Birds stunned by Lions, wheels fall off in fourth

What went wrong …

1. Crossing guards.

After struggling for the first three quarters, the Lions found success in the passing game on crossing patterns in the middle. Calvin Johnson had one catch in the first three, then racked up 107 yards in the fourth and OT. He also cleared the way on Matt Stafford’s 1-yard TD run. The Eagles were unable to stop tight end Tony Scheffler (81 yards). What changed? The Eagles started blitzing more in the fourth and that put guys in 1-on-1 situations they couldn’t handle.

2. Candy store open.

The Eagles won the overtime toss and elected to receive. That was literally the only good thing about what would become their final offensive possession. They started at their own 25-yard line and punted from their own 4. Mike Vick was sacked on back-to-back plays (minus-21 yards). The third play was an throwaway pass that landed incomplete.

3. Turnovers continue.

Vick said he carried a football with him everywhere he went this past week (meetings, cafeteria, bathroom, etc.) and vowed never to fumble again. It wasn’t all on Vick this time, but the Eagles coughed it up three times (a fumble, two picks). Vick and Dallas Reynolds had two bad exchanges (they lost one) as the Eagles added to their NFC-worst 16 turnovers (eight fumbles lost, eight picks).

What went right …

1. Corner of interest.

High-priced cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has been taking serious heat in recent weeks. He always seems to be in the wrong spot or flat-out gets beat by his man. Asomugha drew the toughest assignment on the field — guarding Calvin Johnson — and blanketed him all day. No matter where he was lined up. Through the first three quarters Asomugha held the man they call Megatron to one catch for 28 yards (and that one looked to be Kurt Coleman’s fault). However, the Eagles changed coverages in the fourth quarter and Johnson finally went off.

2. Vick uses his legs.

Mike Vick flashed some signs of his former self, picking up first downs with his legs (nine carries, 59 yards). And he was actually looking for the sideline, instead of taking extra hits at the end of runs. Vick did throw two picks (both balls were severely underthrown), but his decision-making was impoved for the most part.

3. Lions almost beat themselves.

The Eagles played one of their sloppiest first halves of the season and still went into the locker room with a 7-6 lead. Why? Because the Lions are good at beating themselves. They had 16 penalties (132 yards) —with 10 in the first half — and They tried really, really hard to beat themselves (false starts galore) and still wound up winning in overtime.

mike greger