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Eagles-Bills Final Score: Observations from Philadelphia’s 20-16 win over Buffalo

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Buffalo Bills in their second 2017 preseason game on Thursday evening.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles continued their 2017 preseason schedule with a win on Thursday evening. The Eagles defeated the Buffalo Bills by a final score of 20 to 16.

There's a lot to talk about so let's get right to it.

First team offense

The starting offense went three-and-out. LeGarrette Blount ran for a two-yard loss, Carson Wentz overthrew Alshon Jeffery towards the sideline, and Wentz connected with Zach Ertz for a pass that was just short of the sticks.

The offense couldn’t get much going in the red zone after getting a short field to work with on their second drive. Wentz’s pass for Jeffery on third down was overthrown out of bounds yet again. The team settled for a short field goal.

Philadelphia’s starters came out for a third drive. It was uneventful. Wentz got sacked after Lane Johnson allowed pressure on third down.

The Eagles’ first team can out for a fourth time. Wentz connected with Jeffery for the receiver’s first catch with Philadelphia.

The catch drew big applause from Eagles fans. Blount caught a pass over the middle and did a real nice job of peeling back to get behind his blockers and run for a first down. Unfortunately, Blount fumbled after making a reception just a few plays later. Awful ball protection.

First team defense

Brandon Graham had a real nice tackle for loss on LeSean McCoy. Rodney McLeod blitzed Tyrod Taylor and deflected the quarterback’s pass to lead to a Mychal Kendricks interception. (Boosting that trade value!)

Fletcher Cox drove the Bills’ starting right guard right back into Taylor to force an incompletion. Monster. Ronald Darby almost came up with a pick-six but he dropped it. That’s an issue with him. Still got the pass breakup, though.

Kendricks absolutely blew up a screen for a loss on the Bills’ third drive. The defense forced Buffalo into a punt.

Darby picked off Taylor on a pass thrown deep. Kendricks got good pressure to force the interception. It’s almost like he’s playing to get traded.

Special teams

Donnel Pumphrey and Mack Hollins were back to take the opening kickoff.

Caleb Sturgis hit a 24-yard field goal. He missed a 45-yard kick. Sturgis also missed a 46-yard kick last week. Uh oh. At least he followed up with a 48-yard make. One reader noted rookie UDFA punter Cameron Johnston has been the holder on his misses, so that’s something to consider.

The quarterbacks

Carson Wentz: 6 of 9 for 56 yards, 6.2 average, 0 TD, 0 INT, 83.6 passer rating

Matt McGloin: 12 of 20 for 131 yards, 6.6 average, 0 TD, 1 INT, 58.5 passer rating

Dane Evans: 9 of 12 for 56 yards, 6.2 average, 0 TD, 1 INT, 61.8 passer rating

Wentz looked OK. He struggled with his accuracy on a few throws when he targeted Jeffery along the sideline. He has a tendency to sail those passes at times. Overall, though, he wasn’t bad. He was at his best on the final first team drive when Philadelphia went with a tempo offense.

McGloin, however, was definitely not good. He’s clearly not threatening Nick Foles for the backup job. He’s also not really convincing the Eagles to keep three quarterbacks.

Dane Evans entered the game with 13:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. He definitely looked better than McGloin (which isn’t saying much). The pick he threw wasn’t really his fault as much as Watford didn’t hold on to the ball he caught.

More observations

The Eagles used Malcolm Jenkins in the slot with McLeod and Corey Graham at safety in the nickel package. Keep in mind Ron Brooks is injured.

Marcus Johnson got flagged for an illegal block in the back on offense. He also had a 38-yard reception where he really showed off his speed.

Destiny Vaeao had a real good pressure and hit on Taylor. Unfortunately he got flagged for a totally bogus roughing the passer penalty.

Jalen Mills had a nice open field tackle on a short reception by the offense.

Corey Clement broke off a nice 24-yard run. Looked pretty explosive. He picked up a 6-yard touchdown near the end of the first half.

Rasul Douglas jumped a route and broke up a pass. Nearly had a chance at a pick. Douglas also got burned by Zay Jones late in the first half.

Kendricks picked up a sack in the second quarter.

Nelson Agholor shook a defender off him to get open in the middle of the field for a 21-yard catch-and-run. Emphasis on the “catch” part!

Derek Barnett recorded a hurry and then a sack on back-to-back plays. He used his bend to get around the edge and notch the takedown. He’s pretty good, you guys.

Barnett has a really great motor. Check out this play where he fails to pick up the sack but he hustles to get the quarterback out of bounds.

Joe Walker put a big hit on a running back who tried to catch a checkdown over the middle of the field.

Kamu Grugier-Hill ran down the field to tackle a Bills punt returner shortly after the ball was fielded.

Don Cherry forced a fumble after chasing down the Bills player from behind. The ball rolled right into the hands of C.J. Smith. Nice play by Cherry.

Mitchell White, who was cut and then re-signed this week, got burned by Rod Streater. He also had the game-sealing pick, so that was nice.

Alex McCalister forced a fumble that was recovered by the Bills. The second-year player strip-sacked Nathan Peterman.

Shelton Gibson dropped a pass. The ball was thrown behind him, but he had a chance at it. Later on, Gibson drew pass interference on a deep pass attempt. That penalty set the Eagles up for a short touchdown run.

Greg Ward made a tough catch over the middle. He’s pushing for that sixth receiver spot if the Eagles keep that many.

Billy Brown (not to be confused with Bills wide receiver Philly Brown) finished with three receptions for 29 yards. Didn’t look bad.

Steven Means notched a sack in the fourth quarter. And then another one.

David Watford made a catch and immediately had it ripped out of his hands for an interception.

Byron Marshall had a rushing touchdown.

Omar Gaither and Victor Abiamiri were among a big group of Eagles alumni players the team honored in front of the crowd at halftime. Omar Gaither and Victor Abiamiri!

Mike Trout showed up to the game tonight. Gonna be cool when the Phillies finally get him.


Here’s a list of the 11 players who did not suit up.

No one seemingly got hurt during the game, which is very good news.

Up next

Make sure to go over to the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page to watch the BGN Radio postgame show!

BGN Radio - LIVE reaction from #Eagles vs. #Bills

Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Eagles have off tomorrow on Friday, Aug. 18 before returning to training camp practice on Saturday, Aug. 19. Stay tuned to BGN for more Eagles coverage.

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