A season-high 16 penalties and three quarters of sloppy play from quarterback Matthew Stafford weren’t enough to finish the Lions on Sunday in Philadelphia, and when the Eagles failed to put the Lions away, Detroit came back from a 10-point deficit with four minutes left in the fourth quarter to win 26-23 in overtime.
The Lions’ 16 penalties (for 132 yards) were the most any NFL team has had all year, but Detroit got a good game from its defensive line, a good game from kicker Jason Hanson, and another outstanding effort from Calvin Johnson, who caught six passes for 135 yards even though the Eagles made stopping him their top defensive priority.
The Eagles have now lost two in a row, and Andy Reid’s hot seat is getting hotter. The heat is also on Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who threw for 311 yards but also threw two interceptions and was part of two botched snaps with center Dallas Reynolds.
The Lions’ defensive linemen finally played up to their hefty paychecks, with Cliff Avril having two sacks, Nick Fairley and Kyle Vanden Bosch sharing another, and Ndamukong Suh knocking down a pass on a big third down. All four starting defensive linemen were also part of a good effort against the run: Although Vick gained 59 yards on the ground, the rest of the Eagles’ rushing offense consisted of 20 carries for 14 yards.
Both the Eagles and the Lions look like teams that are talented enough to get to the playoffs, but neither team has much of a margin for error. Both teams made plenty of errors today, but it was the Lions who were able to overcome their mistakes and find a way to win.