After getting humiliating in their last two games against the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles ended their three-game road trip with a 31-13 victory over the upstart Buffalo Bills.
With the win, the Eagles snapped their two-game losing streak and head coach Doug Pederson improved his record against AFC teams to an impressive 10-1.
It was not a pretty game at New Era Field as both teams were trying to battle the elements. That being said, Philadelphia leaned on in their defense, running game, and starting quarterback Carson Wentz’s playmaking abilities.
In regards to Wentz, the fourth-year signal-caller completed 71-percent of his passes for 172 yards and a touchdown. He also added 35 yards on the ground.
Speaking of the running game, veteran running back Jordan Howard had 96 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Rookie back Miles Sanders had 74 rushing yards, including an electrifying 65-yard touchdown run.
The Penn State alum also made an impact in the receiving game with three receptions for 44 yards.
When it came to Buffalo, second-year quarterback Josh Allen had to do it all on offense. He completed 48.5-percent of his passes for 169 yards and both of his team’s touchdowns.
He also led the Bills in rushing yards with 45 on eight carries. However, the former University of Wyoming standout did have a critical turnover towards the end of the first half, created by the highly-scrutinized Eagles’ defense.
Speaking of Philadelphia’s defense, they started off the game on the right foot. They quickly forced Buffalo’s offense into a three-and-out, which was capped off by a Fletcher Cox strip-sack.
Later in the first quarter, Philadelphia put together a nine-play, 54-yard scoring drive, which featured a 16-yard run from Nelson Agholor on first down, and a 25-yard catch on a halfback screen from Sanders.
Kicker Jake Elliott converted a 37-yard field goal to give the Eagles an early 3-0 lead.
After Philadelphia scored the first points of the game, the Bills’ offense came back and put together a scoring drive, which was aided by inexcusable penalties by the Eagles’ defense.
At the 1:47 mark of the opening quarter, Allen hit wide receiver John Brown for a nine-yard reception on 3rd-&-8, ut Buffalo picked up more yards thanks to an unnecessary roughness penalty on safety Malcolm Jenkins.
A couple of plays later, Jenkins was tagged with another unnecessary roughness penalty, this time on a 13-yard run by Allen.
Those penalties helped get the Bills into the red zone as Allen ended their 10-play, 75-yard drive with a 14-yard passing touchdown to former Dallas Cowboys slot wideout Cole Beasley. On that drive alone, Allen completed 5-of-7 passes for 36 yards.
After both teams traded punts throughout the second quarter, the Eagles’ defense finally got a turnover on Buffalo’s second-year quarterback with less than two minutes left in the first half.
Coming into Sunday’s game, Allen was sacked 15 times and blitzed an incredible 78 times. On 3rd-&-2, Philadelphia defensive end Brandon Graham forced Allen to fumble and recovered it to put the Eagles’ offense inside the red zone.
Once inside the red zone, Philadelphia made it a point of emphasis to run the ball with Howard, Sanders, and Wentz. A couple of plays later, Wentz hit Goedert on a slant route for a five-yard touchdown catch, giving the Eagles a two-point lead at 9-7.
It was the second-straight week that the second-year tight end scored Philadelphia’s first touchdown. After the touchdown pass from Wentz, the Eagles tacked on a two-point conversation to go into the half up 11-7.
Philadelphia’s offense did not take long to score their second touchdown of the game as Sanders ripped off a 65-yard touchdown run to open up the third quarter. It was the rookie’s first rushing touchdown of his career and gave the Eagles a 17-7 lead.
After Buffalo’s stout defense gave up a big play, their offense came down the field and put together their second 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive. However, unlike the first scoring drive, Allen found rookie running back Devin Singletary for a 28-yard touchdown, cutting Philly’s lead to 17-13.
With 9:15 left in the third quarter, the Eagles’ passing game finally got vertical as Wentz hit Jeffery for a 38-yard reception down the left sideline.
Philadelphia continued to pass the ball with Wentz, finding Howard for a 15-yard reception and Jeffery for a three-yard reception. A few plays later around the 5:38 mark, Boston Scott scored a four-yard rushing touchdown, increasing the Eagles lead to 24-13.
Finally, in the fourth quarter, Eagles’ offense put together an immaculate eight-minute, 14-play scoring, which Howard finished off with a three-yard touchdown run.
In addition to Howard, Wentz made plays with his legs, rushing for 24 yards and picking up critical first downs.