The Philadelphia Eagles may be at a crisis point in their season. The last time they took the field they were humiliated by the Dallas Cowboys. And so they will have to turn into a different club if they want to move forward. That is, if they want a chance to get back to the Super Bowl. On Sunday they will face a stern test from the Buffalo Bills. It’s a 1 PM ET start at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY, televised on Fox Network. And if you are a BetAnySports customer, you’ll have a chance to watch it and place wagers with Live Betting Ultra.
Eagles off a real downer
Philadelphia lost a 37-10 decision to the Cowboys last week. And when you are manhandled the way they were, there aren’t many positives to take out of it. Did they defend? No. Did they move the ball? No. Did they avoid quitting? Well, probably not. They’ve had rookie tackle Andre Dillard trying to fend off pass rushers. And the secondary has been banged up for a while.
But they may be close to being healthy in the defensive backfield. Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby came back to action, and Avonte Maddox may be able to do the same. And let’s face it – while Buffalo’s Josh Allen has made nice progress from his rookie campaign, he is not the type who will carve up enemy defenses.
Philly needs to move it – somehow
So how will the Eagles go about getting something going on offense? DeSean Jackson was obviously the guy they could reach out to for that “big play” element. But he’s not available, and they miss that part of his contribution. They could try to force something in the ground game. Jordan Howard has been more than serviceable. But Miles Sanders, good for an occasional sizzle, is inconsistent.
With Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery, the Eagles have capable wideouts. But if Carson Wentz wants to find the most efficient way to travel through the air, he will most likely turn to tight end Zach Ertz, who has 35 catches. By the way, Wentz, who’s been intercepted only four times, is averaging a robust 8.9 yards per pass attempt.
In the NFL betting odds posted on this game, the Bills are slightly favored:
Buffalo Bills vs. Philadelphia Eagles NFL Week 8 Odds by BetAnySports.eu
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Don’t sell Buffalo stop unit short
The Bills are a prime contender for a wild card berth. And if they could beat the New England Patriots and effect a split of their season series, they could make the AFC East a real race.
Buffalo has been outstanding on defense as a whole. They are third in the league in yards allowed per drive. And they have made their opponents punt the ball on 53.6% of their drives. That’s the league’s best figure. They’ll stuff the run a little. They will keep the other team from getting big plays (just 5.5 yards per pass attempt allowed). That’s why it was kind of alarming for them to surrender 381 yards to the Miami Dolphins last week in what was a very anxious game for them. Miami, with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, had the Bills on the ropes for a while. And only an onside kick returned for a touchdown created the eventual ten-point margin (31-21).
Clearly the Eagles are more capable offensively. But is it possible that the Bills were caught a little flat against an inferior opponent? This is what Philly has to test.
Eagles need to slow down run
In getting waxed, the Eagles allowed 189 rushing yards to the Cowboys. Statistically, that is out of character for them. According to the advanced metrics, they are #2 in the NFL in Adjusted Line Yards, third in Stuff Rate and #2 in 2nd-Level Yards. As far as the more conventional stats are concerned, they have allowed just 3.7 yards a carry and 89 yards a game.
So what does this mean, as it applies to the game? Well, the Buffalo ground game is pretty potent, with Frank Gore proving he’s got nine lives at 4.5 ypc, while Devin Singletary is back healthy after a hamstring injury and offer some great support. So needless to say, they offer the potential to challenge the Philadelphia front.
If you’re number-crunching, this might not figure for you, but at 3-4, the Eagles can’t let things get out of hand. Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is a team with a Super Bowl title under its belt. And they have a nucleus of players with a ring. On the other hand, Buffalo is a team that is just now trying to learn how to win.
Intensity may go a long way toward carrying the day here, and although we hesitate to use terms like “must-win,” we know that if Philly is going to rise to the occasion and bounce back after being humbled, now’s the time.
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