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Eagles weather storm, down Lions
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - It took a while for LeSean McCoy and the Eagles to find their footing in the snowy conditions at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
But once they did, it was smooth sledding.
McCoy carried the ball 29 times for a franchise-record 217 yards and scored two of Philadelphia's four fourth-quarter touchdowns, as the Eagles rallied for a 34-20 victory over the Detroit Lions.
"Records are made to be broken and it was standing for so long," McCoy said of breaking Steve Van Buren's record of 205 yards set back in 1949. "This is the craziest game I've played in. The best one too."
Snow started falling in the hours leading up to kickoff and remained constant for much of the game, leaving both high-powered offenses hampered.
Trailing 14-6 to start the fourth, Philadelphia turned to its ground game, with McCoy scoring from 40 and 57 yards out around a 98-yard kickoff return from Detroit's Jeremy Ross.
Following a Detroit three-and-out, Nick Foles capped a 7-play, 71-yard march with a 1-yard TD surge and Chris Polk added a 38-yard touchdown run to cap the Philadelphia rally.
Foles finished 11-of-22 passing for 179 yards and a touchdown, but threw his first interception of the season in the win. DeSean Jackson added four catches for 59 yards and a score for the Eagles (8-5), who have won five straight games.
"When we faced adversity at halftime, nobody wavered," Foles said. "We knew we were going to come out and make plays."
Philadelphia holds a half-game lead over Dallas atop the NFC East and can take sole possession of the division if the Cowboys fall in Chicago on Monday.
Matthew Stafford completed 10-of-25 passes for 148 yards, while Joique Bell carried the ball 23 times for 69 yards and a touchdown for Detroit (7-6), which has lost three of its last four games.
"I don't think it had anything to do with the weather," Stafford said of his second-half struggles. "It was more that we didn't play well. We didn't play well enough in the second half to get the win."
With Detroit holding an 8-0 edge midway through the third, Ross returned a Donnie Jones punt 58 yards down the left sideline, trudging through the snow and into the end zone before making a snow angel in celebration.
Stafford's two-point conversion throw fell incomplete, leaving the Lions with a 14-0 lead with 6:37 left in the stanza.
Philadelphia's offense found its rhythm from there, registering a touchdown on each of the next five drives to jump in front.
Foles converted a 3rd-and-11 with a 12-yard strike to Jackson and followed that up with a 44-yard heave to Riley Cooper before capping the five-play series by finding Jackson in the back of the end zone for a 19-yard score.
Foles misfired on the two-point conversion to keep the margin at 14-6.
Following a Detroit punt, Foles and Cooper got together for 25 yards to open the ensuing Eagles drive before McCoy surged up the middle and hurdled a defender en route to a 40-yard score.
Foles again threw incomplete on the two-point try, but Ndamukong Suh was whistled for holding to give the Eagles another chance, which Bryce Brown converted with a short run to tie the game at 14-14.
Ross' 98-yard TD return on the ensuing kickoff put the Lions back on top, but David Akers' extra-point try was blocked and McCoy broke free for a 57-yard score three offensive plays later. Foles then found Cooper on the two-point try to give the Eagles a 22-20 lead with 13:13 to play.
Philadelphia forced a quick three-and-out from the Lions and Foles converted a 4th-and-goal from the 1 with a quick surge up the middle. However, the two- point conversion failed, leaving the margin at eight with 8:18 left.
Ross returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards and Bell followed with a 28-yard catch-and-run to move the Lions into Philadelphia territory, but Stafford wasn't ready for the next snap and the ball sailed past him.
Linebacker Mychal Kendricks recovered the ball at the Philadelphia 40 and Polk scored from 38 yards out shortly after to account for the final margin.
The weather wreaked havoc in the early going, as Bell fumbled deep in Philadelphia territory on consecutive Detroit touches before Foles fired his first interception of the season early in the second to set up the game's opening score.
"There is no way we can go in the red zone twice and cough it up twice," Bell said. "No blame on nobody. Don't blame the coaches. Put that game on me, my shoulder."
Detroit's Chris Houston came up with the pick at midfield and returned it 30 yards to the Philadelphia 20.
With the blizzard-like conditions eliminating any thoughts of a field goal, Detroit kept its offense on the field on 4th-and-2, and Stafford found Bell out of the backfield for 10 yards to the Philadelphia 2.
Bell surged in on the next play, and then caught a Stafford pass on the two- point conversion to make it 8-0 Detroit with 10:02 left in the half.
Philadelphia finally picked up its initial first down of the game on its ensuing possession, but a fumbled snap on second down handcuffed the drive and forced the Eagles to punt.
Following a Detroit three-and-out, Foles moved the Eagles inside the Lions' red zone with under two minutes left in the half, but on 4th-and-7 from the Detroit 10, Cooper couldn't corral a pass in the back left corner of the end zone and the Eagles entered the break facing an 8-0 deficit.
Foles fell one TD pass shy of tying Peyton Manning (20) for the most touchdowns to start a season without throwing an interception ... Ross became the first Lion to record a punt and kickoff return touchdown in the same game since Eddie Payton on Dec. 17, 1977, against Minnesota ... Detroit running back Reggie Bush aggravated a calf injury in warmups and did not play ... Philadelphia rushed for 299 yards and held the Lions to 80 yards on the ground ... Philadelphia compiled 23 first downs compared to 11 for the Lions ... Detroit's Calvin Johnson caught three passes for 49 yards to run his career total to 9,184 receiving yards, surpassing Herman Moore (9,174) for the most receiving yards in franchise history.
12/08 18:35:16 ET