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Eagles show positive signs in win against Bills

No painfully slow start this week.

The Eagles finally won a game the way that they wanted to win it.

Jordan Howard ran for 96 of the 218 yards that Philadelphia totaled on the ground and the Eagles spanked the Buffalo Bills 31-13 on Sunday afternoon.

Philadelphia’s defense came in allowing an opening drive touchdown on five of its first seven games, but that trend flipped on Sunday. Fletcher Cox beat right guard Jon Feliciano on 3rd-and-6 and sacked Josh Allen, recording a three-and-out for the Eagles’ defense.

This was a lot more important than a normal three-and-out.

The Eagles had been finding themselves in early dougle-digit holes because the defense allows the early score, the offense stalls or turns the ball over and after more points are put on the board by the opposition, it’s been either 10-0 or 14-0 in a blink.

There was no mountain to climb this week, just a hill.

Doug Pederson was able to stick with his game-plan instead of throwing it away midway through the second quarter. The Eagles stayed within striking distance, pulled away at the end of the first half and early portion of the second and put the game away with Jordan Howard and the offensive line in the fourth quarter.

They were able to run the ball when they wanted to, utilize the screen game with the tight ends and running backs, Pederson had more ammunition in his arsenal and the running game picked up a healthy 5.3 yards per carry. Miles Sanders broke off a 65-yard touchdown run.

Josh Allen, who was sacked four times by a much-better Eagles’ pass rush this week, found Cole Beasley for a 14-yard TD on a 3rd-and-goal to give the Bills a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter. Third down defense remains an issue for the Eagles, especially on 3rd-and-long, as is red zone D. Buffalo scored on both of its red zone opportunities.

The Eagles used their defensive line to swing the momentum. Brandon Graham forced an Allen fumble and set the Eagles up at the Bills’ 24-yard line.

Carson Wentz flipped a five-yard touchdown to Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders ran in for the subsequent two-point conversion.

Sanders’ 65-yard TD sprint on the second play of the third quarter gave the Eagles a 17-7 advantage.

A 10-play, 75-yard TD drive followed by Buffalo, but the Eagles went right back to work and put another touchdown on the board. Wentz lofted a 38-yard completion to Alshon Jeffery along the left sideline and Boston Scott ran it in from four yards out to make it 24-13.

Philly put the game away with a long, methodical 14-play, 83-yard drive in the fourth. Howard ran the ball eight times for 34 yards on the march, which included a pair of third-down conversions by Wentz using his legs.

There are still issues for the Eagles to clean up, but Sunday was a step in the right direction. Chicago looms next Sunday, we’ll see if the Eagles can get past the .500 mark heading into the bye.


You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at [email protected]. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here.

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