It’s official, the Philadelphia Eagles are apparently Super Bowl contenders again. At least that’s what some fans thought following the team’s 23-20 win over the Buffalo Bills. While it’s nice to see that head coach Chip Kelly isn’t on the hot seat anymore, let’s be serious. Beating the battered New England Patriots and the penalty plagued Bills isn’t all that impressive.
Now if the team goes out this upcoming Sunday night and beats the Arizona Cardinals, then that’s a completely different story. But for now, let’s take a closer look at this past Sunday’s game against the Bills. Here are my five takeaways from the much needed win against that other, other New York team.
1) Maybe Sam Bradford really is “the guy”
There’s no disputing facts and there’s one key fact regarding the Eagles this season. The team is 6-2 in games that Sam Bradford starts and finishes. That’s a pretty big deal but much more than quarterback play goes into getting a win. It isn’t like Bradford is posting record breaking numbers, he’s just doing exactly what Chip Kelly looks for in a quarterback. Bradford is making quick decisions, making accurate passes and taking care of the football. It also seems like Kelly wants Bradford around for the long haul but I’ll take a closer look at that situation later this week.
2) Fletcher Cox is one of the “Monstars”
No, I didn’t spell monster wrong, Fletcher Cox is literally like a character out of Space Jam. Every single week, win or lose, Cox jumps out at you when you’re watching the game. For example:
There are times where Eagles stand Fletcher Cox up. For him to hold the point like this moving laterally is crazy. pic.twitter.com/O7tSYqu8Nz
— IgglesNest (@IgglesNest) December 15, 2015
At this point, he’s probably purchased a vacation home in opposing team’s backfields since he’s there so often. Cox continued his season long dominance against the Bills to the tune of seven tackles, four quarterback hurries, one sack and also drew approximately 10,000,000 holding penalties. If Cox doesn’t make the Pro Bowl this season, it’s only your fault since you didn’t vote for him enough. Shame on you!
3) Jaylen Watkins, Ed Reynolds are alive and kicking
Just a few months ago, many were content with the Eagles throwing in the towel on young defensive backs Jaylen Watkins and Ed Reynolds. Yet they both have managed to return to Philadelphia this season and each made a huge play in Sunday’s game. Watkins started it off with a big hit on Bills punt returner Marcus Thigpen that forced a fumble which led to an Eagles’ touchdown. Then it was Renyolds’ turn, as he intercepted Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor to seal a victory for the Eagles. You can bet Watkins and Reynolds will both be telling their grandchildren about their key plays against the Bills.
4) Eric Rowe is no joke
Just a few weeks ago, many were questioning whether or not Eric Rowe even belonged in the NFL as a cornerback. Isn’t that right, Brian Baldinger?
Eric Rowe can't play…He doesn't have the foot quickness to stay with NFL WRs
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 26, 2015
Although Rowe was bashed for his performance against the Detroit Lions, he was put in an awful spot. Yet the past two weeks, when he was given adequate time to prepare as an official starter, Rowe has excelled. He’s faced off with Brandon LaFell and Sammy Watkins, holding the duo to just three receptions on eight targets for 38 yards and no touchdowns. That isn’t too shabby for a rookie that apparently doesn’t belong in the NFL.
5) Nelson Agholor has finally arrived
It’s been frustrating to watch Eagles rookie wide receiver Nelson Agholor this season. We all witnessed his potential during the preseason but it materialized to basically nothing in the regular season. That was until Sunday against the Bills, Agholor had a few drops once again but he also caught the first touchdown of his career. The first round pick was finally given a shot on a deep route and beat double coverage to reel in a perfectly thrown ball from Bradford for a 53-yard touchdown. Maybe this means that Agholor has finally climbed over the rookie wall, only time will tell.