LES BOWEN'S PICK
I'm taking the Eagles, pretty much on faith here. That, and I like the possibility of Ernie Sims breaking his 29-game personal loss streak against the team he played for in 28 of those games.
Don't really know what a full game of Michael Vick will look like. Don't really know if the defense can stop even Lions backup QB Shaun Hill, without middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Don't know how much better the Lions are from the 2-14 team of last season or the 0-16 team the year before.
The Eagles will tell you the Lions are much improved. But no team goes into a game downplaying the opposition. Certainly, they are a team that lost its opener on a technicality, which is more than the Eagles can say. The big danger here is that Detroit's formidable defensive line might dominate the Eagles' ever-changing, struggling offensive line. But I don't think this Lions defense is great on the back end, and Calvin Johnson notwithstanding, I sure don't think they are the equal of the Packers offensively.
Prediction: Eagles 23, Lions 16.
Paul Domowitch's prediction: Lions 20, Eagles 17
Mitch Albom: Eagles 28, Lions 13
Michael Rosenberg: Eagles 24, Lions 17
Drew Sharp: Lions 24, Eagles 21
DOMO'S KEY MATCHUPS
1. Eagles C Mike McGlynn and Gs Nick Cole and Todd Herremans vs. Lions DTs Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams: Suh and Williams are going to pose problems for the interior linemen. Advantage: Lions
2. Eagles WRs DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant vs. Lions CBs Chris Houston, Jonathan Wade and Alphonso Smith: Lions are thin at corner after season-ending injury to nickel back Aaron Berry. Advantage: Eagles
3. Eagles MLB Omar Gaither vs. Lions RB Jahvid Best: Best has game-breaking speed. Gaither probably will replace injured Stewart Bradley. Advantage: Lions
For the full scouting report, click here.
Some odds and ends ...
* Here's an interesting stat courtesy of theredzone.org: Since 1990, only 9 percent of the teams that started 0-2 made the playoffs.
* Marshall Faulk on the NFL Network today on how being a wide receiver changes with Michael Vick as the quarterback: "Your mentality changes. You become a blocker just as well as you are a pass catcher."