Well, here we are again, getting ready for another Thanksgiving with Eagles football.
First off, on behalf of the Eagledelphia staff, we are wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving. We hope the food, football and family makes it a great one.
Now to the Eagles, where there is little to be thankful for and a lot of things to not be happy about. There is turmoil. There is pending trouble on the way, looming in personnel changes and more roster shakeups. Something is going to break at season's end one way or the other.
But there is still a game today, and the Eagles only focus should be on the Detroit Lions.
Here are today's six keys to the game.
Getting pressure to Matthew Stafford – If there is one primary reason that the Eagles have struggle defensively in their last few games, it's because of a lack of pressure on the quarterback. Jameis Winston and Ryan Tannehill were given way to much time to work with, to set up big plays. The Eagles will only get burned again if they can't get to Stafford.
Who's the Quarterback – Not like it really matters, since the Eagles quarterback play has been inconsistent all season, but there is a chance, a chance, that Sam Bradford starts over Mark Sanchez. Still, the safer bet is Sanchez. There is no mystery to Sanchez' game. He is what he is. So maybe Eagles fans should be crossing their fingers that Sam Bradford is somehow ready to play in a short week.
Offensive line – Speaking of a short week, it makes it very difficult to recover from injury. So if you are out on the previous Sunday, you're likely out on Thursday too. And any injury sustained during the week likely means you won't be active three days later. So with that, having Jason Peters and now Jason Kelce both listed as questionable for Thursday's game could mean big problems for the Eagles.
Joique Bell and the Eagles run defense – Sunday was about as bad as things can get for any run defense. 235 yards for one running back in a single game? That's the type of thing you see in a video game. The Eagles run defense has been the poorest part of their game in the last four games. They need to get back to form and that starts with the front seven, most notably the linebackers.
Thanksgiving Day Success – The Eagles were in Dallas last Thanksgiving and came away with a convincing win. It moved them to 6-0 in Thanksgiving Day games. Given this season, there's a first time for everything, and even though the Lions were just 1-7 a couple of weeks ago, this game will be anything but a walk in the park for the Eagles.
Put aside the Chip chat – All this talk about Chip Kelly's future with the Eagles, future in the NFL — future, future, future. Enough of it for one day. This day, for these players, needs to be about football. Put aside the speculation and rumors and all the talk. It's off the field stuff and it's time to take care of business on the field. That has been a challenge for this team this season.
Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.