The Eagles (1-1) will try to get a pretty important win against the Lions (1-0-1) in Week 3 at the Linc at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
These two teams haven't played since 2016 (a 24-23 Eagles loss) and the Lions have actually won three of the last four in the series. But from 1996-2010, the Eagles were 5-0.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (1-1)
It's a game the Eagles have to win and a game they will win. Even without three of their top weapons. The Eagles are 21-6 at home under Doug Pederson and 17-3 in their last 20 games at the Linc. The Lions have the ability to put up some points with Matt Stafford and that trio of wideouts, but they're not a complete enough team to come into South Philly and win a football game. They don't run the ball well and they don't stop the run. They're 25th in the league in yards per rush and 26th against the run. The Eagles have never lost a home game under Doug Pederson when they've rushed for 100 yards - they're 18-0. And when they allow less than 100 yards at the Linc, they're 16-2. If they can't run the ball and can't stop the run against this team, they're in trouble. I'm confident they will.
Eagles 33, Lions 30
Dave Zangaro (1-1)
Because they play the Packers on Thursday night in Green Bay, this game is pretty darn important, but I think the Eagles will be up for the challenge. I expect Carson Wentz to have a solid game, even throwing to backup receivers, who at least have a week to prepare. This Eagles team should have beaten the Falcons on the road last week. They will beat the Lions at home on Sunday. I think Detroit is a mediocre team. They have some decent players, including at receiver, but they don't exactly scare me and they shouldn't scare the Birds. If the Eagles really are Super Bowl contenders, I don't care who's hurt, they shouldn't be losing at home to Detroit.
Eagles 24, Lions 17
Derrick Gunn (1-1)
The Eagles not only lost to the Atlanta Falcons, but they came out of that game with lost players. Tim Jernigan is out indefinitely with a foot injury. DeSean Jackson has an abdominal strain and is expected to be sidelined for two weeks. Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert both have calf strains and are in question for this Sunday. Then there's a whole laundry list of players with aches and pains that forced Doug Pederson to cancel practice on Wednesday and conduct a walkthrough instead. Young players on both sides of the ball will have to step in and step up against a Detroit squad that's coming off the high of slipping by a short-handed Chargers unit.
The Birds' pass rush needs to improve (just two sacks in two games), and the secondary has leaks, allowing big pass plays. Matthew Stafford who has averaged almost 38 passes in the first two games has a pair of wideouts in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr. who can get deep. The Lions' defense is stout in the trenches (six sacks) and Darius Slay is their big play cornerback on the back end. Carson Wentz has gotten off to slow starts in both games, but finished with a flourish. Some of the nicked-up Eagles will be game-time decisions, but whoever suits up, they still have enough talent to tame the Lions.
Eagles 24, Lions 14
Ray Didinger (2-0)
The Eagles will be without many of their big play weapons Sunday and this is a game they cannot afford to lose. They have a very tough Thursday night game in Green Bay next week so if they lose to the Lions on Sunday they could very well find themselves in a 1-3 hole. That would be a major problem, especially with Dallas likely to be 3-0. The Cowboys host the pathetic Dolphins on Sunday.
That's why I don't see the Eagles losing this game. They know how important it is. Even in their depleted state, they are still a better team than Detroit. The coaches had an entire week to put together a game plan that doesn't include Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson so they will not be drawing up plays in the dirt the way they were in Atlanta. With time to prepare, I think JJ Arcega-Whiteside could have a big game.
Through two games, the Lions have committed six penalties on special teams, fumbled a punt, had a punt blocked and missed two kicks. Big advantage to the Eagles in that area.
Eagles 24, Lions 14
Andrew Kulp (2-0)
Dave is pushing me to submit my prediction without seeing the final injury reports, probably because I'm now ahead of him and most of the group. Fortunately, I'm confident in my choice.
(Editor's note: Kulp was the last one filed this week)
Believe it or not, without Jackson no Jeffery, no Goedert, I think this is the week where the Eagles get off to a fast start. We watched Carson Wentz and the offense move the ball at will against the Falcons - once his ragtag group of receivers knew where to go - not to mention Nelson Agholor dropping the potential game-winning touchdown pass. I like Zach Ertz and JJ Arcega-Whiteside to be factors, the latter having a week to prepare for a role this time.
The Lions might be a bit better than preseason projections indicated, but they have some injuries too, specifically on the defensive side. If the Eagles can build an early lead on that unit, we should see the pass rush finally get going, with Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett picking up some sacks.
Eagles 23, Lions 21
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