Eagles will come into this game with their top two receivers banged up. This might lead to situations where Agholor has to play inside and outside this week. But when the Eagles are in 11 personnel — and it would be hard to run 12 without Dallas Goedert — Agholor will be in his typical slot position. That means going against Justin Coleman, whom the Lions made the highest-paid nickel corner in the league this offseason. It’s also a big game for Agholor because he dropped what would have been a game-winning touchdown last week. He needs to bounce back.

Brandon Brooks vs. Damon Harrison

You know all about Snacks Harrison from his years with the Giants, but he’s still a good and powerful player. He often lines up on the left side of the line and over center quite a bit. Seeing two of the strongest people in the building going up against each other for 60 minutes should be fun to watch.

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