COORDINATOR CUT-UP: Philadelphia presented a different kind of adversity

Posted Dec 12, 2013

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said the play call sheet became insignificant vs. Eagles as players had to adjust on the run

In the Lions' 34-20 loss at Philadelphia last Sunday, adversity came into play in more ways than one.

Prior to kickoff, the snowy weather made footing less than desirable, causing running back Reggie Bush to slip during warmups and re-aggravate a calf injury that had him listed as questionable going into the game.

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan told that while losing Bush threw a wrench into their game plan, it was the poor weather conditions that had the biggest impact on their execution.

"We just had to adjust to figure out what we could do during the game," said Linehan. "Reggie not being in there, that put us short a running back that we normally would have. Certainly you don't ever want to play a game without him, but that's what happens, that's the way the game goes sometimes.

Joique BellRB Joique Bell (Photo: G.Smith/Detroit Lions)

"Joique (Bell) stepped in, and Theo (Riddick) sometimes, and they ran the ball hard. They did a nice job, but it certainly wasn't as big of a factor as the footing and things like that. We were calling some route concepts that we had the best chance to complete."

Not to make excuses for offensive miscues, but Linehan said the play call sheet became insignificant as players had to adjust on the run, due to the increasingly bad playing conditions.

With poor visibility for a majority of the game, the Lions depended heavily on the ground game, becoming to some extent one dimensional. Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed just 10-of-25 passes for 148 yards. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was almost identical in pass completions, connecting on 11-of-22 passes for 179 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

Detroit finished with a total of 80 yards on the ground on 33 attempts, with Bell accounting for 69 of those yards on 23 carries and a touchdown.

The Lions also fumbled the ball seven times, losing three, with Bell having two knocked out inside the 20-yard line.

Both teams had to deal with the slick conditions when taking care of the football, but the Eagles only had one fumble, which they recovered. With turnovers having been a problem of late, Linehan says the need hold on to the football is a must, reagardless of external factors, and especially inside the redzone.

"You have to protect the ball. Both teams have to play in it, we have to find a way to have two hands around the ball," he said. "You don't like to run that way, it's not a very natural way, but you can't really run the same way in those conditions.

"You just have to come away with opportunities to score. Especially when we put ourselves in good position. Especially in the first half of that game, we had the upper hand that way."