(If you’re into placing a dime or two on Sunday’s Detroit/Philly tilt, you can find the odds here.)
The 1984 song “Perfect Strangers” by Deep Purple should play on a continuous loop during Sunday’s Lions/Eagles battle at Lincoln Financial Field.
Nearly six minutes long, the music video shows Deep Purple clowning around while recording the tune.
At one point, drummer Ian Paice is inexplicably drumming with no shirt on; while another band member randomly throws on a wig in another scene. It’s an illogical video for a solid, yet unspectacular 1980s rock song.
Much like Deep Purple’s hodge-podge video, the Eagles and Lions display similar instability through the season’s first five weeks.
Philadelphia’s one-man embodiment of inconsistency is quarterback Michael Vick.
Sunday marks a milestone of sorts for the embattled Eagle. Vick’s first start as an Eagle came over two years ago in a 35-32 win in Detroit.
Since that game, Vick’s efforts wavered between MVP candidate and a fumbling, bumbling turnover prone quarterback.
Unfortunately for Eagles fans, Vick is playing like the latter at the moment. Arguably, the ex-Falcon’s struggles are the biggest reason why Philadelphia fields among the most disappointing offenses through five weeks.
An offense featuring dizzying runner LeSean McCoy, and the explosive DeSean Jackson is averaging a paltry 16 points per game, which outpaces only the Jacksonville Jaguars (13 ppg) as the league’s lowest scoring team.
Despite these ills, the Birds are tied for first in the ultra-competitive NFC East at 3-2.
Their Sunday counterparts from Detroit, are also a quivering mess to start the 2012 campaign.
The 1-3 Lions are cellar-dwelling in the NFC North and have yet to play with the same verve that helped them land a playoff spot last season.
While quarterback Matthew Stafford and the passing game cranks out yards, the rushing attack lags without a keystone running back to carry the load.
Much like the highly scrutinized Andy Reid, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz’s decision-making has fallen into question.
When Detroit lost to Tennessee in overtime in Week 3, an ill-advised quarterback sneak by Shaun Hill was stopped on 4th and 1 instead of Schwartz opting for a short, game-tying field goal.
When questioned about it post-game, Schwartz accepted blame for the gaffe. Schwartz’s mental lapse is another in a line of concerns for one of the NFL’s most disappointing.
Besides a struggling defense that allowed the sixth-most points in the league, their poor start has been fortified by dreadful special teams play.
By conventional or new wave standards, Detroit’s special teams unit is among the NFL’s worst. Five weeks into the season, 26 teams have yet to surrender a kick or punt return for a touchdown.
Conversely, Detroit yielded four, including a kick and punt return touchdown each in the last two games.
Perhaps, a troubling offseason foreshadowed some of the team-wide struggles. During the offseason, four Lions were arrested on seven different occasions.
As these two teams sort out their problems together at the Linc on Sunday with their multitude of underachieving stars, the realization may definitively sink in that neither squad may live up to its promise in 2012.