Lincoln Financial Field erupted when safety Malcolm Jenkins blocked a field goal attempt by Matt Prater and the Detroit Lions with 1:53 remaining in the game.
Down 27-24, the Eagles took over with one final chance at midfield. On fourth-and-5, quarterback Carson Wentz made an unbelievable throw to running back Darren Sproles along the right sideline for a 25-yard gain, but Sproles was called for offensive pass interference. It was the third time that the Eagles were flagged for offensive pass interference in the game.
On the final, last-gasp fourth-down attempt, Wentz went deep over the middle to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who was in the game with DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery out due to injury, and the ball was dropped.
"It's frustrating," Wentz said. "You know it's the National Football League and you don't get multiple chances within each game that kind of make or break the ballgame. We had the ball at the end of the game with a chance to win and we came up short. So, it's obviously frustrating, but you know, we have a quick turnaround, so we have to look hard at ourselves in the mirror, see where we can get better, and come out flying on Thursday."
The Eagles are 1-2 after losing a second straight game in disappointing fashion, 27-24 to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
"This is not a defining moment for our season at all. Again, we're only three games in," head coach Doug Pederson said. "We gotta get some things fixed. We know that. And we're working on a short week this week."
The Lions capitalized on a kickoff return for a touchdown and two fumbles by the Eagles to escape Philadelphia with the win to improve to 2-0-1 on the season.
Wentz was 19-of-36 for 259 yards with two touchdowns, both to Nelson Agholor, for a 94.6 QB rating. Agholor had a costly fumble in the second quarter, but rebounded with the two scores – a 20-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter and a 2-yard grab in the fourth quarter.
"I wish I didn't have those those mistakes because you can't turn over the football," Agholor said. "I wish I wasn't one of the problems."
In Jackson's and Jeffery's absence, rookie running back Miles Sanders had two catches for 73 yards to lead the Eagles. Tight end Zach Ertz had four catches for 64 yards, but only one grab in the second half. Mack Hollins had four catches for 62 yards, but was flagged twice for offensive pass interference.
Sanders also led the way on the ground with 53 rushing yards, but also had a fumble in the second quarter that led to Detroit points. Jordan Howard had 37 yards on the ground and scored his first touchdown as an Eagle in the opening quarter.
Unlike the first two games, the Eagles got off to a good start, scoring 10 points and leading after the first quarter thanks to Howard's 1-yard run. But the Eagles trailed by double digits in the second half for the third time in three games. Unlike the first two games, the Eagles never regained the lead.
"The biggest thing for me is just having a chance to win at the end of games and coming up short," Wentz said. "It's really frustrating, and it's something I have to be better at. Hats off to Detroit, they did a good job throughout the game doing some things to throw us off. We just didn't get it done."
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was just 18-of-32 for 201 yards with a touchdown, but 101 of those yards were by wide receiver Marvin Jones, who scored the game-sealing touchdown to open the fourth quarter. Stafford was also not sacked once. Offensively, the Lions didn't have to do much because the Eagles made too many mistakes with drops, turnovers, and penalties.
The Eagles now have a short week as they head on the road to Green Bay for a Thursday night showdown with the 3-0 Packers.
"We're in a situation where we've dropped two of these NFC games here back to back and we're going on the road again to another tough road environment," Pederson said. "It's going to be a challenge, but we're excited for it. We look forward to the opportunity. We've got to go to work tomorrow."
Here's the complete game recap:
FIRST QUARTER RECAP
The Eagles received the ball to open the game for the first time this season and it helped spark the offense.
Without starting wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, the Eagles went into hurry-up mode and on the first play from scrimmage flexed running back Miles Sanders out wide to the left. The Eagles went back to this look a few plays later with Sanders out to the right and quarterback Carson Wentz hit the rookie for a gain of 40 yards down the right sideline. The Eagles got a third first down on the drive as wide receiver Nelson Agholor drew a pass interference penalty on cornerback Justin Coleman to get to the Lions' 11-yard line.
