Eagles Postgame Report: Birds Overcome Mountain Of Offensive Problems To Beat Bills

Eagles Postgame Report: Birds Overcome Mountain Of Offensive Problems To Beat Bills Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles once again played in poor conditions with the rain on Sunday afternoon, but the conditions were great compared to their quarterback.

The supposed MVP favorite, Jalen Hurts, had one decent drive resulting in 7 points. Outside of that, the Eagles would have been in better shape with pretty much any other quarterback out there for the first half.

Know not to throw a pass directly at a defender that’s two feet away. Don’t try to complete a second handoff and fumble the ball away. Those are basic concepts almost any QB understands. But Jalen Hurts did the opposite. If you’ve ever made fun of the Butt Fumble, make sure you harass Hurts for that half because that was some of dumbest decision making ever seen from and NFL quarterback. 

The defense allowed some yardage and ultimately a field goal. It was an effort that probably should have had them enter the half with the lead. Instead, they trailed by two scores.

Basically, the score at the half broke down as: Eagles: 7, Bills: 3, Jalen Hurts: -14.

The play calling didn’t help anyone and that certainly continued as they came out of the half with even dumber play calls like 0 runs and a screen to Julio Jones on third and 14.

The Bills gained more yardage, but missed their field goal attempt.

Suddenly, Brian Johnson had a stroke of genius: he might try to run the ball. And maybe he’d try this unknown running back, DeAndre Swift. This idea that no one had thought of before him paid off as Swift unloaded three runs for 44 yards. It opened up the passing game a bit and Hurts made the throws that were there for him, putting the Eagles back in the game.

The Eagles safeties, however, decided they didn’t actually need to tackle and combined to allow 45 yards and a touchdown on two missed tackles, negating any momentum the team had and should have kept had either made a simple tackle.

Brian Johnson and Hurts seemed to figure themselves out after that, however, with Hurts finally returning to the player fans know he should be instead of whatever he was in the first half. He authored a 75-yard drive in just three minutes to put the Eagles back in striking distance.

James Bradberry made his best play of the season to follow that up, jumping a route for an interception to set the Eagles up at their own 24. Brian Johnson did all he could to waste the possession, but Olamide Zaccheaus bailed them out with an incredible touchdown catch after Hurts gave him a chance on a play that certainly seemed doomed.

Brandon Graham came up with the first sack of the game for the Birds to get the ball back, but the offense managed just three yards on three plays, giving the ball back to the Bills.

The Eagles defense proceeded to allow five or more yards on every run the Bills could call, wasting 5:14 of clock and allowing the touchdown. It put the Eagles down three with 1:52 left in the game.

The Eagles seemed to be driving, with 51 yards of driving easily down the field. A poor play call and two Jason Kelce false starts hampered the Birds down to third and 17. They threw a one-yard pass that wasn’t caught with no timeouts and the Eagles had to settle for a 59-yard attempt. Luckily, the Eagles have a clutch player in Jake Elliott to force overtime.

The Eagles lost the toss and could well have lost the game, but the Eagles defense stood up and forced a field goal to give the offense a chance. After a close call with AJ Brown, the Eagles, behind runs from Swift and Hurts and several catches by Smith, the Eagles came away with a win in a game they really had no business being in.

They are now 10-1.

It was the most hot/cold quarterback play I’ve ever seen in a game, but credit to Hurts he was able to snap out of it at the half and lead his offense to the points they absolutely needed to maintain a two-game lead in the standings.

Offensive MVP: DeVonta Smith

Smith was once again the go-to guy in this game. He may have only put up 67 yards through most of the game, but he had a touchdown and moved the chains repeatedly. In a game where the Eagles essentially played without a quarterback for an entire half, that yardage and a touchdown is a solid number. With his contributions on the final two drives, he surpassed 100 yards, winding up with 106 at the end of the game.

Defensive MVP: James Bradberry

There’s been some frustrations with the play from the corner position, but it was Bradberry who finally got the Eagles a turnover in plus territory. He had some issues in coverage, but was overall solid and made the play that allowed the Eagles the chance to win this game despite the offense’s disastrous first half.

Game Notes

  • Jake Elliott. Ice in his veins, this man is perhaps the greatest kicker in Eagles history. Making that 59-yard attempt in that weather is no easy task and the offense did all they could to make it as difficult as possible.
  • Brandon Graham appeared in his 189th game with the Eagles on Sunday. That makes him the sole record holder for most games played in an Eagles uniform.
  • Jalen Carter timed a field goal attempt excellently and managed to get a block. That may have factored into how the kicker seemingly tried to aim his next kick, which he missed as it curved immediately after contact.
  • What was Jason Kelce doing? Two false starts on the final drive of regulation that nearly lost the game then and there? We all know he’s too good to be making stupid mistakes like that and it’s frankly unacceptable perhaps from him more than any other player on the roster.
  • For as much resources as the Eagles have dumped into their defensive line, they were not productive. There was maybe one time they affected the throw through three quarters. The only DL who regularly got near Allen was Haason Reddick, who whiffed on the QB nearly every time he was back there. The Eagles recorded 0 sacks through three quarters.
  • It’s a shock that Kevin Byard didn’t walk straight off the field in the third quarter. His missed sack on Josh Allen was so incredibly embarrassing with his being unblocked. He also vacated the coverage that allowed the 29-yard completion after he whiffed so badly. Not to be outdone, Reed Blankenship did the exact same thing on a third and 11 play where he allowed a touchdown run by Allen instead of forcing the field goal.
  • Five times in this game the Eagles defense allowed conversions on 3rd and 9 or longer, including twice in overtime.
  • Really, it’s that fact that Jalen Hurts is so talented that is so frustrating. If the Hurts from the second half of this game showed up for a whole game, this would have been a blowout. It’s also amazing how that same guy is the same one that absolutely tanked his team in the first half.
  • Jack Stoll had a really nice screen in this one that went for over 10 yards. His play reminds me a lot of Brent Celek and I think he could be a bigger factor in the passing game if they wanted him to be, but with the wideouts they have and Goedert ahead of him, he seems low on the list of players the team feels like they need to get the ball to.
  • The Eagles were destroyed in the time of possession battle as well as the number of offensive plays each team ran. They lost the turnover battle. Still, they hung in this game despite the fact that any analytics would tell you there’s no chance of winning with that. 

Injury Notes

  • Lane Johnson, of course, was ruled out before the game after an injury occurred while sleeping.
  • Jalen Carter went off the field in the second quarter, but returned one snap later.
  • Fletcher Cox left after Jalen Carter returned and he went into the locker room very shortly after that.
  • Zach Cunningham departed in the second half and went to the locker room where he was ruled out and did not return.
  • Jordan Davis went down after chasing down Josh Allen in OT. He was able to get up and walk off.

Buffalo Bills @ Philadelphia Eagles – November 26, 2023

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT


0 17 7 7 3
Eagles 7


7 17 6


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