Eagles demolish Buffalo Bills | Instant Analysis


It wasn’t pretty, but after the past two weeks this team has had, it was exactly what the Eagles needed. 

The team won’t be aware any style points for their 31-13 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, but the victory not only helped them avoid a 3-5 hole, but broke a two-game losing streak as well. Now, the Eagles head back to Lincoln Financial Field next Sunday for a very winnable game against the Chicago Bears -- and a chance to go into the Bye Week at 5-4. 

Here are some instant takeaways from the Eagles’ win: 

Brandon Graham: Defensive end Brandon Grahm made arguably his best play of the season on Sunday against the Bills and it might have saved the season. 

With the Bills facing 3rd-and-2 near the end of the second half, Graham knocked the ball out of quarterback Josh Allen’s hands on a running play, then also recovered the ball, giving the offense possession on the Bills’ 24-yard line. They took advantage of the great field position, scoring five-plays later to take a 11-7 lead into the half. The play not only gave the Eagles the ball but the momentum they desperately needed in what was a very sloppy, uninspiring performance prior to the play. 

Graham stepped up again in the third quarter when the defense needed him. After the Eagles fumbled the ball away on a punt return, Graham stepped up and brought down Allen on 3rd-and-8, putting the Bills into a tough fourth-down spot which they failed to convert. 

Miles Sanders: The Eagles finally got the player on Sunday that they felt was worth a second-round pick. Sanders looked special for the first time in an Eagles’ uniform, not only making big plays in the passing game, but take a handoff to start the third-quarter 65 yards for a touchdown, a huge play that gave the Eagles a 17-7 lead. Although Sanders has made some plays in the passing game this season, they have mostly been the result of him being schemed open or defensive breakdowns. Sanders made defenders missed and made something out of nothing on Sunday, looking the part of the difference-making running back the Eagles felt they were drafting with the 53rd overall pick. Unfortunately for the rookie, however, he left the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. 
Fletcher Cox: Fans have been waiting for defensive tackle Fletcher Cox to make an impact and he did it right away on Sunday. Cox came up with a strip sack of Allen on Bills opening drive, forcing the Bills to punt. He got behind the line of scrimmage once again on the next possession, stopping the Bills on the second drive on 3rd-and-1 to once again get the defense off the field. 
Carson Wentz: Wentz said this week that he wants to be judged by wins-and-lossess, and on Sunday, the final score is truly the fairest way to grade his game. Wentz wasn't great, but facing a tough defense on the road in the rain, he didn't make any critical mistakes to give the Bills some life. Wentz also took advantage of chances to make plays when he had them, including a 38-yard completion to receiver Alshon Jeffery down the left sideline in the third quarter that helped lead to a touchdown. Wentz also had two big third-down runs in the fourth quarter, a 13-yard run on 3rd-and-5 and a 10-yard run on 3rd-and-10, to help the Eagles keep a drive alive and burn some clock. 
Offense: It's pretty simple -- when the Eagles offense is working like it should, they are a good team. For all of the criticism the defense has gotten at times this season, the issue has always been the offense, which was averaging 15.6 points over the last three weeks. This team will go as far as Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz take them. 
A lead: Believe it — the Eagles actually, for real took the lead to start this game. It was short lived, but with this team, even a 3-0 lead feels like a big deal with how poor they have played for over a year to start games. Not only did the Eagles take a lead to start the game, but they also took the lead into the locker room at halftime. The Eagles are now 3-0 this season when they lead at halftime.