The Eagles (3-4) travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills (5-1) on Sunday at New Era Stadium.
To the predictions:
Reuben Frank (3-4)
I'm not picking the Eagles to lose because of anything Orlando Scandrick said. I'm not picking them to lose because the anonymous ESPN source. I'm not picking them to lose because I think there's any sort of fracture in the locker room. I'm picking them to lose because I just do not like the matchup between an Eagles offense that's managed just five touchdowns on 35 drives in its last three games against a Bills defense that's allowed just 10 offensive TDs all year. Honestly, the Eagles' offense hasn't looked quite right all year, and I don't like the odds of them turning that around against Sean McDermott's Buffalo defense, which is No. 2 in the NFL in points allowed, No. 2 in yards allowed, No. 3 against the pass, No. 5 against the run and fourth in takeaways. Maybe they'll surprise me. But …
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Bills 23, Eagles 16
Dave Zangaro (2-5)
The Eagles have lost their last two games by a combined 45 points and now head to Buffalo to face a 5-1 team that's their third road game in three weeks. When you put it like that, I'd be crazy to pick the Eagles. I guess I'm crazy.
While I certainly don't trust the Eagles at this point, I know their season is pretty much cooked if they can't get this win. It wouldn't be impossible to make the playoffs at 3-5, but it would be really darn hard. I expected the Eagles to respond last week in Dallas and they did the opposite, so I feel silly expecting them to do it this week … but here we are. As you've already probably noticed, the Bills haven't beaten very good teams to get to 5-1. And even though the Eagles don't qualify as a "good team" right now, they're better than the Jets, Bengals, Giants, Titans and Dolphins. I think they do just enough to pull their record to .500 and give the city some much-needed hope.
Eagles 23, Bills 20
Derrick Gunn (2-5)
Coming out of that Minnesota debacle the Eagles said all the right things. They were embarrassed, they knew what corrections needed to be made, they took ownership. Then they went down to Dallas and played worse than they did against the Vikings! So when Doug Pederson said a few days ago, "This team is mad. They're upset and they're disappointed in how we've lost these last two games. They're embarrassed from the other day, which is good," it fell on deaf ears as far as I'm concerned. Talk is cheap. The Birds' defense is leaking badly. A once proud run defense has given up 122 and 189 yards rushing the last two outings. And don't even get me started on their pass defense.
As for the offense, where is the imagination? Plays of misdirection, plays of deception. The run game lacks consistency. Receivers can't get much separation. Carson Wentz is holding the ball too long and taking way too many hits. Now, the Birds' offense is about to face a Buffalo defense that's better than both Minnesota and Dallas.
The Bills' D is ranked third overall. They're fourth against the pass (201.3 yards per game), and third in points allowed (15.2). They have one of the best young cornerbacks in the game in Tre'Davious White and arguably the best safety tandem in the league in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, who was an Eagles' seventh-round draft pick in 2013 but was released by the Birds in October of that year. Buffalo's offense relies on its run game (135.8 yards per game). QB Josh Allen is still a work in progress (7 TDs, 7 INTs) and will give the Eagles' defense an opportunity to pick off a few passes. The Birds' pass rush had better get to Allen before he can get the ball to speedster John Brown (eight catches of 20 or more yards) or the crafty Cole Beasley. This Bills' offense is not explosive and the Birds have a chance to win, but I don't trust them yet.
Bills 21, Eagles 17
Ray Didinger (3-4)
I expected the Eagles to bounce back last Sunday in Dallas - coming off a bad loss in Minnesota, playing the hated Cowboys, prime time stage, etc. - and, in the words of Carson Wentz, they didn't show up. I don't know what to think now. I just know I don't trust them. How could you based on what we've seen the past two weeks?
You can argue the season is not lost. If the Eagles win Sunday - and Buffalo isn't a juggernaut despite the 5-1 record - they will be back to .500 with the sputtering Bears coming to the Linc next week and a bye coming up the week after that with a chance to rest and regroup. Sure, it sounds good but I just don't like what I see with this team. The Eagles looked old and slow as well as uninspired in Dallas.
The Bills are not an explosive team so they won't blow out the Eagles the way the Vikings and Cowboys did. It figures to be a close, low-scoring game, but for me it comes down to this: I know for a fact the Bills will come out and play hard on Sunday. I can't say the same for the Eagles.
Bills 20, Eagles 17
Andrew Kulp (4-3)
It's just going to be one of those years where nothing ever comes easy. As I'm sure several people already pointed out, the Bills haven't beaten anybody yet - but do the Eagles really qualify as "anybody" at this point? It's pretty much impossible to give this team the benefit of the doubt at this point. So once again I'm torn.
The one thing I think they have going for them is the Bills are a bit of a one-dimensional offense, and the Eagles are usually pretty good at stopping that dimension (though they certainly weren't last week). It's probably going to be sloppy and low-scoring, which is usually a Buffalo style of game ... but it may actually be to the Eagles' advantage at this point since they usually can't stop their opponent or score enough to keep up.
So yeah, I'm going Eagles again. Sue me.
Eagles 22, Bills 20
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