The Philadelphia Eagles won their second straight game on Sunday afternoon, taking down the Buffalo Bills 23-20 to improve to 6-10.
I thought Sam Bradford played one of his better games as an Eagle.
While his stat line still isn’t anything to write home about, Bradford seemed to see the field very well today. He reacted well to the various blitzes that the Buffalo defense sent his way, and did a good job spreading the ball around, connecting with nine different receivers.
Bradford and the Eagles did a good job taking advantage of undisciplined Bills squad, drawing the Buffalo defense line into neutral zone infractions numerous times throughout the day.
Bradford’s mistakes were minimal, he did throw one interception, but it didn’t come on a poor decision. Leodis McKelvin made tremendous play on a pass thrown to Brent Celek, wrestling the ball away from the veteran tight end.
D-Line Gives Bills Fits
The Eagles’ defensive front gave Buffalo a lot of problems throughout the day.
The Eagles deployed a couple of different looks they hadn’t used earlier in the season, using some more traditional 4-3 attacks with Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry lined up at defensive end and Fletcher Cox working his natural position at defensive tackle.
The result was a tremendous mismatch in favor of the Birds, which forced the Buffalo offensive line into numerous penalties throughout the game. The Bills had nine offensive penalties alone, and wiped out several big plays that would have given them first downs.
The Birds only managed one sack on the day, but the impact of their defensive lineman was apparent throughout the game.
Fletcher Cox led the charge, finishing with eight tackles and a the team’s lone sack.
- First-round pick Nelson Agholor had an up-and-down day, but made one of the game’s biggest plays. Agholor came down with a 53-yard touchdown reception to put the team back up 14-7, the first touchdown of his career. He did drop a couple of easy passes that would have extended drives, but it was still good to see the team finally get some meaningful production from their top pick.
- Riley Cooper initially came down with a long reception on the team’s opening drive, but a Buffalo challenge showed that Cooper allowed the ball to hit the ground.
- Jason Peters lined up on the right side of the offensive line next to Lane Johnson on a Darren Sproles run that got the Eagles down to the one-yard line and set up Sproles for a score on the next play.
- However, Peters would once again leave the game with injury, leading to Dennis Kelly coming in and immediately committing two holding penalties that put the Eagles into a 1st and 30 situation. The veteran would return later on.
- Zach Ertz had a big game, with five grabs for 98 yards, including a 41-yarder that set up the go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter.
- Just three catches for 19 yards for Jordan Matthews.
- Ryan Mathews returned to the lineup, and took over as the featured back, but gained just 38 yards on 13 carries.
- DeMarco Murray was used sparingly, but still took 11 carries, gaining just 34 yards.
- Darren Sproles led the team in rushing for the second straight week, gaining 41 yards and a touchdown.
- Fletcher Cox picked up a sack on the Bills’ opening drive on a third down to force a punt.
- Ed Reynolds and Byron Maxwell combined to get beat by Sammy Watkins for a 47-yard touchdown strike to give Buffalo their first points.
- Maxwell would do a nice job later on breaking up a pass intended for Watkins.
- And Reynolds would be the game’s final hero, picking off a bad pass from Tyrod Taylor to seal the win.
- Kiko Alonso made two tackles, and assisted on three more, but ultimately was a non-factor once again.
- The Eagles held LeSean McCoy to just 74 yards on 20 carries.
- Jaylen Watkins forced a fumble on a punt in the second quarter that set up the Eagles’ second touchdown.
- Caleb Sturgis connected on all three of his field goal attempts.
The Eagles did what they needed to do, and kept pace for first place in the joke of a division that is the NFC East.
However, they’re still behind the Washington Redskins, who also won today, because of the tiebreaker.
A much greater challenge awaits them next week when Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals come to town.