The Eagles settled for a Jake Elliott 25-yard field goal with 11:28 left in the first quarter to make it 3-0. It was the first time the Eagles scored in the opening quarter this season as well as the first time Philadelphia got on the board first.
However, the lead was short lived.
Cornerback Jamal Agnew returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. It was the first time that the Eagles allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown since when the Eagles and the Lions met in the Snow Bowl during the 2013 season.
The Eagles responded with a strong attack on the ground. Following a 23-yard play-action pass from Wentz to tight end Zach Ertz, Howard gained 11 yards followed by a 9-yard run by Sanders on a third-and-1. Wentz nearly scored with a 19-yard scramble to the Lions' 1-yard line, but Howard finished off the drive by walking in for his first points as an Eagle.
Eagles led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
SECOND QUARTER RECAP
The Lions regained the lead with a 1-yard touchdown run of their own as Kerryon Johnson flipped over the goal line with 14:09 left in the half. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay made a contested catch to convert a third down. Tight end Logan Thomas made a pirouetting catch at the Eagles' 3-yard line for a 15-yard gain to set up the score.
Then, the Eagles had a slew of miscues to give the Lions the edge at halftime.
Agholor dropped a third-down pass at the sticks that would have converted a first down, leading to a punt. Sanders lost the ball twice on the Eagles' next offensive drive, the latter fumble was recovered by Lions defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson, although it looked as if Sanders' knee was down. The Lions converted that turnover into a 25-yard Matt Prater field goal with 3:29 remaining in the half. Agholor then dropped a quick pass as he turned upfield and it was picked up by cornerback Darius Slay and returned 38 yards to the Eagles' 22-yard line with 1:51 remaining in the half. The Lions tacked another Prater field goal from 33 yards out to make it 20-10 at halftime.
THIRD QUARTER RECAP
Punter Cameron Johnston turned the game around with a 50-yard punt that rolled out of bounds at the Lions' 2-yard line with 9:32 left in the third quarter. Detroit converted one first down, but eventually punted to give the Eagles their best starting field position of the day, at the Detroit 47-yard line.
The Eagles capitalized as Agholor atoned for his earlier miscues with a third-down reception he took in the flat for a 20-yard touchdown with two spin moves along the way to cut the lead to 20-17 with 4:15 remaining in the quarter.
Detroit answered back, however. The Eagles had the Lions in a third-and-4 at the Lions' 31-yard line, and brought the blitz up the middle. Stafford flicked the ball 27 yards to Jones for the first down.
FOURTH QUARTER RECAP
On the first play of the final quarter, Jones beat Avonte Maddox on a shallow cross for a 12-yard touchdown to put the Lions ahead 27-17.
The Eagles made it close again with a touchdown drive that led to Agholor's second score of the afternoon. Sanders hauled in his second long reception of the afternoon, a 33-yard gain to the Lions' 45-yard line. A pair of Lions penalties – roughing the passer and helmet-to-helmet contact of a defenseless receiver – set up Agholor, who was freed open for a 2-yard score, thanks to a rub route from Hollins to make it 27-24 with 6:59 left.
Philadelphia had a fourth-and-8 situation with 2:25 left in the game from its own 22-yard line, as Wentz, under pressure, scrambled for a gain of 6, just short of the first down. With the ball at the 28-yard line, the Lions put themselves in position to tack on a field goal and force the Eagles to march the length of the field for the win. However, Malcolm Jenkins blocked the 46-yard attempt that was recovered by cornerback Rasul Douglas.
With 1:39 remaining and the ball at midfield, the Eagles, on fourth-and-5, appeared to have netted the first down as Wentz dropped a dime to Darren Sproles at the 20-yard line. However, Sproles was called for offensive pass interference. On the final offensive play for the Eagles, Wentz went deep to rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, who was unable to come up with the catchable ball.