Sheets of rain and a wind consistently blowing between 20 and 30 miles-per-hour are tough conditions to be sure.
The Philadelphia Eagles fought through the conditions and took advantage of a short field, one huge play from rookie running back Miles Sanders, and a solid drive to reach a season-high in points given up by the Buffalo Bills defense before the third quarter was even over.
Facing a 24-13 deficit as the fourth quarter began, it was time to see if the Bills offense would be able to keep up in a game where their defense didn’t just about smother their opponent.
Well we all know the answer now, at least in this game. The Bills offense could not come up with a fourth quarter comeback. Meanwhile, the Bills defense continued to wilt in the wind and the rain. Following a Buffalo punt that left them at their 17-yard line just 32-seconds into the fourth quarter, the Eagles marched 83 yards on 14 plays to make the score 31-13. That drive ate up 8:17 of clock, and even though the rain had subsided, it sent the fans scurrying for the cover of their cars and the ride home.
What the Bills faced on this day was an old fashioned butt whipping up front. Philadelphia went over 200 yards rushing on the day. With the way the Bills defense had been performing this year, it was almost jarring to see Sanders torch them on the second play of the third quarter for a 65-yard touchdown. The Bills did show some life and answered to make the score 17-13, capping a 75-yard drive and hey, we’ve got a ballgame.
However, the Eagles answered right back with a 75-yard drive of their own to make it 24-13.
Here was the moment for the Bills offense. They’re into a game where they might have to trade scores. That did not go very well, even after a fumbled punt return gave the Bills life on the Philadelphia side of the field. That drive stalled, and eventually the Bills turned it over on downs.
The Bills never got another first down in the game, except for the Devin Singletary 16-yard run that was the final play of the game. The Eagles drove to pad their lead, as detailed above, and that pretty much was that.
I’m not inclined to crush the passing offense on a day where the wind was blowing like it was, but it is disappointing that the first time all season the offense really needed to pick up the defense, it just didn’t happen. So the offense still hasn’t answered the question many of us want to see answered and that’s too bad.
The most likely answer is that this is probably, pretty much, who and what they are on offense. The thing that shouldn’t go unnoticed is that for a second week in a row, the Bills defense had a tough time up front. Last week was off the bye and maybe they didn’t really take the Miami Dolphins seriously. This week against the Eagles, there is no such excuse. They got smoked up front, seemed to have no answer for the Eagles' screen game and got punished for it.
That defense is the thing that is going to have to get sorted out here if the Bills are going to keep rolling towards a 10 or 11-win season. It would have been nice for the offense to pick them up in this game. It also would have been nice if the Bills defense hadn’t been run over by the Eagles.
Talk to you all on Monday afternoon.