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Third Quarter Review: Lions Lead, 14-6

Posted Dec 8, 2013

With a steady snow still falling, the Eagles offense received the second-half kickoff and went to work trying to score its first points of the game. An incompletion and four-yard scramble by Nick Foles brought up a third-and-6. The call was for a delayed handoff to LeSean McCoy, who had room to run to the left and scampered 13 yards for a first down. It was the first third-down conversion for the Eagles in six attempts. The next three plays stalled, however, as McCoy picked up no yards on first down and then Foles threw two incompletions. Donnie Jones punted the ball 38 yards, and the Lions took over at their own 25-yard line after the fair catch.

Following two Joique Bell runs for eight yards, Matthew Stafford completed a short pass to Bell along the sidelines, and he rumbled 14 yards for the first down. Theo Riddick then carried the ball twice for 11 yards and another first down. An incomplete pass from Stafford to Kris Durham followed, then a four-yard run from Bell and a two-yard run from Bell on third-and-6. The drive stalled at the Eagles’ 36-yard line, and the Lions punted. DeSean Jackson called for a fair catch at the 11-yard line.

Foles led the Eagles offense back on the field for its second possession of the third quarter. A handoff to McCoy on first down was stuffed behind the line of scrimmage by Israel Idonije for a loss of six yards and brought up second-and-16 at the 5-yard line. McCoy received the handoff again on second down and ran up the middle for 11 yards. On third-and-5, Foles handed the ball off to Bryce Brown, who was stopped immediately by a blitzing Louis Delmas off the edge.

On the ensuing punt, Jones booted the ball 43 yards to the Lions’ 42-yard line, where returner Jeremy Ross settled under and fielded it. He eluded two defenders at first, then escaped Colt Anderson and took off down the sideline. He cut back around the Eagles’ 20-yard line and trotted into the end zone for a touchdown. The Lions went for the two-point conversion but failed to convert, making the score 14-0.

Brandon Boykin returned the kickoff 23 yards to the Eagles’ 26-yard line. Foles began the drive with a quick four-yard pass to McCoy, then McCoy was stopped for a gain of zero yards on second-and-6. Then Evan Mathis was whistled for a false start and the Eagles were faced with third-and-11. Foles was able to roll to his right and find Jackson for a sliding catch for 12 yards and the first down. Foles then aired out a pass on the next play downfield for Riley Cooper, who hauled in the ball for a falling, over-the-shoulder catch for a 44-yard yard gain to get the Eagles down to the Lions’ 19-yard line. On the next play, Foles rolled right and launched a pass to the back corner of the end zone, where a wide open Jackson made the catch for the touchdown. Just like that, three pass plays gained 75 yards and the Eagles were on the board. The two-point conversion failed, however, and the score was 14-6.

On the Lions next drive, Stafford was able to complete a 10-yard pass to Nate Burleson over the middle to convert on third-and-1. A run by Bell produced one yard, then Stafford was crunched for a gain of just one yard on a scramble to bring up third-and-8. Stafford dropped back to pass with a wide open Bell in the flat, but Fletcher Cox got his hand on the pass to deflect it away and bring up fourth down. The Lions punted the ball into the end zone for a touchback, and the Eagles took over at their own 20-yard line.

On first down, Foles dropped back to pass, pump-faked to the left, then stepped up in the pocket and delivered a strike to Cooper, who made the catch just beyond the extended fingers of a diving linebacker and then picked up another 15 yards for a 25-yard gain to end the third quarter, with the score still 14-6 in favor of the Lions.

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