ROB MAADDI, AP Pro Football Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — On a slippery, snow-filled field against a run-stuffing defense, LeSean McCoy had the game of his life.
McCoy ran for a franchise-best 217 yards, including touchdowns of 57 and 40 yards, and the Philadelphia Eagles overcame two TD returns by Jeremy Ross to beat the Detroit Lions 34-20 in a snowstorm Sunday.
McCoy, who leads the NFL with 1,305 yards rushing, is a cut-on-a-dime runner known more for his juking and jiving. When that didn’t work against the Lions, he ran straight ahead through Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Detroit’s stout defense.
“LeSean did an outstanding job of hitting things downhill,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. “It was tough to run lateral against this team and in those conditions.”
Ross returned a punt 58 yards for a score and ran back a kickoff 98 yards for turnover-plagued Detroit. Matthew Stafford fumbled three snaps in the first quarter and had a costly turnover in the fourth. Running back Joique Bell lost two fumbles inside the red zone in the first half.
The Eagles (8-5) overcame a 14-0 deficit by scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles, looking to go worst-to-first in the NFC East, won their fifth straight game and took over sole possession of first place. Dallas can make it a tie for the top spot with a victory at Chicago on Monday night.
The Lions (7-6) have a half-game lead over the Bears in the NFC North.
Snow began falling two hours before kickoff and intensified after the game started. Workers used shovels and hand-held blowers to clear off yard lines. Conditions were so poor neither team tried a field goal, and there were 2-point conversion attempts after seven of the eight TDs.
Forecasters predicted only some snow, so neither team was prepared for a storm that dropped up to six inches in Philadelphia.
Five things we learned in Philadelphia’s win over Detroit:
EAGLES O-LINE DOMINANT: Guards Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans and center Jason Kelce deserved much of the credit for helping McCoy break Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren’s team record of 205 yards rushing in a game against Pittsburgh in 1949. The trio opened up gaping holes by driving Suh and Fairley off the ball. The Lions hadn’t allowed a TD on the ground in their previous eight games and came in allowing the third-fewest yards rushing per game (82.7).
“I felt with how well the line was blocking, we could gash them,” McCoy said.
FOLES ISN’T PERFECT: Nick Foles threw his first interception, leaving him one shy of matching Peyton Manning’s record for most touchdowns without a pick to start the season. Foles had 19 TDs before Chris Houston grabbed his overthrown pass at midfield and returned it 20 yards to the Eagles 30. That ended Foles’ franchise-best streak of 237 passes without a pick.
MEGATRON IS HUMAN: All you need to stop Calvin Johnson is a blizzard. Johnson had just three catches for 49 yards, though he passed Herman Moore for most yards receiving in franchise history on a 33-yard catch to the Eagles 13 late in the first quarter. Johnson came up from the ground with a face full of snow on that play and wasn’t a factor on a day Stafford struggled in rough conditions.
LIONS ARE TURNOVER-PRONE: Even though both teams played in the same conditions, the Lions fumbled seven times and lost three while the Eagles fumbled only once and recovered it. Bell lost two fumbles inside the red zone and Stafford had a costly turnover in the fourth quarter. The Lions are minus-10 this season in turnovers.
“The whole game slows down,” Stafford said. “But everybody was playing in the same snow so there is no excuse.”
SNOW CAN’T STOP CHIP’S OFFENSE: After getting shut out in the first half and being held to just 90 yards, the Eagles finished strong. Kelly’s up-tempo offense needed some time to get used to the weather, and then ended up with their third-highest scoring output of the season.
“We actually ran the same offense the entire game,” Kelly said. “It’s just about whether we execute or don’t execute. It was hurry-up and sit in the first quarter for us, and then we got a chance to get it going.”
NOTES: Stafford was 10 of 25 for 148 yards. … Neither QB was sacked.
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