Eagles Evaluation: Eagles Top Bills In Buffalo

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles were on the brink of essentially wiping out their hopes for the playoffs and getting ready to throw their 2019 season away in favor of the 2020 season.

Instead, the team comes away with their only win on the road, beating a team that was 5-1 heading into the week with their only loss coming against the Packers.

The Eagles now head into a tough three-game home stand against winning teams before ending the season on arguably the easiest part of the schedule for the Birds.

Personnel Changes

Sidney Jones played slot receiver almost full time in this one, reclaiming a spot toward the top of the depth chart.

Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and Rasul Douglas all got snaps in this one as they rotated the corners. Darby and Mills maintained the starting spots outside.

Boston Scott got some playing time (not in garbage time) with Sanders leaving the game in the third quarter and Howard missing the very next play. It was a good start for Scott, but not a good end.

Bruce Hector started at defensive tackle beside Fletcher Cox over the two newly signed rookies.

Stock Evaluations

Buy: Jalen Mills

Mills didn’t have a superb day on the field. He was solid in coverage and didn’t give up big plays, but the reason to buy his stock is the leadership he had during the week as well as during and before the game, once again giving the pregame speech to the secondary.

Mills isn’t the greatest corner in the league, but he’s more than serviceable it might be worth the Eagles re-signing him this offseason just for his leadership and passion. When turmoil hits a team like it has the Eagles over the past few weeks, Mills is a guy that the team can count on to bring everyone together.

Sell: Boston Scott

I really wanted to tell people to buy Scott’s stock following his first ever touchdown, but a fumble on the next punt to turn the ball over and four more carries at the end of the gain of one more yard land him in the sell column.

The Eagles should continue to try and develop Scott and get him involved more in the offense, but Scott had one highlight play followed by a few negative plays. Not ideal, but all learning opportunities.

Buy: Miles Sanders

Jordan Howard got 23 carries in this game, mainly due to Sanders having left the game prior to the Eagles trying to run out the clock. Obviously Sanders being injured isn’t great, but he was the team’s second leading rusher and second leading receiver. Overall, he totaled 118 yards of offense and another 24 yards on a kick return.

Sanders managed to turn three short receptions into 44 yards and took just three carries in the game for 74 more, including a 65-yard run for the first touchdown of his young career. Sanders also rushed the ball in for a two point conversion before halftime.

Sell: Jake Elliot

Jake Elliot did not have a bad game by any means and the wind is playing a big factor in the game, a miss can be acceptable, especially when it is a near-miss that just hit the post. That said, Elliot missed his first kick of the season – an extra point – and so his stock drops. When you are perfect, the only way to go is down and that’s what this miss was for Elliot.

Buy: Alshon Jeffery

Alshon was not speedy or explosive as he has been over the past couple of seasons, but he did reign in four receptions for 64 yards, averaging 16 yards per reception. While that isn’t exceptionally deep, it opens up the field a bit more and allows the Eagles to move the chains. It was these types of plays the Eagles had been missing with DeSean out and Alshon was finally able to make those plays happen. Even better, it was against one of the top secondaries in the game. If he can continue to do that, especially should Jackson return, the offense will be in much better shape.

Sell: Mack Hollins

Hollins continues to play just about every snap and do nothing. Greg Ward Jr., still on the practice squad, was presumably beat out by Hollins because of his ability to play special teams – an area where he earned himself recognition for a stupid penalty on Sunday. At this point, there is no reason not to play JJAW or to promote Ward to take Hollins’ snaps on the offense.

Buy: Brandon Graham

Graham had a bounce back game this week with six tackles (two for loss) and a sack. He also recovered a fumble to change the momentum of the game. Graham was all smiles and was over congratulating the offense for their touchdown once again, exhibiting the leadership the locker room needed.

Sell: Nelson Agholor

Agholor’s longest play in this contest was a 16-yard rush. It should be disgusting to fans that he touched the ball another five times and his game total was 14 yards. Five plays for -2 yards is pitiful. Alshon had stretched the field a bit in this one and the run game was effective, but Agholor was able to manage just seven yards on four receptions. If the Eagles can get something for Agholor before the trade deadline, there’s no reason not to. Jordan Matthews was recently released and could be just as effective in the slot. At this point, it’s unlikely the Eagles would get more than a sixth-round comp pick in the 2021 draft for Nelson leaving, so the team wouldn’t need much of a return and maybe teams like Green Bay or Indianapolis would be looking to take a flier on a veteran receiver to put behind their only major receiving threat.

Sideline Chatter

  • The Eagles were able to get the run game going on almost all cylinders in this one. If the Eagles can get Boston Scott to be effective in the game, the team could be set for a few years at running back should they re-sign Jordan Howard.
  • The offense at least got points to start the game and ensure they weren’t automatically losing the entire game, but they need to finish with more consistency. Changing a goose egg in the first quarter to a 3 is improvement, but not great improvement.
  • On the other side of the ball, the Eagles defense came to play. They shut down the Bills offense on most drives and the Bills needed penalties like personal fouls to be called on Brandon Graham not stopping in mid air to extend the drives that they scored on. It was the defense that turned teh tide of the game with a fumble recovery at the end of the first half to send the Eagles into the locker room with a lead.

  • What Orlando Scandrick said may have been a factor in the team winning, but it was their player leadership that seemed to make a difference. A players only meeting and leadership exuding from players like Jalen Mills, Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham throughout the game seemed to have united the defense.
  • Somewhat related to that is that the Eagles cut players like Zach Brown and Orlando Scandrick, who did not seem particularly excited to be in Philadelphia. Instead they replaced them with players like Bruce Hector and Anthony Huggins, who very clearly want to be in the building. They will have to earn their roster spots, as we saw with the release of Akeem Spence, who was also excited to be Philly, but having players with that mentality is huge to addressing the issues that had been plaguing the Eagles locker room.

Team Focus

The Eagles return home from their road trip after managing just one win. They have a week to focus on the struggling Bears before they come to Philly.

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