AS IF THERE WAS ANY DOUBT (I was doubting the whole time)
The Eagles’ offensive line
Another day, another dominant running game performance from the Eagles’ offensive line. The pass protection hasn’t been exemplary as of late, and the rookie OT Andre Dillard is still getting his sea legs under him — that’s all fine, manageable, okay. Dillard will get better and pass protection goes through lulls and swells.
But every offensive line’ll tell ya they’d rather run than pass, as running the ball allows you to fire off the line of scrimmage and be the aggressor opposite the defensive line. The Eagles’ OL gave up a TFL on a few plays against a stout Bills defensive line, but widely imposed their will on a day during which the weather largely demanded the running game win. Huge kudos goes to the Eagles’ most talented unit on the roster.
I’m lumping all of the running backs in here, as all of Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders, and Boston Scott had some positive plays today — though Scott the returner, not the running back, nearly put the Eagles in an awful spot.
But I’ve criticized Staley frequently in the past for his deployment of his backs, and with our biggest contention point — Sproles — benched with injury, Staley and I are in agreement here. He quickly integrated Jordan Howard into the offense and regularly gets him moving downhill; they’ve figured out how to unlock Sanders, as a passer; they’ve had a few great plays off of two-back sets.
The running backs are, much like the offensive line, become a strength for Philadelphia.
Darby is almost certainly the least of many, many evils at the Eagles cornerback position — he should not be the reason you don’t trade for a CB, for example — but he had a great PBU against John Brown on a key 4th down when the Bills still had a chance to extend the competitive period of the game. Off the Scott turnover, a short field could have spelled new life for Buffalo, but Darby did what fe Eagles CBs can — he stuck with his assignment in man coverage. Even when Brown initially got separation, Darby recovered and attacked the ball. Thank goodness for him.
DON’T CARE ABOUT THE MISS HE’S STILL PERFECT IN MY EYES
Doug Pederson/Mike Groh
LISTEN DON’T KILL ME but hey I dunno who designed and sequenced the opening script for Philadelphia — all I know is that it worked. There was a weird 3rd down handoff to Nelson Agholor, but besides that, the Eagles’ offense found a ton of positive and even explosive plays in the flats, avoiding the teeth of a ferocious Buffalo secondary. They used backfield motion and common concepts/formations to deceive and create easy yards.
Were it not a windy day, the Eagles have still struggled to attack downfield — well, they got some great chunk plays with nary a deep shot. Hopefully they keep a thumb on that finicky pulse.
Felt like a “Daddy’s Home!” game for Cox, who was starting opposite Bruce Hector (!) but still survived the added attention of a weaker teammate. His pressures led to multiple sacks, including one of his own, and a couple of fumbles as well. He needs to be the elite player he’s been if the Eagles are unable to add a DT at the trade deadline.
Eagles winning Sunday 31-13. I'm so confident about this it's silly.— John Stolnis (@JohnStolnis) October 25, 2019
The Buffalo Bills
The Eagles have beaten the Packers (6-1) and the Bills (5-2) so they must be good
Plays to Nelson Agholor continue to be unbelievably wasteful. Even as a running back, as I have joked he should be, Agholor doesn’t actually have much tackle-breaking skill. The Eagles need to find a team with a ton of cap space who will send them a seventh-rounder for Agholor and just offload him to get the contract off their books and get him out of the building so they can get those touches to different players on offense.
The recipe for beating the Eagles is throwing against their outside corners. The Bills either did not feel comfortable with him attempting those passes, or were so fearful of the weather that they decided to turtle. It was likely a bit of both, but if your QB can’t pick on the Eagles’ corners in the Eagles’ system, you don’t have a QB.
I’m not sure where Jeffery is these days, man. His athletic ability seems really drained, as multiple routes he ran on Sunday took much longer than you’d like for them to see — but then he also uncovered deep and generated, you know, literally the entire offense that the receivers were responsible for.
2017 Alshon and 2019 Alshon are measurably different players in terms of athletic ability, and that would be more okay if the players around him were good, and if he didn’t get a bit of an extension this year.
Same as last week — I’m not sure where the criticism Roseman is coming from. It was again a solid week for some key acquisitions for the top-flight GM. I will say that the Eagles do need to add player(s) at DT, CB, and/or WR — criticism for a tradeless deadline would be due, in my opinion.